Using Props for Great Etsy Photos
When you are creating photos of merchandise for your Etsy shop, using props is a great way to add interest to your shot or convey something about the item you're selling. One trick to using props to make great photos is to make sure they don't detract from the piece you want to sell or confuse potential buyers. A prop must enhance your piece, conveying to buyers its possibilities.
Props also must reflect your brand. That is, if your brand is elegant, you want to steer clear of props that scream "Behold my quirkiness!" (and vice versa).
The swell thing about props is that they're everywhere! You can find potential props in your garden shed, your craft closet, your grandmother's attic, your nephew's toy chest, or your uncle's garage. Experiment with lots of different props to see what works best. For example, you can use props as follows:
To convey the scale of your piece: Using a universal prop — something everyone recognizes, like a coin, a book, a pencil, a chair, or whatnot — is a great way to show potential buyers the size of your piece.Credit: Photo courtesy of Jonathan Wilson
To show how your piece can be used: By putting your piece in its "natural environment," you give potential buyers an idea of how they can use it. For example, place colorful handmade pillows on a little girl's bed.Credit: Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Wallberg, e photography
To reflect how your piece was made: Do you use special tools to construct your item? If so, consider using those implements as props. Knitting needles, embroidery hoops, pliers, cutters, paintbrushes, pencils, scissors, blowtorches — all these constitute excellent props; they add interest by conveying how the piece was made.
To suggest what inspired your piece: Did the idea for your piece come to you while you were walking in the woods? Then a leaf, branch, or pine cone may make an excellent prop. Or if you had the epiphany for your piece while strolling along the seashore, a bit of sand or a seashell may serve as a prop. If you are offering an orange soap set, try showing it with group of oranges.Credit: Photo courtesy of Belle Terre (belleterre.etsy.com)
To complement your piece: A great way to create interest in your product shots is to place your piece alongside an object that complements it visually. Maybe the object you use as a prop is a complementary color — for example, the object is violet, and your piece is yellow. Or maybe the object reflects the genre of your piece in some way — say, the object is a vintage bowling pin, and your piece is a hand-sewn bowling shirt.