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10 Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts Online

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Do you sell your handmade wares online? Nothing will facilitate the selling of your items faster than having big, beautiful photographs adequately displaying them. This does not mean you need to purchase a fancy new camera. In fact, I take most of my photographs with my iPhone – and many times I prefer those photos over my digital camera.

I have a point and shoot Canon and while it does take nice, quality photos most of the time (this is also what I use to record my crochet video tutorials) the coloring can sometimes feel a little “off”. I’m not a photographer and I don’t claim to know much about camera settings, but I do have photography tips that work for me! I Googled and Googled about a gazillion times and I still prefer photos taken with my iPhone over some of my digital camera photos

Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts Online

Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts

1. Keep it natural.

There is a reason this is number one on my list; it is the most important of my photography tips. Use natural sunlight if at all possible. Natural sunlight will always give you the best photos, no matter which camera you use. I have found that indoor photos (with artificial light) cast a yellow hue to the photos, as well as leaving shadows if photographing from above.

2. Keep it indirect.

Too much sunlight and you won’t capture the beautiful color(s) of your item(s). You do not have to be outside to grab that sunlight, as long as the natural sunlight is hitting your items. I actually take most of my photos for use here on the blog and in my crochet patterns on the floor underneath our kitchen table.

Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts Online

Work with what you’ve got, I say!

Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts Online

3. Use lights if needed.

I’m not talking about regular florescent bulbs. Since I work late into the night many times, and natural sunlight is not available, I purchased this lighting kit. I use these lights when recording my YouTube videos and I have had nothing but positive feedback. With these, it does not matter if it is pitch black outside – I get gorgeous photos every single time. In fact, I took this photo late at night in my basement:

Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts Online

4. Photograph with more than one camera.

If you have more than one camera (smartphone included) take photos with each – at least until you feel confident using one opposed to the other. The more the merrier applies to most things (except when it comes to exes and fleas on your dog).

5. Take multiple photos.

Sometimes the photos I end up using in a blog post or on my Pinterest account are the photos I thought wouldn’t turn out well at all. So snap photos in a whole bunch of angles and from varying distances while the item is staged and review when you’re done!

6. Use a backdrop.

Backdrops or backgrounds do not have to be big, nor do they have to be fancy or expensive. I am currently using poster boards from Hobby Lobby that cost a whopping $1.99 each.

Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts Online

These work perfectly unless I need my more professional looking FULL-size backdrop.

7. Stage, stage, stage!

How you stage (place) your items makes all the difference. For example, if you are selling popsicle holders, put some popsicles inside! Gloves? Wear them in the photo (but make sure your nails aren’t dirty, mmmkay?). Selling a blanket? Drape it over an antique chair folded to showcase the most beautiful aspect of it (the stitches, the colors etc).

Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts Online

8. Use Props.

I share plenty of recipes here on Heart Hook Home, so I pick up any cool looking utensils/bowls/place mats I find at the thrift store. I find all kinds of goodies thrifting and try to make it a habit of stopping by at least once a week.

9. Use a free online photo editing tool.

I personally use Canva on a daily basis. You could also use Pic Monkey – but I prefer Canva myself – and they have a mobile app! Use this free tool to adjust the contrast and brightness of a photo, to add your logo or text etc. The functionality of Canva is unsurpassed in my opinion.

10. Use your logo!

I can not stress the importance of using a watermark or at least adding your name to the photos you post online. If you make gorgeous items (which of course you do!) those images will be shared. Once they are, it is out of your control. At least give people seeing it a way to find you if they see that shared photo on Facebook. Canva has a great text tool that you can fade out to create a watermark on your photos – and for free!

What tips have I missed? Like I said, I am not a photographer but these photography tips have worked for me!

More before you go:

Tips for Pricing Handmade Items to {Actually} Make Money
12 Craft Supply Items to ALWAYS Buy at Dollar Tree
Yarn Hacks Every Crocheter and Knitter Needs to Know
Must Have Money Saving Smartphone Apps
Tips for Choosing Credit Cards (for Their Rewards Programs)

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  1. Good article, I found it quite helpful. Thank you for sharing! Before I found Picmonkey (which I love, BTW) I only had Microsoft Office and both Word and Publisher offer decent photo editing options but I prefer Publisher. In addition to editing colors and exposure, one can easily create watermarks. Just thought I'd share should any of your readers feel intimidated by a "photo editing" program or feel they cannot afford to purchase a specialized program...most people already have MS. In addition, I mostly photograph using a white background because I can add any backdrop in Publisher which gives me a huge selection without the cost. Anyhew, just an idea. Thanks again for sharing your expertise and experience!
  2. Love these tips. I love that the suggestions you make are cost effective for those just starting out. You're a rockstar Ashlea!!!
  3. One important thing - I see some sort of trend to use props... too many props will ruin your photo and it will look crowded. The subject of your photo should occupy at least 2/3 of the entire image - at least if we are talking about product photography. Also, use as much as possible gray or grayish backgrounds, white and black are not always a good option. Natural wood backgrounds are a really good option.
  4. Hi i also sell my crocheted crafts at craft shows, i mainly sell hats and scarves and i so hand painted baseball hats. I have alao startwd making wreaths (the large flower wreaths) from deco mesh, burlap and fabric. I am looking for suggestions on how i can display them and my crocheted items at a show withoyt my booth looking junkie. Any suggestions would be great. Thank you