5 Ways To Make your Product Pics Shine

Let’s talk again for a moment about a subject dear to my heart – product photography for online sellers.

I started @happierhandmade just a few months ago, but since then I’ve been scouring instagram and finding the best pictures I could of handmade artists’ works and sharing them with the world. We’ve grown exponentially from those first 15 followers who showed up on day one and are now closing in on 5000, which is seriously exciting for me!

So over the last eight or nine weeks, I’ve chosen three or more pictures every single day to share, and I do my best to look through every new account that follows me to see what their products are like and look for items I might feature.

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If you haven’t been chosen yet, you very well might be in the future! Three a day sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t compared to the thousands and thousands of artisan accounts that are out there.

But — I do notice a few things that I wish handmade shop owners knew about their pictures, because these things will really, really help your chances of getting featured. Here are a few key things that help me make the decision on who I’m going to feature.

5 Tips To Help Your Photos Get Featured

Here are my best tips to help you understand why your pics might or might not get selected:

  • Don’t hide your product with too much text. Don’t use watermarks and added text on every single picture. I’m not likely to feature a picture that has text across it or even a watermark, because it interrupts the flow of the visually-appealing feed I’m trying to create.
  • Think carefully about your backgrounds. You absolutely don’t have to use a plain white background – but if you use something else, pleasepleaseplease make sure it’s well lit. Invest in a good photo editing app (I use Snapseed obsessively – it’s great!) and play with lightening up the brightness, modifying the ambient light, and changing the warmth factor of your pictures. You will be amazed what you can do to turn a so-so picture into a great one!

    Also, just personal preference but I’m not likely to post a pic if it’s shot on carpet or on a really wrinkly piece of fabric.

  • Consider how you’re cropping. If your picture is not square, I’m probably not going to feature it unless it crops down nicely to a square. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post whatever shape you want to – but occasionally post a nice, square pic that’s centered in a lovely way and I may be able to use it more easily.
  • Make it clear. I’ve seen some really adorable pictures that look great when you see them in their tiny form in a search panel but are just poorly focused when I open them up, and not in that artful, soft-focus way that some instagrammers are deliberately fostering. Practice setting your focus, invest in a small tripod, and take several versions of every shot so you can pick the one that’s most in focus. After seven years of taking product pics for my own shot, I’m still amazed at how two out of three shots I take of the same item can be blurry and only one is usable!

    This stuff is hard, yo. Word to the artist peeps.

  • Vary between single and collage shots. Collage shots are awesome but I often pass them by because they can look somewhat cluttered in the feed I’m producing. If you mostly post collage pictures, consider varying things up a bit so you include some single product pics too!

That’s it! Hope this is helpful to you!

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