ETSY Product Photography

In Etsy’s customer research, shoppers have told them that product photos are critical to their purchase decision. In fact, it’s their most important factor in deciding to buy, even more important than the postage cost, customer reviews, or even the price of the item itself.  

This is ETSY's guide to the 7 essential product shots.


1. Studio shot

What it is: Your product on a plain background with plenty of light

Why use it: A studio shot is a clear way to show potential customers what you’re selling. When shoppers browse thumbnail images, they’re drawn to clear, bright photos that show off the product. Clear photos help set a realistic expectation of what a customer will be receiving in the mail, helping you to avoid the hassle of returns and exchanges. This is also a good opportunity to photograph all the listing variations you offer – you can link listing photos to each variation to give shoppers more information.

 

2. Lifestyle shot

What it is: Your product looking good in its natural habitat

Why use it: A lifestyle shot helps people imagine what their lives would be like if they owned your product. This aspirational style of photo creates a scene illustrating the product being used that can help sway shoppers to make a purchase. If you sell complementary items, such as hats and scarves in the same colour palette, try photographing them together to encourage additional purchases. 

 

3. Scale shot

What it is: A photo of your product that visually communicates how big (or small) it is

Why to use it: Shoppers want to know what that enamel pin looks like on a real lapel, if that knit hat fits an infant or an adult, or if that vase holds one bloom or a whole bouquet.

 

4. Detail shot

What it is: A close-up photo that highlights your product's features from all angles

Why use it: Close-up shots show off the quality and texture of the materials and zoom in on important details, such as the lining of a purse, a necklace clasp, or the binding of a sketchbook. For vintage pieces, detail shots can also be used to show imperfections and set clear expectations for shoppers.

 

5. Group shot

What it is: Your products clustered together

Why use it: Group shots are especially good for documenting products sold in multiples, such as sets of bowls or craft supplies, like beads and buttons. Products available in different colours, finishes, or materials (such as rings available in silver and gold metals or mugs with different coloured glazes) also benefit from the group treatment. A grouping can be a good way to depict depth, variations, and different sides and angles of the product in one compelling image.

 

6. Packaging shot

What it is: An image of your product’s packaging

Why to use it: Knowing how your product is packaged gives customers a better sense of your branding and what to expect in the mail. A beautiful packaging shot can also help to convey that your item makes a great gift.

 

7. Process shot

What it is: Your product being made

Why use it: A process shot can be used to emphasize the level of workmanship that went into a particular item. These types of shots are also handy for promoting your business on social media.

Putting it all together

You can use any combination of these seven photo types when shooting your items, choosing the shots that highlight your product’s best features. Because product photos drive sales, take advantage of as many opportunities as you have to show your product from every angle. (For instance, on Etsy, you can add up to 10 photos per listing. Learn more about how to list items on Etsy.) As you put together your shots, pay extra attention to the first photograph on your listing. In order to draw in shoppers, make sure your product’s main image (or thumbnail image) is a clear, eye-catching photo.

Listing images

The recommended size for listing images is 2000px for the shortest side of the image, and a resolution of 72PPI. 

Image orientation

The first photo in a listing should be horizontal (landscape) or square. This ensures that the centre focal point of the image appears in the cropped thumbnail views.

Your first listing photo also dictates the shape of the photos that follow. Uploading the same shape photos for all listing photos will create a more cohesive browsing experience.

Image rotation

Etsy auto-rotates listing photos, but keep in mind that this depends on information included by your camera in the image file. 

If your listing images are still uploading sideways, try using a photo editing service to rotate your images, or retake the photo while holding the camera in a different position. Remember that the orientation of your subject matter should match the orientation of the camera.

Listing image thumbnails

Make sure that your thumbnail images have enough of a border that they can be cropped to a square thumbnail without losing some of the product. 

Our recommendations are:

  • Crop your images using Etsy’s crop tool to ensure accurate framing of your item. Using an uncropped image may result in inaccuracies on the final thumbnail. 
  • Try to capture images of your item further back then you think you’ll need. This will give you the ability to crop in without losing parts of your item. 
  • Avoid square crops. Upload horizontal or landscape images.
  • Use an aspect ratio of 4:3.

For more ETSY photography guides see their ultimate guide to product photography here


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