Do you believe that the perceived value of your products and the trustworthiness of your business is often judged by the quality of your product photos?

5 Ways To Organize Product Photo Shoot Without Breaking The BankAnd a big part of having a great online store these days also means having high-quality, beautiful product photography.

If you want to make sure that you have high-quality, nice product photos without breaking the bank, here are some tips that might work for your line of business:

1. Know What You Want

Do you have a friend who’s a stylist or who has amazing taste? Or do you have a local college nearby where you might be able to find a stylist in training? If you have a good eye yourself, spend some time collecting inspirational photos from magazines or style sties to develop your ideas.

Make a collage from these pictures to create a mood board or use Pinterest to gather your ideas. Make sure that all your style decisions for the shoot reflect the aesthetic you defined in your mood board.

2. Find A Photographer

Getting a talented photographer doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some tips for finding a free or inexpensive photographer:

  1. Conduct a mental scan of your friends and family. Do you know anyone who would be willing to help you by lending his or her awesome photography skills?
  2. Research local schools and colleges that offer photography courses and workshops. Student photographers are often looking for real-world experience.
  3. Are you a member of an Etsy Team? Perhaps there are some photographers among your fellow team members. You could barter for an exchange of goods or services from your shop in return for their photography skills.

3. Get A Model (If Applicable)

Having someone to model your products can easily get the attention of shoppers and lead to higher views, favorites, and sales. Here are some ideas for booking a model to help bring your items to life:

  1. Models and hair/make-up artists who are new to the business are generally eager to get some experience and add to their portfolio. Websites like Model Mayhem will make this search super easy.
  2. Consider friends and family. Invite everyone to a fun picnic in the park or a party at your house and host your photo shoot on the side, calling friends over one at a time to have a few shots snapped.
  3. Check out local modeling and beauty schools for students seeking experience.

4. Spot A Nice Background

You don’t need to hire a professional photographic studio or rent lighting equipment to get professional results. But there are also nice ideas to get studio quality product photos on a budget. If you insist on a lively backdrop, here are a few low-cost options to consider:

  1. Local parks, beaches, and public gardens
  2. Community halls and sporting clubs
  3. Your own house or maybe your grandma has a beautiful place with original retro furniture? Do you know someone who lives on a farm?

5. Stay Organized

On the day of the shoot, you will likely be juggling a lot of balls, and it’s important to ensure that everyone knows exactly where they need to be and when. Creating a call sheet will help you keep everything and everyone on track. Here’s an example of a simple call sheet:

8 a.m.: Make-up artist to arrive on location for final briefing.
8:15 a.m.: Model 1 to arrive. Start make-up.
8:30 a.m.: Photographer to arrive for final briefing.
9 a.m.: Photographer shoots Model 1 with Products 1–3; Model 2 arrives. Start make-up.
9:45 a.m.: Photographer shoots Model 2 with Products 4–6.
10:15 a.m.: Break
10.45 a.m.: Photographer shoots Model 1 with products 7–10.
11:30 a.m.: Photographer shoots Model 2 with products 11–14.
12:15 p.m.: Lunch. Models finish.
1 p.m.: Photographer shoots stock shots of all products.
3 p.m.: Shoot concludes.

If you have time, ask your photographer to take some shots of you so that you can update your About Page. Etsy shoppers love to see the face behind the products they’re buying.

Organizing a photo shoot can be viewed by most handmade sellers as a daunting and expensive task, but it can be incredibly creatively satisfying and it can also be one of the most important steps you can take to really take your business to the next level.

Are you considering organizing a photo shoot or updating your shop photography? Share your photography tips in the comment box below.

Gary Capps

I live in the one of the most beautiful places in the world on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my wife and our 2 dogs, Poppy and Mia. Since 2009 I have helped over 15,000 handmade business owners to grow their business with our software and free tools designed for todays entrepreneurial artisan.

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