TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 24 Photography Tips and Tricks

Welcome back to our followers! 

If you're new here, welcome to our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp! If you want to take part in Bootcamp and get one-on-one mentoring, or answers to any of your questions, please drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com
If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link!

Vintage Camera Photographer Belt Buckle by piprobins
We have new sellers joining our Bootcamp all the time, so even though this is Class 24, you can join now or anytime! You can complete the classes at your own pace. Just click on our re-vamped NEWBIE BOOTCAMP tab above to get the lowdown on all the classes so far.

Today we're going to talk about photography and how to make your shop and your items look their  best!

Camera art print by RobertRatPrints
When you're selling online, photography is all important. This is the way your customers see your products, your profile, and your About Pages. It's how you communicate your story through Shop Updates and various social media.

There are some important Nuts & Bolts to consider, and basic tips for taking better photos:

  • Lighting, lighting, lighting! Even more important than your camera is to have a well-lit shot. Even a high quality camera can't make up for poorly lit photos, and conversely, if you are careful with your lighting, you can get great shots even with a simple point-and-shoot or smartphone camera. Good lighting brings out the details! If you shoot outdoors, wait for a cloudy day because harsh sun can create unwanted shadows. If you shoot indoors, you can shoot through the window to diffuse the light. You can use a white bedsheet or piece of vellum to get a soft glow. See this Etsy blog article for more tips. The real trick to mastering lighting? Like most things, it's a matter of practise. Experiment for yourself. Make it part of your workflow. Take photos regularly - not just of your products, but of your process. You can use these for your Shop Updates and other social media.                                                                                                                          
    Camera Laser Cut Cuff Links by RongDesigns
  • Focus. You want your photos to be sharp. Make sure you are familiar with how your camera focus works. On a smartphone or point-and-shoot it's often as simple as tapping the screen where you want it to focus or the shutter prior to taking your shot. If you're not confident with an SLR, you can always use the autofocus. If you are selling jewellery or other small items, or making detailed close-ups consider the minimum focusing distance of your lens and don't get too close, or it simply cannot focus. If it's a big part of what you do, you might want to get a tripod and macro lens.                                                                           
    Object Matter Collection - Instant Camera 3" mirror by L2RStudio
  • Take the time to compose your shot and save time in the long run! It's easier to correct lighting problems or make changes while you're shooting than to try and fix less than ideal photos.                                                                                                                                
    Six-20 Brownie Box Camera from TheArtOfDemolition
  • Avoid using a flash (unless it is remote from your camera or a bounce flash). A direct flash washes out colours and details and can be unflattering.              
  • Edit! Take more photos than you need and the you can be choosier with which to use. Also, take advantage of photo editing software. (Photoshop is common and the full program can do everything you could need. Affinity Photo is pretty similar and more affordable. There are also free online editors like ipiccy and picmonkey which have straightfoward tools. There are all sorts of apps for mobile devices, like free or low-cost photo editors Snapseed, Afterlight or VSCOcam, which can really help you improve your images). Cropping, increasing brightness, selecting your white and black levels and white balance can really make your photos pop. Check Etsy's photoshop tutorial here.

Camera brooch by Clayshapes
Next there are things which are important as a business in communicating your Brand:
  • Consistent lighting across your listings can reinforce your brand
  • Choose backgrounds which compliment, rather than clash or compete with your products
  • Make sure your listing photos are clear and obvious: show the full product, show details, show products in context and lifestyle shots. Vintage sellers should be careful to show the product's condition and note any flaws.
  • Watermarks may protect your intellectual property, but they make images less likely to be included in curated features for online publications. You might want to be more creative in how you tie your images to your business. Shooting your product with branded packaging in the shot, for instance, can be a clever compromise. 
  • Tell your own story! You About section and even listing shots can be a great place to communicate who you are and what you do by including shots of where you work, your tools and you, doing your thing!

Shoot: Canon Ftb Classic Camera linocut by minouette
Right now, Canon is partnering with Etsy! As part of their #EtsyXCanon promotion, Canadian Team Captains can share a promo code which adds a special quarterly promotional discount to your overall sale price on purchases in the Canon eStore! So if you are in the market for any Canon cameras or other products, be sure to take advantage by applying my promotional code at the checkout: ETSYXCANON1689

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