How To Use Common Customer Questions To Photograph Your Handmade Products

Most makers when they open up their online shop on Etsy or anywhere else online, generally have no knowledge about product photography. More often than not, they think they just need to take some quick snapshots of their products and that will suffice for selling their work online. However, there's a lot more to it than that. 

According to Marketingchart.com, "3 in 5 (59%) of consumers believe that visual information is more important than textual information when shopping online."

Most customers who purchase physical products online will look at your photos first before reading the listing description. They rely on your photos to provide them information they need to decide whether or not your product fits their needs. This is why your photos play such an important role in converting your views into sales.

So instead of just using your product description to answer questions your customers might have about your product, why not visually provide those answers through your photos?

Below is a list of common questions customers may have about products that you can easily answer through your product products for Etsy.

What is it?

I know this may seem obvious, but it's worth stating.


Customers want to know what you’re selling so make sure it’s clear through your photos, especially when selecting your primary listing image. If your product photos have too many props or it's confusing to tell what your listing is for, they're going to get confused and leave your shop. So make sure it's easy to see what you're selling.

What is it made from?

Is it made from wool or cotton? Is it made from natural organic ingredients?

Photograph the label of your product or photograph some of the ingredients or materials with your product.

This question can be extremely important, especially if someone has sensitivities or allergies to certain materials or ingredients. 

Is it safe for me, my children and pets?

Obviously, this is a really important aspect of selling products because you don’t want to risk any accidents happening. Provide customers a clear visual of who your products are safe or not safe for, especially when it comes to allergies, children and pets.

How big or small is it?

One of the risks of shopping online is not knowing how big or small something is. While you should list the dimensions of a product in your description, showing the scale of your product provides your customer with the visual information they need to better understand the sizing of your products.

The last thing they want to do is purchase a large size shirt only to realize it’s too small for them. Seeing it modeled or shown next to something that can easily communicate the size can help them understand if it’s the right product for them.

What’s the flavor?

If you sell flavored products or even food products, customers want to know what it tastes like. Don't just tell them what it tastes like, show them!

Is it vanilla flavored? Photograph some vanilla beans next to the product. Is it a lemon jam? Show some lemon slices with the jar of lemon jam to play into the senses of taste and smell.  It will help get their mouth watering!

What’s the texture?

When people shop for products in person, they will pick things up and touch them. But when it comes to shopping online, you can’t feel and touch a product. So what do you do? Show them!

Do you make handmade pillows that are soft to the touch? Take a photo of someone cuddling your handmade pillow to communicate how soft and plush it is. Also consider taking close-up detailed shots of your product so customers can see what the texture is.

How do I take care of it?

This is really important! Most people want their products to last a long time (especially if it’s handmade) so educate your customers on how to properly care and extend the life of your product as long as possible. 

Think about how you can photograph and show your customers how they can clean, store and care for your products so they can decide if it fits their lifestyle.

If you make and sell knitted hats, let them know through a photo if they can put them in the washer or if they have to hand wash it. That way they’ll know before purchasing how they will need to care for the product.

How do I wear it?

Are there multiple ways to wear your product? How do you put it on?

Showing your customer through photos how they can wear your product so that when they receive your product, they’re not confused. 

How do I store it?

Is it sensitive to heat or cold? Should it be stored out of direct sunlight?

If you make and sell handmade shampoo bars that need to be stored outside of the shower when they’re not being used, show the bar in a soap dish drying next to other products on a dry counter. 

Communicate to your customer where your product should be stored or live when it’s not being used so they can get the most of your product.

What color is it?

Does your product come in one color or do you have other options for them to choose from? Showing other color options (and labeling what colors they are in your photos) will help your customer select the color they want easily and clearly.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this gave you some new ideas on how to photograph your items for your Etsy shop. If you have difficulty communicating certain features or details of your product, don't be afraid to incorporate text into your photos to clarify. 

There are plenty of other questions beyond this list to consider so keep it specific to what you make and sell.

What’s the most common question customers have about your products? 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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