Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A picture is worth a 1000 sales!

Things have been up and down with sales lately.  I can't complain, I'm selling more than I have in the past but sometimes there is a lul and I play around with my shop to see if I can make improvements to get more item views.  I've noticed that if I switch out photos on low visited items, I usually get more views.  So, I thought I would give some tips that I learned for taking photos.  I am by no means a proffesional photographer and I know my photos can be better, but they are much better than when I started and there are a few things I've learned that I'd like to share.

  • Camera - I use a simple HP digital camera ($100). I wish I had a better camera, but I just can't afford to buy one.  The one I am using seems to be working fine with some restrictions.  I can't take photos with a black background, and I have to make sure my camera setting is in "close up" mode.  It's doing the trick for me now, so I'm happy.

  • Light - I don't use a light box, and when I started I only took pictures in the sun.  Then I found a lamp at WalMart called a SunLight lamp that has light similar to sunlight.  I use that for all my photo taking now and it seems to work really well.  It also allows me to take photos at night.

  • Backgrounds - I experimenting in the very beginning with a lot of different backgrounds, different props for each item and different settings.  This became a big time sucker for sure.  Having to come up with different items was exhausting.  I went to Michaels and bought about 20 scrapbooking background paper sheets. These have worked very well.  I choose a design and color that compliments my piece and put it in the back either in a horizontal or vertical shot.  Now my picture taking time has decreased a lot.

  • Props - I purchased a smaller bust-like necklace display in white and I use that for displaying the items up-right.  Again, the black display just does something to my camera that makes the jewelry compete with the background and it looks horrible. 

  • Editing - I'm a graphic designer, so I do use Photoshop to edit the image sizes and contrast. I save my files at around 1000px width.  I've noticed as I get better at shooting the photos I do less editing, which is a time save for sure.

  • Files - I save my image files by date and numeric identifiers.  I used to name all my images by stone type or style, but I make so many similar pieces, that became a problem.  Now, dating them makes it a lot easier to find them when I upload them to the shop.  And... if I need to go back and find something I look for the date it was listed and have a good frame of reference for where the file will be based on the date.
Those are just a few of the things I've learned about taking product photos that have helped me along the way. 

Anyone else have any tips... please, let us know.