Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Photos...The Be All, End All?

Gingerbread House Brooch by MichellesCharmWorld on Lollishops

Ahhh....we've all heard it right? Go into the forums and ask about being a successful shop and at least 75% of the replies will be about photos. GO ahead, try it, I dare you ;) Yes, your photos should be clear and a bit bright, but don't stress over them! Don't take 10 photos of each and every one of your products hoping for the right one, or your items will end up costing 50.00 each! (Yes, you should be adding in your photo taking time into the cost of your items.) Don't go running out to take photography lessons and buying 50.00 lightboxes. HOLD UP! WAIT! Take a deep breath and have a look around. light boxes and lessons take money. Wait until you have it in your business account to do it if you really want these things. If you don't and just think it's a necessary thing to sell anything, then wait and keep reading.

Tea and Crumpets Necklace by MichellesCharmWorld on Lollishops

I have 1100 something sales or something like that, I do not have a lightbox, take my photos at night in a dark room sometimes, change my backround like all heck and worst of all? My photos are blurry sometimes! Go ahead, I will wait here, Check out my sold items section and go waaaay back to my last page. Did you see them? The blurry, pixelated messes I called photos? They were awful, dark and unedited. I made my first sale within an hour of being open! I knew right off the bat I needed a new camera, but it was not in the budget at the moment. I had a craft show lined up for a month after opening and until then I asked for advice. I started taking photos outside in natural light and that helped ALOT! Then the midwest reared it's ugly head and sometimes it was 100* outside and there was no way in heck I was going to photograph outside, so I started doing it by a window, this was also good!! Then sometimes my kids wouldn't take naps on some days and I was stuck waiting until my husband got home at 430 and sometimes it was already getting dark?! So I started using a photo editing program!! That has been my BEST FRIEND! My photos are still not great, not even good sometimes, but I'm selling regulary and you can at least see what it is you are buying :) MY new camera eventually was purchased after a successful craft show and though it was not the magic answer to my photos, it did help! (Macro setting was a must!).

Conversation Heart Rings by MichellesCharmWorld on Lollishops

Now take a look at some of the shops out there, some of them have THOUSANDS of sales and their photos are so dark, half the time I don't even know what I'm buying without reading the description. (Maybe people like the grab bag idea?! heehe). Some shops have photos that are excellent, but so overpropped, you don't know if you are getting the 5 strands of pearls are part of that bottlecap key chain, and yet they have loads of sales. I think it's all about a catchy thumbnail, combined with a CLEAR, DESCRIPTIVE title. (No need to get creative with your titles, I find my creative titles have the least amount of views). If you've been here yesterday, you will also note that I made the front page too! So see, just try hard, but don't overdo it. Perfect pictures are not always the answer. I've seen some FAB-YOU-Less photos out there in shops that have been open and avtive since 2005 and they still only have a few sales. It's all about your product. Work with what you have and don't stress!


jencoe said...

Thanks for this post! I've been struggling with my photos and the perfectionist in me won't let me put anything in my store until my photos are perfect. Now I'm just going to go ahead a do it and just see what happens. You gave me the push! Thanks!

Michelle said...

So glad I could help!! I just really feel for people that post about trying 20 different things, taking loads of photographs of ONe item and then not even listing it because of that. That's just not right. :) It's a process!

Andreanna said...

I recently listed 4 pairs of earrings with really terrible photos. I sold all 4 pairs in less than a week of being listed.

Creative Minds said...

Too cute!!!
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