Product Photography Trends in 2019

Product Photography Trends in 2019

In this blog post we’re talking about the 2019 product photography trends that you should be watching for as a handmade seller.

First up, big this year, is the outdoors. This goes for product photography and photography in general. But, basically, think about how you can take your products and show them off in the great outdoors. Nothing is bigger right now than being eco-friendly and in tune with environment, it’s a big trend this year. So think about how your product might fit out in the outdoors, if it does, and how you might be able to start taking some really cool photos of it outside. Which leads into the next trend of 2019, lifestyle photos.

Okay, so I’ve always loved lifestyle photos. This isn’t a 2019 thing for me. This is an always thing. But it is definitely big in 2019 overall, so it is something that I want you to think about. Lifestyle photos are those photos that you take of your products actually being used. If you make things that people wear, like watches, or jewelry, or garments, or hats, or scarves or whatever it is, you want to show them on people in context.

So if you sell scarves, I photograph them outside, bringing in that first trend I talk about. Have people wearing them outdoors, actually putting it to use, because that kind of connection that you can make with potential customers is really valuable. When people actually see your product being used in action, it helps them see your product in their own life, which makes them more likely to want to buy it.

Trend number three: ditch the white background, folks. Get rid of it, it’s out of here, no more white backgrounds. Okay, so that’s not entirely true. White backgrounds are fine if you sell on Amazon, not Handmade at Amazon, but regular Amazon, or if you are submitting to magazines or publications that require you to have that white background. Sometimes you just need to embrace a white background.

However, if that’s not you, time to let the white background go. Now, it’s okay to use a white background if it fits with your brand, if it really shows off your products well, but what I want you to really think about avoiding is that super white, digitally pure white background. Because what happens is it looks sterile. It doesn’t look very friendly. It doesn’t make people feel connected to your product. It looks catalog-y. It looks like something you might see on eBay. It doesn’t make people feel that warm fuzzy feeling that they should feel when they’re shopping handmade.

So think about some other options. What is in style this year is light-coloured neutrals, so we’re talking a nice light-coloured marble, not with tons of veining, but with just some subtle light-gray veining. Or perhaps a subtle whitewashed wood. When I’m talking whitewashed wood, I mean shiplap, or old barn style wood with the whitewash on it. Be careful to make sure that there isn’t a ton of wood grain coming through, or really severe lines in your whitewash wood background. We’re looking at subtle textures this year. You can also incorporate things like linen textures and so on and so forth. So light-colored textures in, and white coloured background out.

The fourth big trend this year is including eco-friendly props in your product listing photos and on your social media. We’re talking about that eco-friendly piece that I mentioned in the beginning with photographing your products outdoors, but in terms how you can really make sure that you are embracing an eco-friendly message with your product photos. If you are using things like fake flowers, that’s an example of something that’s not so good for the environment. Fake flowers are created with plastics and chemicals, so definitely not eco-friendly. Instead go outside, pick a real flower. Or pick some up at your local florist. Bonus, it really amps up the quality of your product photos and the message that you’re sending about the value of your products. Because if you’re using cheap fake flowers, you know that doesn’t make people feel like you’ve got a really awesome expensive product. It makes people think “she’s using fake flowers, I now question the quality of her products”. Which is no good, because I’m sure your product is great quality.

As another example, perhaps you sell children’s products so you’re including some children’s props. Try to avoid those plastic toys. Get some wooden toys instead. Those are more eco-friendly and will communicate a really great message about your product, the quality, and that you take the environment seriously. A lot of people are into that this year, embrace it.

Last but not least, the number five trend this year is actually – video. Okay, so you’re just getting used to the product photography idea, and now I’m saying video so you’re freaking out. I understand. But I don’t want you to panic about the fact that you need to be doing video. I’m just making you aware that this is a trend that is coming in, in a big way. You can even keep it really simple. You can shoot a really short video clip with your phone and put it on Instagram. Same rules apply as product photography, in terms of lighting, background, and set up. It’s just a matter of using a little bit of video technique instead of photography.

I’m going to be including some of that information in my tutorials and in my courses throughout the year, because I think it’s a really cool trend. Especially on social media, because videos are getting a lot more reach than just photos. It’s a really great opportunity to reach more people, grow your social media, and grow your customer base. Because that’s what it’s all about, folks.

Those are the five trends in product photography coming up in 2019!

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments.

Until next time,

Amy

 

 

Master These Three Things For Gorgeous DIY Product Photos >> https://amytakespictures.com/master-these-3-things-for-gorgeous-diy-product-photos/

5 Free Or Cheap Tools For Awesome DIY Product Photos >> https://amytakespictures.com/5-free-or-cheap-tools-for-awesome-diy-product-photos/

The Best Sizing For Etsy Product Photos >> https://amytakespictures.com/the-best-sizing-for-etsy-product-photos/

 

Timesaving Tips For Your DIY Product Photography

Timesaving Tips For Your DIY Product Photography

Taking a lot of product photos at once, whether you’re updating your listings or creating new ones, can be hugely time consuming, but in this post I’m going to give you some awesome timesaving tips for DIY product photography.

The key to quickly get those product photos ready for your listings is preparation.

1. Plan

The planning phase of the photoshoot is the most important in ensuring a quick workflow. Planning involves know exactly what photos of each product you need, gathering your props, setting up your shooting space, and double checking your equipment to make sure it’s in working order.

Hot tip: Set aside an entire day/afternoon of undisturbed time to make this happen. By focusing a block of time on updating the photos in your listings, you’ll save loads of time in the long run by not having to re-focus your brainspace every time, re-doing your setup, bringing your props back out, etc.

2. Take your photos sequentially

Once you’ve planned your photoshoot, including background, props, shot list, etc, and you’ve got your block of time set aside, it’s time to start taking those photos. You want to take your photos sequentially, ie, photograph all images of all product in one setup, before moving onto the next setup.

Example: You make jewelry. You’re going to take roughly the same images of each of your pieces for the sake of cohesiveness, right?

So what you’re going to do is set up the scene for the first shot (perhaps your main image), then shoot all of your product on that setup one after another. This should go fairly quickly. If you are going to take several shots on that background, do them now. For example, the product in it’s entirety, three different angles, one close up detail shot. Done. Next product.  

Then, prepare your setup for the next shots (styled shots perhaps). Shoot them all at the same, simply swapping out the pieces.

And that is how to photograph a lot of photos in a short period of time.

That’s great! But what about editing them all? That’s gotta take forever right?

Nope.

3. Edit for a quick workflow

If you use Lightroom (which is an awesome program for quickly and efficiently editing photos), you can all of the same images in one set with just the click of a button.

Let’s take all of those main image photos you just took. They all have very similar tones, right? Same basic colours, same background, and in need of the same editing tweaks. You can edit the first photo in that set (adjust the tones and the colour balance), and then select all the photos in that set (by shift+clicking on the last photo in the set). Once you’ve selected all of the photos you want to apply the edit to, simply click the “Sync…” button below the Develop panel and click “Check All” to select all of the edits you want to copy to the others photo. Click “OK” and bam! All of those photos are now edited. Slick. Fast.

Also with Lightroom, you can very quickly export all of the photos you’ve just edited by making sure they’re all selected and then export them. At that time you can set the size you want them all to be. They’ll all be saved at once and ready to be uploaded to your shop.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?


 

Looking for cheap or free tools for your DIY product photography? Check this post out! >> https://amytakespictures.com/5-free-or-cheap-tools-for-awesome-diy-product-photos/

Do you NEED a white background for your product photos?. Read this! >> https://amytakespictures.com/do-you-need-a-white-background-for-your-handmade-product-photos/

 

The Best Sizing For Etsy Product Photos [UPDATED August 2019]

The Best Sizing For Etsy Product Photos [UPDATED August 2019]

One of my most frequently asked questions is what size and ratio Etsy product photos should be. Sizing and ratio is very important when it comes to your Etsy product photos so in this post I’ll cover why it’s important and how you can make sure you’re getting it right.

First let’s talk about what I mean by size and ratio.

The ratio refers to how wide and tall the image is. You set your ratio when you crop your photo in your editing process either on your computer or your smartphone, or within your camera when you take the actual photo.

Size refers to how many pixels wide and how many pixels tall your photo is. This can be adjusted when editing, but needs to be at least a certain size when captured (more on that in moment).

So why do we even care about this?

The ratio is important for two reasons. One, when someone searches Etsy, or views your shop, the “gallery images” that are meant to capture the attention of shoppers are a ratio of 5:4 (so slightly wider than they are tall). If the photos you upload aren’t a 5:4 ratio, you risk your product being cut off and not shown in its entirety. The search results are a crucial opportunity to capture the attention of shoppers, and with part of your product not even been seen, there’s a good chance you’ll be passed over.

Two, if your product photos in your product listings are all different ratio, that will produce unsightly spaces above and below, or on the sides, of some of your photos. The “container” for your product photos will fit the largest photo, so anything smaller will show space around it.

So what ratio and resolution should your photos be for your online shop?

The size (pixels) of your photo is also important, as it affects the quality of your photo especially when viewed with the zoom tool. Your photos should be between 1500px and 3000px along the long edge. For maximum size and quality with a 5:4 ratio, your photo would be 3000 pixels wide and 2400 pixels tall.

To summarize:

Ratio: Your ratio should be 5:4. This means your photo will be wider than it is tall. It’s a perfect size for product listings and if you sell on Etsy, this is the ratio of the thumbnails that appear in the search – which means your entire photo will be shown and none of your product will be cut off.

Size (in pixels): 3000px wide by 2400px tall for maximum size and quality, but a minimum of 1500 pixels wide by 1200 pixels tall.

This maintains your 5:4 ratio and ensures your photo is large enough that it will still look great when viewed with the zoom tool.


Keep in mind – your customers need to see great, high quality photos in order to feel like they’re making an informed purchase. That means that if you want customers to click on your listing when it pops up in the search, they need to be able to see the whole photo (and not have parts of it cut off due to incorrect ratio).

That also means that when they enlarge your photo and/or use the zoom tool, they need to see a sharp, crisp image that shows off the details of your product – not a pixelated, low quality photo that makes your product look low quality too.

IMPORTANT: You cannot enlarge your photos after they’re taken. When the photo is captured by your camera it must already be larger than your finished image. To ensure your photos are captured at a large enough size, check your camera settings. If you are using an iPhone the native size of image captured isn’t changeable, but it is large enough at 4032 x 3024 px.

And there you have it! The complete low down on the best sizing for etsy product photos.

Looking for cheap or free tools for your DIY product photography? Check this post out! >> https://amytakespictures.com/5-free-or-cheap-tools-for-awesome-diy-product-photos/

You don’t have to have a fancy-schmancy camera to take great product photos. Read this! >> https://amytakespictures.com/diy-product-photos-smartphone/

3 Tips For Editing Your Handmade Product Photos

3 Tips For Editing Your Handmade Product Photos

Editing your handmade product photos can be super frustrating, right? I mean there about a billion different tools, confusing terminology, and where do you even start? Photo editing programs are confusing with their oh so many different tools, and it can be extremely overwhelming to figure out just how to make your photo look awesome

But it really doesn’t have to be. I’m about to give you three quick tips to make your

As a handmade seller DIYing your own product photos, you don’t need to know all the things when it comes to photo editing. You just need to know a few, very important things. Once you master those things, editing is leaps and bounds faster, easier, and less stressful.

One of my students even used the word “exciting” once. Seriously!

Here are my top three photo editing tips that will help editing feel a little less stressful and a bit more enjoyable:

 

  1. Adjust your levels.

Using the Levels tool, increase the brightness of your photo until just before you start to lose detail in the highlights. In simple terms, drag the right slider toward the left just until you start seeing part of your photo have areas of solid white pixels – then move it back a fraction. That helps you make sure your photo is bright enough, but without losing important detail. Then, do the same with the darks by dragging the left slider toward the right until the darks are pronounced. In Photoshop you can find the Levels tool at Image > Adjustments > Levels…

 

  1. Tweak the white balance.

When it comes to product photography, making sure your colours are accurate is reeeeally important. If your colours are off, that pink scarf you sell may look more like a peach or a coral. If your customer thinks they’re buying a peach or coral scarf, but instead receive a pink scarf, they will not be happy. “Brace yourself for the bad review and/or returned product” kind of not happy.

There are several different ways to adjust the white balance (aka the thing that makes sure your colours are accurate), but the simplest is to use the colour balance tool (in Photoshop it’s under Image > Adjustments > Color Balance…). Move the sliders around just a little at first and see the impact it makes on your colours. Adjust them until your product’s colours look accurate.

Note: White balance as a whole can be complicated, especially when you use a white background as the background may appear a slightly different shade in each. This tip is help get you started in understanding colour balance, but you may very well want to learn more about how to adjust colour balance later.

 

  1. Embed a colour profile!

This is perhaps one of the most important things to do when editing photos. If you’ve ever uploaded a photo to Etsy or your website and noticed the colours look different after uploading, that’s because you don’t have a colour profile embedded with your image.

Think of the embedded colour profile as a post-it note of sorts attached to your photo. When you upload your photo to a website (like Etsy), the website will read the post-it note and apply just the right colour to your photo. Without that post-it note, the website might just mess those colours up.

For more info on why and how to embed a color profile, check out this blog post and this YouTube video.

And there you have it! My top 3 tips for editing your handmade product photos. See, editing isn’t so scary afterall!

Looking for cheap or free tools for your DIY product photography? Check this post out! >> https://amytakespictures.com/5-free-or-cheap-tools-for-awesome-diy-product-photos/

You don’t have to have a fancy-schmancy camera to take great product photos. Read this! >> https://amytakespictures.com/diy-product-photos-smartphone/

Here are my top three photo editing tips that will help editing feel a little less stressful and a bit more enjoyable @amyeatonphotography www.amytakespictures.com | #etsysellers #craftphotography #productphotography #phototutorial #photoediting
Here are my top three photo editing tips that will help editing feel a little less stressful and a bit more enjoyable @amyeatonphotography www.amytakespictures.com | #etsysellers #craftphotography #productphotography #phototutorial #photoediting
Here are my top three photo editing tips that will help editing feel a little less stressful and a bit more enjoyable @amyeatonphotography www.amytakespictures.com | #etsysellers #craftphotography #productphotography #phototutorial #photoediting
Here are my top three photo editing tips that will help editing feel a little less stressful and a bit more enjoyable @amyeatonphotography www.amytakespictures.com | #etsysellers #craftphotography #productphotography #phototutorial #photoediting
Here are my top three photo editing tips that will help editing feel a little less stressful and a bit more enjoyable @amyeatonphotography www.amytakespictures.com | #etsysellers #craftphotography #productphotography #phototutorial #photoediting
Master These 3 Things For Gorgeous DIY Product Photos

Master These 3 Things For Gorgeous DIY Product Photos

For many handmade sellers, product photos are a real thorn in their side. Product photography can feel overwhelming, confusing, and frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be! If you master these three things, you’ll have gorgeous DIY product photos every time.

  1. Lighting.

Lighting the the MOST important thing when it comes to product photography. Or any photography at all. Photography literally means “drawing with light” and an photograph is create based on the relationship of light with the items in the image. Without great lighting, your photo will have quality issues, colour issues, and the general overall aesthetic of your photo will be poor.

Lighting isn’t an easy thing to master but once you have a grasp on a set up that works for you, you’ll notice a world of difference. Seek out bright, natural light that is indirect – meaning it’s not direct sunbeams. Areas like the shade or near a bright window in your home are good places to start.

If you don’t have a suitable area for natural light, you may have to introduce artificial lights. Avoid using the built-in flash on your camera at all costs. It creates a bright foreground and a dark background in your image which is unsightly and looks unprofessional. Instead, purchase a simple tabletop lighting setup or softbox studio light kit for your setup, or if you have larger items opt for a speedlight (FYI though, only DSLR cameras can use these though). You can check out my recommendations for lighting and other equipment on my Amazon Influencer page here.

  1. Styling.

Styling your product photos is very important in drawing in the attention of your ideal customers, standing out in a sea of product images, growing your social media following, and being featured by influencers.

The key to good styling is keeping it simple and keeping it consistent with your brand. If your brand is all about being eco-friendly and that’s important to your ideal customer, you won’t want to use cheap plastic props like fake flowers. Customers are super savvy these days and they’ll see that inconsistency a mile away. A misstep like that can cost you sales and social media followers.

Choose one or two props that are consistent with your brand message and are a fit for your product. Be careful not to choose props that will overwhelm or take away from your product. Shoppers should be drawn to your product, not the props! Click here to read my blog post on where to find props for your photos.

When arranging your styled photos, keep your product front and center so it’s the star of the show. Arrange props so that they lead the eye toward your product by “pointing” them toward it or have them subtly interacting with your product.

Possibly even better than styled photos are lifestyle photos. Lifestyle photos actually show your product being used in-action in some way. Lifestyle photos create a strong connection between your product and your customers, making them envision your product in their life and making them more compelled to buy. Most product looks even better and more desirable when being shown in action.  

  1. Editing.

Editing can be enough to make some handmade sellers just straight up say “nope, no editing for me thanks.” The programs can be confusing and knowing how to edit correctly can feel unachievable for makers. But, my friends, I am here to tell you right now that it is TOTALLY achievable.

The first thing to know about editing is that you only need to know a few of the tools. How to crop, how to adjust light and dark tones, and how to balance your colours are the main players you need to focus on. If you focus on just those tools, editing suddenly becomes a lot less overwhelming.

A quick note about editing programs: Make sure that your photo editing program enables you to embed a colour profile. Programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom, Affinity Photo, and Snapseed all embed color profiles. Programs like Pixlr do not.

When it comes to cropping, you should crop your product photos at a 5:4 ratio (for Etsy) or square (for your own website). Your photos should be 2000px at least along the long edge.  Next, adjust your image tones. Using the levels adjustment, drag the sliders around until the tones are bright with appropriate amount of contrast. Be careful not to over-do it. Next, balance your colours using the color balance tool. Then, save your product photo (with an embedded color profile!) and you’re good to go!

Now that you know what you NEED to know, you’re ready to go out, learn, and conquer your DIY product photos! You’ll find loads of information about these topics here on my blog, in the free Facebook group, in my free webinar and trainings, and of course in my masterclasses and courses.

Got a question? Drop it in the comments!

Looking for cheap or free tools for your DIY product photography? Check this post out! >> https://amytakespictures.com/5-free-or-cheap-tools-for-awesome-diy-product-photos/

You don’t have to have a fancy-schmancy camera to take great product photos. Read this! >> https://amytakespictures.com/diy-product-photos-smartphone/

Photo Editing Software Options For Handmade Sellers

Photo Editing Software Options For Handmade Sellers

Hey there handmade sellers!

Today’s topic is definitely one of my most FAQ. As we discussed in our previous blog post, it’s not enough to simply snap a photo and upload it to your shop. Editing must be done! But, the idea of editing product photos is super overwhelming to a lot of you, and knowing what program to use is just the first step in figuring it all out. So let’s get started, shall we?

The types of programs we’ll be discussing today are strictly for computers. For photo editing apps for smartphones, check out next week’s blog post.

The Best – Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom

I’m going to just start right off with the bee’s knees. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom (they are two different programs, but you get both when you subscribe to the monthly photography package) are the industry standard when it comes to photo editing. Why? Because they are simply the best.

Photoshop and Lightroom do everything you will need (and more), they are effective, reliable, and there have been a vast amount of tutorials created around them, leaving it pretty easy to find answers to any of your question online. Even better, Photoshop and Lightroom allow you embed a colour profile with your product photo which is a necessity as it ensure your colours are rendered a true to form as possible (to read more about that, check out this post).

Photoshop and Lightroom used to cost a small fortune, leaving them really only accessible to professionals. But these days, Adobe has wised up and found a way to make their programs more accessible for the masses – through a subscription-based service. For $9.99 USD a month, you get both Photoshop and Lightroom, including all updates. For less than it would cost for two grande Starbucks vanilla lattes, that is a downright steal for this high-end, professional program.

Oh, and don’t let the fact that pros use it intimidate you. While these programs have loads of features, as handmade sellers you really only need to know a few. It’s just a matter of knowing what tools those are, and how to use them (just so happens I have a course that covers exactly that – check it out here).

Decent – Affinity

If subscriptions aren’t your thing but you still want a decent program, check out Affinity. Affinity also has a wide array of tools for photo editing, including the ones you need as handmade sellers. And it still allows you embed a colour profile.

Affinity’s design is aesthetically pleasing and looks very similar to Photoshop. The Affinity website has tutorials to get you started, and after that a lot of the Photoshop tutorials will likely translate.

Free – Gimp

I’m going to be straight with you – I don’t love Gimp. But, it’s free and it allows you to embed a colour profile with some complicated trickery.

The reasons I don’t love this program is because of the challenges with embedded a colour profile (you have to find, download, and install the colour profile before it’ll embed it with your images) and because it’s just not user friendly or intuitive. It’s clunky. But again – it’s free. And it does contain the tools you need as a handmade seller to edit your product photos.

There are fewer tutorials available for Gimp, but a lot of the tools do mimic Photoshop’s tools so you might be able to generalize some of the Photoshop tutorials out there.

It’s also imperative to note – there are other programs available out there. Some popular ones are Pixlr and PicMonkey. I don’t recommend these programs. Why? Because they don’t allow you to embed a colour profile. In fact, it strips images of their colour profile.

This is a big deal because, as I discussed in this post, if you don’t have a colour profile embedded in your photo you may find that the colours of your products are wayyy off once you’ve uploaded them to your online shop. Off colours = unhappy customers. Not good.

So, stick to the programs mentioned above and you will be well on your way to beautiful, professional-looking edited photos before you know it!


Wondering why you need great product photos for your Etsy store? Check this post out! >> https://amytakespictures.com/6-reasons-great-product-photos-etsy/

Looking for resizing tips for the Photoshop Express app? Read this! >> https://amytakespictures.com/correct-size-your-etsy-photos-photoshop-app/