How to Use Live Models for Your Etsy Sales Photos

Yes, models can be terrible divas. You knew you were in for some pain with your own Etsy business, right? The fact is, when they’re not busy flinging cellphones at your head, models — whether they’re babies, kids, adults, or your pet hamster — can do wonders for your product photos. Why? For two reasons:

  • Using a live model helps you convey the scale or fit of your piece. If you shoot your gorgeous necklace with a simple white background, potential buyers may not be able to get a handle on its length. Photographing that same necklace on a model, however, enables buyers to deduce at a glance how long it is, as well as how it rests on the décolletage.

    Likewise, if you sell hand-sewn clothes in your Etsy shop, photographing your pieces on a live model shows potential buyers how they’ll fit.

  • Using a live model makes your piece more relatable. Models humanize your piece. When potential buyers see a model wearing your item, they inevitably imagine it looking just as fantastic on themselves or their loved ones. The same is true when you show a model using your item: Potential buyers naturally imagine themselves or their loved ones using it in the same way.

    [Credit: Photo courtesy of Rae Aldrich-Keisling]
    Credit: Photo courtesy of Rae Aldrich-Keisling

If your pieces are of an intimate nature — think panties or earrings — be sure to note that the ones worn by the model are samples. You’ll send an unworn pair to the buyer.

Of course, you can’t use just any model. You want to choose models who enhance your piece. Be sure to select models who reflect your brand and your target audience. For example, if your brand and your target audience are on the edgy or punk end of the spectrum, your models need to be, too. If your aesthetic is more romantic, your models need to look that way as well.

Who should you enlist to model your pieces? Friends and family are obvious (and inexpensive) choices — assuming that they’re appropriate for your brand and aesthetic. If you’re selling a premium item, consider investing in a pro.

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