When I started my calligraphy and stationery business back in 2013, the bourgeoning Etsy market was wide open with lots of opportunities to attract new clients and grow a business. Because the platform was so focused on makers and small businesses, shoppers didn’t have the expectation of professional images – it was accepted that you were buying from an artist running their business out of their home, likely in their spare time.
Fast forward nearly 10 years and the expectation has completely changed. Etsy shoppers now report that high-quality imagery is the #1 factor they use when making a buying decision. Yikes!
But have no fear, there are easy hacks that you can do at home to drastically improve your imagery without fancy equipment or a professional stylist.
#1. Find Good Light
When photographing your work, set up your scene in front of a large window with bright, indirect sunlight. This will give you the best results for true-to-life colors and minimal shadows. If you only have direct light, you can diffuse the light by using white window sheers or taping wax paper/parchment paper to the window. This will soften the light and create fewer shadows.
#2. Bounce the Light
Still getting shadows that you don’t love? Use a piece of large white paper, foam core, or tin foil to bounce the light back onto your scene by setting it across from your light source. This will help reflect the light and help you achieve a more evenly lit scene.
Editing your images is the number one difference between an okay image and one that really stands out. All progressional photographers edit their images and you should too. I love using Adobe Lightroom Classic to make adjustments to my images (like making sure my whites are truly white and further reducing shadows, or bringing up the exposure). If you don’t have access to the paid version of Adobe Creative Cloud, there is a great free version of Lightroom available for your smartphone. You can shoot and edit all from the app, making the process super streamlined.
Interested in learning more about styling and photographing your work? Check out my signature course, Academie de Style to learn everything you need to know to create scroll-stopping images that sell.
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