Monday, February 7, 2011

Introducing The EtsyKids Photo Makeover Series!

Welcome to the very first installment of our brand new EtsyKids Photo Makeover Series! I’m so excited about this series because improving shop photos is a constant challenge for me just as it is for other EtsyKids shop owners. High quality product photos lead to more Etsy sales and more features in shop promoting treasuries. The EtsyKids Treasury Team (EKTT) has been working hard to create visually stunning treasuries every month. Curators would love to include your photos in their front page worthy treasuries. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to make noticeable changes in the quality of your pictures. Following a few simple rules, and making a few meaningful changes can make a world of difference.

I want this to not only be an informative series, but also a fun, interactive series. It’s a chance for us to learn and share ideas. So, we will be holding monthly challenges for the best shop photo makeovers based on each month’s topic. We will also choose a grand prize winner at the end of the series.

Prizes will include:
1. Features within this series including a link to your shop!
2. Feature of your new and improved shop photos in an Etsy mini on the sidebar of the EKTT blog!

Each month I will be assigning a challenge. Your job will be to take that month’s challenge, along with the photo makeover tips for the month, and use them to make changes to your current shop listing photos.

Ready to get started? Then let's jump right in by taking a look at ten common product photo mistakes.

Top Ten Product Photo Mistakes to Avoid:
  1. Cluttered or distracting backgrounds
  2. Photos taken with your products on floors, carpets, bedspreads, and other common household surfaces.
  3. Photos taken with your products on wrinkled fabric or fabric/backgrounds with distracting colors and patterns.
  4. Out of focus photos.
  5. Dark underexposed photos.
  6. Flash photography. Focus on using natural light whenever possible.
  7. Borders or decorative editing added to photos.
  8. Use of large, distracting logos and text on your photos.
  9. Photos that portray your items as looking wrinkled, smashed, dirty, or otherwise not their best.
  10. Date and time stamps in the corner of photos.
We’ll be exploring all of these 10 recommendations in more detail throughout the series. Change takes time and no one is expected to have the time to instantly make changes to their photographs. This is not an exercise in getting you to abandon your creative spirit when it comes to taking product photos either. Be true to yourself, but also be willing to think outside of the box. As with anything in life, take from this series what works for you and leave the rest behind. Only you know what is best for your business!
Here’s This Week’s Homework:

1. Do a visual inventory of your shop photos. Start taking note of pictures that you would like to improve.
2. Browse any category on Etsy. What thumbnails make you want to click? What thumbnails do you scroll right past? Why? Look to Etsy’s front page, the Time Machine 2 sold items, or the Gift Guides for inspiration.
3. Join our EtsyKids Photo Makeover Series Facebook page. This is where we will be posting photos for all of the challenges. It will also be a place where we will share additional tips and encouragement.
4.  Mark your calendars for the first Photo Makeover Series challenge to be posted on February 21st!

Want to read more? Check out these helpful posts and articles:

*EtsyKids Photo Makeover Series Disclaimer:

I do not hold myself to be a photography expert. I’ve made many improvements with my product photos over the past year, but I too know that there is always room for improvement. The goal of this series is to work together as a team to help each other improve our product photos in order to improve our Etsy sales and increase our chances of having our items featured in treasuries by the EKTT. The point is NOT to point fingers or snicker behind anyone’s back. Please approach comments and posts here on the blog and on the EtsyKids Photo Makeover Series Facebook page in the spirit of love, peace, and helpfulness. Thank you all! Now get out those cameras and start taking pictures!

**Miss an installment in the EtsyKids Photo Makeover Series?  Click HERE for the entire series. 


  1. Great article! It definitely has inspired me to rethink my shop photos...I'm guilty of a few of the photo mistakes. Looking forward to learning more! Thanks!!!

  2. I am so pleased with this and am ready to learn. Thank you so much for the time and effort being put toward this.
    sugarbumps creations

  3. We've all pulled a few of these errors! I know I have! Thanks so much, Stephanie, for the hard work on this series...looking forward to that first challenge on February 21st!

  4. I have some photos that could use some improvements so I am looking forward to learning a few things! Thanks!

  5. I'm so looking forward to it too. I know my photos need a lot of help. Thank you Stephanie for all your hard work. ♥

  6. I hope that you all find the series helpful! We all lead busy lives, but there are lots of simple things that we can do to improve our product photos. It doesn't have to be an overwhelming process either. Just take it one day at a time, and one photo at a time. I think that you will find this series to be fun as well as informative...or at least I hope you do! ;)

  7. I'm so excited about this series! Photography is one area where I really struggle (and tend to feel very overwhelmed when trying to "fix" photos). I love the idea of baby steps! Thank you!!

  8. This is fantastic. Thank you so much. I have made tons of these mistakes and I try hard to work with what I have. I am saving money for a new camera too to photograph my new inventory.
    Thanks for this! I am following on facebook

  9. What a great challenge! This is an area I'd like to improve in my etsy shop! Looking forward to it!

  10. I am so excited to get involved with this as well. Photography was the #1 thing I wanted to change about my business after Christmas for 2011. I know mine needs a lot of help, and I am ready to get to work.

  11. Photographing my products is the nightmare of my life! I make doll clothes and I swear when it's time to take the pictures the dolls themselves become divas and nothing goes right for me. I am so ready to learn better ways!

    Thank you!