So I’ve finally taken the leap. I’m about to set up astore on an online marketplace to sellmy handcrafted one-of-a-kind items. A crafter friend of mine suggested I check out iCraft, an online craft marketplace that focuses on handmade items – noresellers or manufactured items are allowed. I found many good reasons to choose iCraft; you can learn more about them at http://icraftgifts.com/sell.php.
Why take the time and effort to create the best product images possible? Because when you are selling online, buyers cannot touch and turn your item before buying, you have to rely on good pictures. You have to make a good first impression – potential buyers tend to only spend a couple of seconds looking at your items to decide if they like what they see. Images are the first thing they see. If you want to sell online successfully, clear informative photographs are essential.
Your photographic product shots absolutely must be the best you can make them. A decent point-and-shoot camera is a good basic tool. Use the macro setting for close-ups, use natural daylight or if you don’t have enough natural light, use a light box. A flash can cause too much light in some spots and dark shadows in others. If you need to use a flash, consider investing in a flash with a jointed tube on it so the flash can be directed away from the target item.
Here are some tips I found on the community and help pages at iCraft while searching for information on how to best photograph my products.
1. Use a tripod
A tripod will improve your images immensely.You’ll get sharp images even with longer, lower-light exposure times, and without the camera shake that produces blurry images with handheld cameras.
2. Use a light box to control the lighting
Lighting is one of the biggest issues photographers face in getting an appealing useful image. You could use bright direct sunlight but it’s not predictable and you have only, literally, short windows of opportunity for taking photos.
Room lighting alone can cause problems because it’s uneven and often there simply isn’t enough properly diffused light, so the picture turns out underexposed.
Using a flash alone can overexpose the subject and cause small and very bright reflections if the product is shiny, and the harsh and direct nature of the light can create very hard shadows.
You can create a very inexpensive yet useful light box yourself, using a flat cardboard box with cut out sides that you cover in layers of tissue paper. This will diffuse the light from the lamps you have set up on each side. Place uncreased white tissue paper seamlessly along the back and floor of the light box, to provide an evenly lit flat surface . There’s lots of information about building light boxes on the internet.
3. Image editing
Crop and edit your photos. For example, you may want to make the image brighter, or correct the colour slightly, or only show one part of the image. Free software for basic image editing comes with many computers, or can be found online.
Whether or not you are selling in a highly competitive category like jewelry, when selling online it is really important that your photography and work stands out.Your product should be the star!