How to Photograph Craft Projects: Photography Guide for Selling Your Arts and Crafts Online
More and more artists and crafters are using the web to sell their items. There are online auction sites, online craft fairs, and opportunities to create online shops. A key element of selling on such sites is to have crisp, clean photographs of your work. No photo is better than a bad photo, the consumer is used to crisp, clear, clean visuals when shopping. A photo that focuses on an item for sale is called a product shot.
You don’t need to invest in the most expensive camera, but if you are serious about selling your work online consider investing in a tripod. Few of us have a steady hand when it comes to holding a camera perfectly still as we click for a photo, a tripod will give you the stability you need to good photos. Some tripods unfold to stand tall while others will only stand 2-3”. The tripod screws onto the base of your camera and a must have for serious photographers. Tripods will help you in normal view and also with macro shots.
Here are some of the best product shot tips from the experts:
- Take your photos outside to get the best light on your items. Cloudy days are best as the filtered light helps bring pop to the photo.
- Display your item in an interesting way, but don’t let the background or display become too busy. You want your item to be the main attraction.
- Contrast your background and item. Light items on dark backgrounds and dark items on light backgrounds.
- Take photos from many different angles and select the one that gives the best view of your item.
- Use a tripod. Shaky hands led to unfocused images. Practice and get comfortable with your camera.
- Take photos from different angles and select the angle that shows off the product best.
- Crop your photos. You don’t need a lot of background, what you need is a nice close up of your work.
Here are some examples of product shots that sell the artist or crafter’s work:
The artist used a prop (the young woman) properly. Your eye does focus in on the white leather bow that is for sale and you see clearly how it can be used. Leather Bow Tie by Ulala’s Shop.
The glass artist did a great job with a difficult subject matter. Glass is so reflective that it’s not easy to capture, you need filtered light. The artist also included a side shot of the pendent so the buyer could see its thickness. Handmade Fused Glass Blue Dichroic by Diana’s Stained Glass Shop.
I added this image because although the artist got a great shot of the tissue cozy, you wouldn’t know what it at first glance. If a small bit of tissue was coming out of the cozy, more than likely you’d know what the item is right off the bat. Online, you aren’t there to explain your product; you need a photo that can work as your salesperson!
Read Maria's other great guide, How To Create Your Own Craft Selling Event! A Guide to Hosting An Open House
Check out these other great projects Maria really likes that have great photos as well: