Photography tips for online shops

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Camera in focus, no flash, steady hands, morning light and beautiful hand-made jewelry… the key ingredients to taking great photographs for online shops!

My camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC

 So many photos, so little time… I take so many photographs then end up deleting one after another, only saving “the best”! 

If you are thinking about starting an online shop (or you already have one and are thinking about revamping it), photography is KEY!   You want people to see your work, right??  Well, if you want them to see what you’ve created, you need to display it in such a way that they WANT to look!  Great photography will hopefully help make that happen!

It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have, whether SLR or point and shoot (compact camera), as long as you know the features.  I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC and other than being heavy, I love the features and menu options.  If you have questions or are unsure of feature options on your camera, read the manual (or look it up online if you’re like me and misplaced the manual)!

  • When photographing your hand-made work, mainly jewelry, be sure your camera is in focus… There is nothing worse than a blurry picture!  On my camera, I have 3 options, Automatic, Macro and Manual Focus settings.  I use Automatic or Macro… it’s just easier!
  • No flash!  I do NOT recommend using a flash when photographing hand-made jewelry.  Leave your flash down and use natural morning light instead!  After trial and error, I’ve found the BEST time to take photographs of jewelry is around 9-9:30 in the morning.  I use a clean piece of white, matte posterboard as my background, you can use a lightbox if you have one.  The photo below was taken in morning light around 9:30am with no flash.  I’m happy with it!
I took this photo of my hand-formed Anchor Pendant in the Morning with natural light and NO flash
  • In contrast, the photo below was taken in the Afternoon with natural light and no flash.  The gray/blue background does not make my initial necklace look all that good!  If I were on etsy looking for an initial necklace, I would probably scroll right past this photo … NOT my goal!!  Even when using the photo editor on my computer, the photo doesn’t edit well.  I generally don’t bother to photograph in the afternoon anymore.  Time is precious and I’d rather not waste it taking bad photographs!
This photo was taken in the Afternoon with natural light and NO Flash.
  • Be sure to keep a steady hand if you don’t have a tripod… keep your hands resting on a table, chair or prop up a stool and use that to lean the bottom of your camera against.  I always end up with some blurry photos and their fate is…. Delete!!
  • Simply, check that your camera is in focus before you snap the photo!  With my camera, I can hold the trigger button down halfway before I take the photo, this allows me to be sure it’s in focus before I click.

Below are comparisons of two different photos of the same pair of Silver earrings:

Not ideal due to the gray shadow in the background
Much better due to the bright background with the earrings and shell in focus and a slight shadow!

I am always taking photos of my hand-made designs, asking others for advice and learning new things about photography.  Over the past 6 months I have worked hard to take quality photographs of my work, please take a look at my etsy shop, Sunshine On Water, and let me know what you think!  The link to my etsy shop is:

A great photo allows your work to stand out in the crowd! Have FUN!!

Betsy~ Sunshine On Water


2 thoughts on “Photography tips for online shops

    hjvdesigns said:
    August 26, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you for the tips and following my blog! I’m trying to learn about photographing jewelry so I can open my own etsy shop. Your post is very helpful!

    petunia106 responded:
    August 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    You’re welcome and thank you!! Good luck!!

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