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. 


  1. I totally agree! Photos are the key to sales. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Yeah.. I'm still learning and getting better. Someday I'll buy a better camera!

  3. Thanks for the mention!! I really appreciate it. Things are looking up, I've sold another two prints this week. Yeah! p.s. I've tweeted your link.

  4. Great tip about the SunLight lamp from Walmart. I'll have to keep that in mind this winter for indoor photography. I just started using scrapbook paper for my backgrounds for my pictures of my ceramic beads this week and I think it makes a huge difference. I take my pictures outside when I can and use a white foam craft display board that I place behind everything. It helps to keep unwanted stuff out of my pics and helps a little with sun reflection, I think. They only cost $3-4.

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