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5 Simple Steps to Better Etsy Shop Photography

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Do you struggle to get the best photos for your products? Are you trying to figure out how to capture your products in photos that convert to sales? Are you interested in learning how to take better product photos without spending a fortune on equipment? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are reading the right blog post.

Your product photos play a major role in closing the sale. When your product photos appear next to all other photos in an Etsy search, they have to be good enough to actually entice the buyer to click on your listing. If your product photos do not stand out, they don't have a chance of anyone clicking on them, let alone adding to their cart. Your product photos could actually be hurting your potential to make sales on Etsy or on your own website.

I've spent a decade taking product photos and, what seems like forever, trying to get the right lighting with the right angle and setup. I've spent money on expensive cameras, $500 dollar light and tent kits, more money on backdrops, and plenty on reflectors and grey cards yet still had trouble getting the picture I needed to reflect the quality of my products.

A few years ago, I came across backdrops specifically for product photography, but I was just too exhausted with spending more money on the "next thing" that would make my products pop. So, I decided to create a DIY backdrop. I began researching how to do it and started to piece together information about taking better photos with the equipment that I currently had. Which included my cell phone, natural lighting and a few inexpensive props. I discovered that cellphones capture photographs with just as high of quality as some professional cameras from 5 years ago. My professional camera, at the time, was 3 or 4 years old and I was getting much better photos with the camera on my cellphone compared to my professional camera.

After a little more research, I was ready to put together my DIY photography studio for products and start testing it out. This is how I came across 5 Simple Steps to Better Etsy Shop Photography!

*This post contains links to items on Amazon and suggests items from Home Depot. I am not affiliated with or paid to post these links or suggest these items. Providing links to Amazon items or Home Depot items does not guarantee, approve, or endorse the information or products available on these sites or in these stores. These are personal suggestions that have helped me upgrade my photography.

5 Simple Steps to Better Etsy Shop Photography:

NOTE TO SELF: Before you dive in girl boss keep in mind, don't run and try to update ALL of your shop listings at once. Take your best selling item and update that one first and then your lowest performing item. From there, make a schedule to update one listing a week.

Step 1: Supplies

Besides your camera phone, all supplies shouldn't cost more than $45 (besides the cost of your phone). I provided links to some supplies. I use a matte for all surfaces to reduce the glare and shine that reflects from glossy surfaces.

Supply List:

  • Camera Phone - I have a Samsung Galaxy S10

  • 2 - Sanded Plywood (Common: 1/4 in. x 2 ft. x 2 ft.; Actual: 0.224 in. x 23.75 in. x 23.75 in.)

  • 2 - Marble Contact Paper Rolls (Matte not Shiny)

  • 12" x 12" White Tile Square (grab the inexpensive tile that has a matte finish from any Home Improvement store for under $3/each)

  • Smaller (Matte Finish) Tile 3" x 6" (usually you can get sets of 4 -6 for under $10)

Step 2: Create Your DIY Product Photography Studio

I cover my plywood with contact paper. You only need to cover one side of each. Here is my exact setup with my plywood backdrops, 12" x 12" and 3" x 6" tile.

DIY Product Photography Studio:


Step 3: Find Lighting - Natural Lighting

It is incredibly important that you find natural lighting for this inexpensive DIY photography studio. The natural lighting cuts out the need for expensive lighting equipment. I used two large windows in my office when the sun is pouring in around noon. The light is in front of my setup but behind my camera. From the angle of my window, this is the best time to shoot. Depending on where your windows are that you choose to use, you may need to wait for a different time of day.

Here are two great blogs on how to use natural lighting for your product photos:

If you have to use artificial light, I use a softbox to create artificial natural light. I purchased my softbox from Amazon. Again, this is not factored into the $45 cost and the main objective of this blog is to reduce the cost of your DIY Product Photography Studio.

Step 4: Shoot, Shoot, and Shoot some MORE

Once you identify the spot in your home and the time of day when you can get the best shots, you want to capture as many photos of that item from every angle possible. Shoot close-ups, angles, and with different props so that you have plenty of photos to choose from. *Adjust your camera phone setting as you deem necessary.

Here are some photos I took with the exact setup you see above and with natural light only.

My results:

Step 5: Edit

I like to edit my photos in Photoshop, but there are tons of free apps you can use right from your phone. My favorite is Adobe Lightroom.

Here are my Edits:

A picture says a thousand words. Make your photos speak volume about your brand.

I always like to remind my girl bosses to do the following things, this applies even when deciding how to tackle this simple 5 step process.

Take a moment to do 4 things:

  • Pause - Take a moment to take it all in and decide which listings you want to update first.

  • Pivot - Consider the current state to be an opportunity to pivot and make some changes in your online business to help sustain and/or grow it.

  • Prioritize - Make a list of all the things you want to change/update and then prioritize by level of importance.

  • Plan - Understand you cannot do all the things at once but you do need a plan that will include a goal for what you want to accomplish, a strategy of how you will accomplish the goal, and a list of tactics to do. Then create a schedule of when to do each tactic.

If any of this seems too overwhelming, reach out and send me a message and I will be glad to help.


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