4 Myths Etsy Sellers Should Stop Believing About Product Photography

Did you think that photography was going to be the thing you struggled with the most when setting up your online craft business? Probably not.

You may have discovered that taking product photos for Etsy can be a challenge, especially when you're just starting out. Yet, it's such an important aspect of your online business. Working to improve your product photos is essential for not just making sales, but growing your business too.

There are a lot of misconceptions that float around the handmade community when it comes to taking product photos. Some of these things may be wasting your money, making your product photos look worse or even giving you new problems that will have you pulling your hair out.

Let's go over 4 common myths makers believe about taking product photos for Etsy and what the REAL truth is.

Myth #1 - Purchasing a light box will give me good photos of my crafts

Light boxes are marketed as a quick and easy way to get good product photos. Unfortunately, a lot of makers struggle with light boxes because not every product can be photographed with the setup. They can also be a nightmare if you have reflective products due to too much light. I know makers who have purchased multiple light boxes hoping that one would work when in reality, it's often a waste of money. 

There's no one-size fits all setup for taking product photos. The truth is you need to experiment with your lighting, change the angle you take photos from, have more space and so on. That's not possible with a light box because you have very limited to no flexibility.

So should you purchase a light box? No, save your money, especially if you have products that are reflective. They may make your photos look worse.

Myth #2 - I need a better camera because my mobile phone doesn't take good product photos

Lots of makers prefer to use their mobile phones to take product photos, however many assume getting a better camera will fix common problems like the colors coming out wrong in their photos or their photos coming out too dark.

Understanding the basics of product photography (especially lighting) and how to use your camera will dramatically improve the quality and look of your photos and save you the cost of purchasing a new camera.

a hand touching teal colored bowl with yellow flowers floating in milk on marble surface

Myth #3 - Natural light isn't good enough to take good product photos

Whether you use natural light or even artificial light, both are great options when it comes to taking good product photos for Etsy.

No matter what light source (natural or artificial) you're using to photograph your crafts, understanding the basics of lighting in product photography and how to use your camera is going to dictate how your photos come out.

Yes there are pros and cons to using artificial light over natural light, but if you don't know how to manipulate light or understand how to use your camera, then all you're going to do is spend money on things you may or may not need or understand how to use.

Myth #4 - Product photography is too hard to learn

Product photography, like anything, takes time to learn.

As someone who wasn't good at taking product photos when I was an Etsy seller, I thought it was impossible to get better photos. I too thought it was too hard to learn.

It wasn't until several years later that decided to try again and see if I could take photos that looked slightly better. By practicing, understanding how lighting works and figuring out how to better use my camera did I see my product photos improve. In fact, there were times I couldn't believe how much better they looked just using my phone or point & shoot camera and natural light. Now, it's 100 times easier and quicker to take product photos that come out well. Plus, editing my photos is so much easier and faster too. It makes me wish I knew all this stuff when I was an Etsy seller!

If you're a handmade seller who feels like your product photography is holding you back in your craft business, discover how you take the next step in growing your online business with better product photography.  

Final Thoughts

I hope this provides you with some clarity about the challenges you've faced with your product photography. But remember that if I can teach myself how to do this and get good results not only for myself but my clients, you can 100% do this too.

Which myth surprised or stood out to you the most? Leave a comment below and let me know!

About the author

Imelda Jimenez-LaMar is a product photography coach and former Etsy seller, who said goodbye to her corporate job to create a business teaching photography. She is on a mission to demystify product photography for makers who want to create product photos that sell their handmade products online and grow their handmade business.

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