Adventures in Advertising (and Marketing) - Part Three - TAKING PHOTOS!

>> Saturday, March 1, 2008

You might have the most awesome handmade items in your shop, but unless people can SEE how gorgeous they are, you won't sell them. Photos are the key to selling items over the internet, whether that be on Etsy, ebay, or any of the other amazing sites out there.

You only need three things to take great photos of your products. Seriously.

1. A relatively okay digital camera - I use a Kodak EasyShare C653

2. Basic photo editing software - where you can crop, adjust the size of your image, brightness and contrast

3. A source of bright light, preferably sunlight

Having a basic knowledge of composition also helps a little, but if you are an avid reader of fashion magazines, you'll have it too.

Make sure your item is clean, pristine and ready for it's 15 minutes of fame! There is nothing worse than a good picture of a dirty item! I've taken photos of items and then realized once I had edited it that there is wire sticking out, or dust on a gemstone.

Take your item and set it up in a location that is brightly lit, but not necessarily in direct sunlight. I usually use a window sill. I set the item up on a pillow or a book or a piece of paper that has some texture on it and take several shots, from different angles. The light is the most important thing, next to your item!

Then upload your photos onto your hard drive and open up your photo editing software. I'm a Photoshop girl myself, but all you really need in an editing program is the ability to adjust brightness, contrast, and size. Open up your photos.

Create a "new" document, and make sure it is about 20% of your original photo. Go back to the photo of your item, and select a square selection of that photo, including your item. Drag the selection to your new document - it should be much closer and detailed than your original. Adjust the contrast and brightness and save this new photo! I find that saving photos with a description of the item helps me to find them for easier uploading, especially if I'm taking a whole batch of pictures. (i.e. beach glass pendant1.jpg)

Etsy requires that photos be less than 1000 pixels x 1000 pixels. I usually make my photos 400 x 400, it takes less time to upload to Etsy or other sites, and the quality is still great.

Photos are your tools to generate traffic to your site and to generate sales! Experiment a little, and it will pay off in the long run!!!

xoxoox muffin


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