Taking the perfect Etsy photograph is a tall order. Even the most experienced sellers and photographers will tell you that there is always more to learn about getting just the right shot to showcase your product. What makes the Etsy community so wonderful is that sellers are always willing to share their experience and insight to help newcomers improve their skills. With Behind the Lens, we invite you to meet some of our talented Oh Canada Team members, and learn how they create great shop photos.
Blue Jeans Jewelry, aka aosta, has been in business on Etsy since April of 2010. Andrea’s jewelry photos are really enticing - elegant and sophisticated. Here’s how she does it:
Oh Canada: What type of camera do you use? What do you like/dislike about it?
Andrea: I use a Canon T1i Rebel, and I really love this camera. Photography is not my forte, but with just a bit of reading, and some help from my husband, I've been able to get some really beautiful photos. I really cannot say anything bad about this camera, I just have to put more time in getting to know her.
Oh Canada: How do you light your images?
Andrea: I rely on natural sunlight for my photos. I mainly use my large, south facing window. We have a large overhang, so there is rarely direct sunlight, just nice, bright light.
Oh Canada: Do you use a light box? Is it handmade or professional?
Andrea: I have not tried a light box yet, but I've some of the results I've seen make it tempting to try.
Oh Canada: What materials do you like to use for backgrounds? Which ones work best and why?
Andrea: Most of my photos are just a plain white background, but I have been playing around with a few different props. I try to look at the nature of the item I'm photographing and then chose an appropriate background. For a wire-wrapped stone, I used stones as the background and really liked the effect.
Oh Canada: Do you ever use models or props for staging your photos? Why or why not?
Andrea: I have not used a model yet. The main reason is that I do not know anyone willing.
Oh Canada: What’s your best tip for staging product shots?
Andrea: I'm still really quite new at this, but my favourite tip so far has been to use natural light, and never, ever use the flash.
Oh Canada: What’s the minimum number of photos you take per item?
Andrea: It depends on whether or not my idea is working out or not, but I tend to take between 10 and 20 shots of an item, sometimes more.
Oh Canada: Do you edit your photos before using them? What program do you use?
Andrea: I sometimes edit the photos, usually just to soften the shadows, and I use Photoshop.
Oh Canada: In your opinion, what makes a great “first photo” on Etsy?
Andrea: I like the first photo to be artsy, and leave a bit to the imagination, making you want to see more. The rest of the shots, I prefer to be straightforward.
Oh Canada: When making treasuries, what do you look for in a first photo?
Andrea: When putting together a treasury, I'm usually looking for a mood, and that comes down to the overall colour or hue of the photo.
Oh Canada: Can you share one more Etsy photo tip?
Andrea: Have fun with photography, and try lots of different things.
Copyright 2010 Oh Canada and Blue Jeans Jewelry