Learn How You Can Edit Your Product Photos For Your Etsy Shop Or Shopify Store

One of the major keys to selling online is creating eye-catching product photos that attract the right customers. But how can you make sure your photos really capture and show off the quality and beauty of your work?

That’s where photo editing comes in. Yes, you can capture great photos straight out of the camera, but all product photos, no matter how amazing they may look on your camera or smartphone, need a little bit of editing. 

So before you go and upload list your product online, let’s go over how you can make your handmade product shine even more with the magic of editing! 

The secret to great product photos is to first start out with a quality photo

I've said this before and I'll say it again: You can't edit yourself out of a bad photo. I mean you can try, but honestly it's better to reshoot your photo because no one wants to waste their time trying to fix problems.

Editing is meant to enhance the look and feel of your photos. That's why starting with a good, quality product photos matters here. To do this, it means understanding how to properly use your camera or smartphone camera app, properly lighting your product and making sure your background isn't distracting. If you need support in these areas, feel free to check out more blog posts on my website.

So now you've got your photos and it's time to edit. But you might be thinking …

“My product photos look fine as they are without any editing.”


“If I edit them, it will throw off the colors or mislead customers about how my product looks.”


“It’s too hard to edit my product photos. It intimidates me!”

Don’t worry! I’ll show you why it’s important to edit them, what a difference it can make in how your photos look. Honestly, editing your product photos isn’t as scary as you think it is.

Want to learn more of the basics to getting a great product photos? Click here to learn how to achieve consistency in your photography

Editing your product photos is a must when selling online

I tell my coaching clients it’s essential to edit their product photos, especially when they’re selling handmade products online. 


  • It will make your products look better.
  • It will make your overall business look more professional and trustworthy.
  • And most importantly, customers rely heavily on your photos to determine whether they’re going to purchase from you.

You want your products to stand out when selling online

When selling your handmade crafts online, a little photo editing can take a good product photo to the next level. It  product can get more eyeballs on your product which will increase the chances of customers wanting to buy from you. Remember, beautiful product photos sell online!


Editing your product photos should be done to enhance the way your product looks and to help portray your product in a way that is as close as possible to the way it looks person. We’re not looking to do heavy editing, learn the ins and outs of Photoshop, figure out how to do layers, etc. If you want to do that, then I’d recommend finding Youtube tutorials to do this.

But if you’re just looking to find out how to take your photos up a notch and make your products look even professional and show off how amazing your work is to customers online, then keep reading!

What editing software should you use?

There's lots of options when it comes to editing software. I primarily use Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to edit my product photos on my computer. But if using Adobe products sounds complicated and overwhelming, there are other options you should try. Two of my favorite options are Be Funky and PicMonkey. They're both user friendly and offer everything you'll need to edit your photos.

If I'm editing on my phone, my go-to app is Snapseed which is free on both Android and iOS. You can also use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photo Express on your phone so if you already like using Adobe products, you should check those apps out. 

There are plenty of other options out there so do a little research and test a few out to find what works best for you.

What settings you should know

Here are some common settings you’ll find and what each one does to your photo.

Crop/Adjust - Are your horizons lopsided? Is there too much space around your product? This is where you make these corrections. Fixing horizons is important because it can throw off the balance and look of your product. Cropping can help too with the overall composition of your photo, so don’t be afraid to do a little cropping if needed.

Exposure/Brightness - Photo looking gray or dark? Most product photos would greatly benefit from bumping up the exposure or brightness. Increase the brightness and see how much better your product photo looks.

Contrast - If your product photo is looking a bit flat or dull, increasing the contrast will help make the light and dark areas more pronounced.

Highlights - Do the brighter areas seem a little dull? Adjust the highlights to brighten these up.

Shadows - Do the shadow areas of your photo look too dark or too light? Adjust the shadows to make sure your shadows don’t look flat or overly dark.

Vibrance - Adjust the vibrance to increase the intensity of the muted colors in your photo.

Saturation - Increase or decrease the intensity of colors in your photo.

Texture -  Bring out the texture of surfaces or soften them with this setting.

Temperature/White Balance - Sometimes your photo might come out a little yellow, blue, red, etc. This is the time to correct the color cast, especially if you didn’t make this adjustment before you took photos. Color accuracy is important!

product photo beach print

How to edit your photos

First off, editing takes practice so don't worry, it'll get easier as you continue to edit your photos. As you play around with the settings, you'll eventually understand what makes your photos look better or worse.

Here's a quick step-by-step of what you should minimally do when editing your photos:

  1. Adjust your photo if it's crooked or lopsided 
  2. Adjust the brightness, most photos need the brightness increased
  3. Adjust the contrast if your photo looks a bit flat
  4. Adjust the white balance if the colors look off

You can play around with the other settings like the shadows or highlights and so on, but it will depend on your photo. Again, if you start out with a quality photo, editing will be a total breeze! Be sure to watch the video if you want to see me walk you through how I edit a photo.

Final thoughts

Don't let the thought of editing your photos intimidate or scare you. Editing is your secret sauce! It upgrades your lighting, the colors, and overall look and feel of your photos, ensuring your handmade products stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

Editing doesn't have to be hard. Start small with adjusting the settings I recommend and then go from there. Once you get comfortable, try adjusting the other settings and see if it makes your photos look better. Remember though, you want your product to look as close as possible to how it looks in person, so be careful not to over-edit your photos.

What are your thoughts about editing your product photos? Do you like it? Dread it? Avoid it all together? Let me know in the comments below!

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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