Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Make It Pretty

One of the most important aspects of selling on-line anywhere is to take good photographs. A photo of your newest creation may be the one thing that decides whether a potential buyer comes into your store or moves on to someone else. So how do you get a buyer to come to you in the first place?

Here's just a few suggestions:

* Your first picture should entice your potential buyer. It has to be clear and eye-catching. If it doesn't make you feel like this gorgeous thing you've made is even more gorgeous, take the photo over. Some people say they would prefer a clear, plain shot of the item, but I'm in the other camp. I think an arty shot works just as well to get people to look. Really use your own judgement and play around with these ideas. I take many, many pictures to get one that I can even use.

* Get yourself the best camera you can afford. No doubt this is an investment in a business you've probably invested a lot in already. A good camera makes a difference though. Once you have a camera you can work with, if you don't know much about photography, find a class or someone to teach you. You can do this relatively easily without having to commit to three months of night classes. Find someone who will explain to you the basics, pay them some money and get used to using your camera a little at a time. Real photographers will take better pictures than those of us who aren't that skilled, but that doesn't mean you can't find ways to make your shop look great.

* Figure out lighting. Blurry or dark pictures hinder your sales. Some say use only natural light, some use light boxes, some even make great photos with flash. Play around and find out what works best for you.

* Try to go for a uniform look. Your overall shop looks best to a buyer when the background is working with the item you are selling. For some people that is plain white, some it is cool colors. Figure out what works with your style. Check out shops you admire. There are so many truly beautiful products that are photographed well on Etsy. Your goal, of course, isn't to copy them, but to figure out how they do what they do so well and then apply that knowledge to your own style.

* It takes some work. I no longer know the number of times I've re-photographed items in my shop. And, I still haven't gotten what I want yet. Realize that if you aren't an expert at this, it is a process just like anything else. Give yourself room to grow and learn.

* The most important advice I have? Make it fun. It is about becoming more proficient at running your business. That enjoyment will show up in your photos. It will make you happier and is a sure way to attract more buyers.

I'm Allyson from Maye Rain. I live in Richmond, VA and besides my Etsy business, I am an energy worker and life coach. I'm no expert at photography just obsessed with making things look pretty.

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