Selling Handmade ~ Photographing your Etsy Product

I bought my first {real} camera with my High School graduation money.  I’ve been hooked on photography ever since.  It is, however, something that I find I am still continually learning.  The more I learn, the more I realize I have so much more to learn!:)

They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and when you’re using a picture to sell a product, you want to make sure it’s saying the right message.  Here’s what the guest bloggers had to say about photographing products.

Day 4:  Presenting Your Product {Photography tips}

selling handmade bright final

Question:   I’ve carefully studied all the pictures of your store products and they are BEE…U…TI…FUL!!!  Do you have a studio space set up to photograph your products?  If so, what does it look like?

Gina's Banner  Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage

Currently my photos are all taken in my barn where I’ve set up a table made from barn wood against the wall. I’ve taken them on lots of surfaces, though, including my washing machine or the seat of a chair. Any flat surface that gives contrast to the particular item is fair game. I move places around my house (when I’m shooting inside) to capture the light of that particular time of day.


{Dahlia Pillow from The Shabby Creek Shop}

yellow grograin

jami's banner Jami from freckled laundry

Thank you, Ritajoy! I do not have a separate studio space set up for photography yet. My only personal requirements for great Etsy shop photos are gorgeous, natural sunlight and a white or gray simple background. (That means I can use just about anything/anywhere in my home as a background!) I’m not a photography expert so I took advice from those who are and simply started with getting to know the sunlight in my home. I have found that the best natural light in my living room is between 10 – 11 am and 3 – 4 pm so that’s when I snap photos. Don’t photograph against busy prints or complicated backgrounds. Keep things simple and neutral so that your product is the focus.

There are blog and youtube tutorials that share simple and inexpensive ways to make your own light box for photography.


yellow grograin

Lisa's banner  Lisa, from the Pennington Point

I learned from Gina (from The Shabby Creek Cottage) to keep the photographs consistent from my shop to my blog.  So I found a spot on my front porch that has good light on a bench that works for almost any kind of display.  If I just want to photograph an item I can set it on the bench.  But if I need to hang it or drape it I can use the back of the bench.  So almost all of my pictures are in that one spot.  Then, if it’s a home décor item I try to also take a picture of it being used in my home so people can imagine how it looks on a sofa or table.

vinal numbers

yellow grograin

aimee's banner Aimee, from My Pink Life

I don’t have a studo space to photograph my signs. I just use different areas of my home to hang them and take photos.

handpainted canvas signs

yellow grograin

I had an “ah ha” moment when I read one of the answers to this question.  I had been having a terrible time figuring out how to take pictures for my Etsy site.  Lisa mentioned she used a bench.  That was the perfect idea for me!  So, I grabbed my painted pew and drug it out to the natural light from my kitchen sliding door…

whole pew

…and it became a wonderful little “photo studio”:

Spring sign

Where do you like to take pictures of your products?  Be sure to include a link to your store in your answer.  I’d love to check it out!

Until tomorrow…


Similar Posts


Join my list for more ideas for you and your home…


  1. …and there it is again. So simple. A nice natural light area in my home and a camera? I have THAT! I can’t believe I was making this all so hard. Can’t wait to read tomorrows post. I feel an Etsy shop in my near future. ~Wren

  2. Enjoying reading this series! Have been thinking of opening an Etsy shop and this series has been helpful.

    Natural light- not sure that the precise definition is of that when it comes to photography. I have a breakfast nook with 3 of the walls all having windows. I would think this would qualify but even when I use this room the pictures don’t seem all that good. Maybe I need to figure out the best time of day in this room is-

    bee blessed

  3. I photograph everything on a piece of white canvas in front of my french door, usually in the morning light. Has anyone ever used a daylight lamp? I’m having trouble getting my canvas to show as white as I would like it to in the photographs. I use Picasa to edit my photos and no matter how much I retouch it I cannot get the background as white as I like without distorting the true color of my items. Help!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.