How To's, Product Listings, Product Photography Tips

How To Critique Your Own Product Photos For Your Online Handmade Business

Have you ever looked at your product photos and thought to yourself, “I know they could be better, but I have no idea how to improve them.”

Or maybe you’ve thought, “I want to redo all my photos, but I need help knowing what’s wrong.”

Instead of feeling lost and not knowing what’s wrong with your photos, what if you knew exactly what needed to be improved? How would this make photographing your product easier?

By learning to critique and analyze your product photos, you’ll not only get clearer on what may be impacting your sales, but it will get you closer to creating professional-looking product photos that convert more viewers into buyers.

Now I want to give you a heads up before we get into the rest of this post. You know we’re our own worst critics. This is a learning process and isn’t intended to make you feel bad and make you say, “Omg, I’m so bad at taking photos!!” Remember, no one starts out taking amazing photos. My old product photos weren’t great as you can see below. It’s about progress, not perfection so please be kind to yourself in this process if you start feeling down about yourself.

So let’s dive in!

Let’s start by breaking down your listings into 2 categories. Listings with high views and sales and listings with low views and sales. If you have 100+listings, just take a sampling of 10-15 listings for both categories to make it easier.

Begin by looking at your listings that have high views and sales. Write down your answers to the following questions. It might be helpful to create a table that looks like this to make this process easier.

Describe what type of photos you see for each listing. For instance, for the main listing photo, you might notice products with high views and sales all have a front product view. Write down observations you see.

  • What is the main listing photo? What type of shot it is (front, lifestyle, etc.)? Is it easy to see what your product is?
  • What kind of background is being used? Is it clutter-free or is it busy? Does it make your product stand out or does it take away from it?
  • How is the lighting? Is your product evenly lit or does it have harsh lighting? Is there a color tint to your photo or does it look fairly neutral? 
  • What’s the image quality? Is it crisp, clear, and in focus? Or is it grainy, dull, and blurry?
  • How many different angles and shots? Is there a variety of different angles in your product photos? What type of shots did you take?

Yes, I know this seems like a lot of work, but trust me, it will help you understand what’s going on with your product photos and how they may be impacting your sales.

 After you answer these questions, do the same for your listings that have low sales and views.

Once you’ve finished reviewing your listings for both categories, it’s time to see what patterns emerged.

Are there any patterns or common themes with your products with high views and sales? Maybe they have a lot of listing photos or the same type of background. Or maybe they had the same type of main listing photo. Whatever themes you see, write these down.

Now look at your answers for the product that didn’t sell well or had low views. What themes do you see? Maybe they had only 1-2 listing photos. Or each listing had a different background. If your answers are all over the place and it’s hard to see a theme, it probably means you’re inconsistent with your product photos. Don’t worry, the information you wrote down is still valuable for you.

Now that you’ve figured out what themes have emerged through reviewing your photos, now it’s time to compare!

What differences do you see between the listings with high sales and views vs. the listings with low sales and views? Maybe the products with more sales and views have better lighting or used a plain background. Or maybe they have more listing photos. 

This exercise will begin to show you what’s working and not working when it comes to your product photos. It will show you what you need to do to hopefully improve listings with low sales and views because you’ve seen what does work.

Is this a perfect assessment of your product photos? No, but that’s okay. It will still provide you with useful information such as understanding what solutions to seek out to improve your photos.


Now I want to mention that obviously SEO, marketing, etc., play an important role in your business. SEO, keywords, and marketing bring customers to your website. But it’s your product photos that draw them in. It’s what entices a customer to click on your product listing and learn more about what you sell.

I hope this exercise was helpful for you in better understanding your product photos. Taking the time to review your product photos is important because they’re what customers see first before they read your product description or decide to explore your other products. The better quality product photos you take, the more likely you’ll increase your views and sales of your business.

If you want to go deeper and improve your product photos quickly with personalized support, 1:1 coaching might be the next step for you. Click here to learn more and how to reach me.

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