Product Lighting | How to Make a Product Image Pop

My one year “Etsy-aversary” has just passed. Yes, this is a real word. It’s been an interesting year on Etsy…..I’ve learned a ton, I’m constantly tweaking my shop, and oh yes—I can’t forget the actual production of my product. When I first got the idea to sell my jewelry, I thought, “This will be great! I love making jewelry, I’ll just spend large amounts of time crafting and then my products will magically sell themselves.”  Just typing that sentence has made me laugh. We’ve all been there……listing products, tagging products, posting to every single social media account we have, and also having a craft show or local shop presence.

JuneBug_Beadery_Before_Product_Light_Box_fpr Vend_RaleighI think one of the things that I didn’t put much thought into at first was the photography of my product. When I got started, just getting a listing up and running was so time consuming, that I didn’t pay close attention to how my photos looked. On the first day my shop was open, I rushed to get 10 items listed…..10 items was a big deal to me so taking pictures at night on my dining room table with fluorescent lighting above and shadows all around didn’t seem to bother me. Well, my attention to detail has grown and boy does that bother me now.  I don’t know about you, but if I’m shopping online, I need crisp, clear pictures since I can’t touch it. In fact, shouldn’t that be one of the most important things to consider when I’m listing an item??? JuneBug_Beadery_Before_Product_Light_Box_for_Vend_Raleigh

The biggest change I’ve made in my product photography is the lighting. “What lighting makes your product look its best?” When I first got started, it was morning natural light. My pictures improved greatly when I was intentional about that. But, that was pretty limiting. I could only take pictures in the morning….and adding that to the morning routine of getting kids ready for school and getting me ready for work was very stressful.

This past Christmas, my husband gave me a very thoughtful gift. He had heard me talk about a “photo box” so that I could make my pictures look more professional, but also give me more options about when I could take my pictures. I’ve also seen it called a studio box or a lighting tent.  I was so surprised when I opened this gift……I felt like how one of my children react when they unwrap “the big gift” from Santa. I couldn’t wait to get it set up!!  It has backdrops of 4 different colors, eliminates shadows, and comes with lights…..however the tent material softens the light. Oh happy day! I can now take pictures any time I want, JuneBug_Beadery_Product_Light_Box_for_Vend_Raleighand I am so happy with the quality of my pictures. I spent a whole day re-taking pictures of my listings….I felt like I had cleaned my house (but let’s not talk about that). It has become such a vital part of my process that for at least the past two weeks, it has been permanently set up in my dining room…..a lovely addition to our home décor.  Now normally, I get pretty excited when I see that someone has re-pinned one my products on Pinterest. Now, it just seems to pop right off the page. This one change has made all the difference in how my listings look, and it has kept me motivated to continue to change, and make improvements……somehow this Etsy shop is not just about sales, but for me it has been a journey.

JuneBug_Beadery_Product_Light_Box_for_Vend_RaleighUltimately you have to be your own critic. Constantly tweak, and make improvements. Is that time consuming? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely…..and if you get more sales out of it, all the better. I love what I create, and I’ve loved this process over the past year. I wonder what I will have learned by my second “Esty-aversary”.




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Amanda Sulyi
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