We’ve covered many times in this blog how your product photography is really, really important when you are selling online?.

photography-mistakesOne of the most frustrating things for handmade business owners is sharing images that we’re proud of, only to look back on it later and see all the mistakes it contained. Some of these mistakes take months, even years to discover and become aware of. And once we become aware of them, it takes time to learn how to fix them and avoid them in the future.

The good news is that many of these mistakes are easily corrected with a bit of know how.Bridge that learning gap and get on the fast track to creating high quality, mistake free images.

  1. Not Knowing How To Use Your Camera – Don’t forget toset your camera for the largest and the best quality files possible. This is especially important if you want to see your images in print. It’s not completely necessary to go out and buy yourself an expensive DSLR camera, you can get good results from a point and shoot but either way, reading the instructions of your camera’s manual is a short cut to getting the best out of the camera you have already.
  2. Subject Is Too Far Away – In every photograph we shoot, we want something engaging in the frame. If your product is too far away, it will not make much impact. The best way to take product photos is to move closer to the subject. You can also move closer by using a good quality telephoto zoom lens or crop the image later with your image editing software. Remember to shoot the image at the highest resolution possible because cropping reduces the quality.
  3. Using Digital Zoom – Nobody should ever use the digital zoom for craft photography. Period. That means that your photos will have less and less pixels as you keep zooming in.In other words, the camera’s zoom works just like cropping, except that you crop the scene before taking a photo. You should always do cropping rather than zoom, because that way you have full control over what stays in and out of the frame.
  4. Underexposed Pictures – An underexposed image is one that is too dark because there wasn’t enough light reaching the sensor when the image was taken. If you see on your LCD screen that an image looks too shadowy and underexposed, you can try opening the aperture to allow more light in. You can also adjust the exposure on a DSLR, selecting the ‘+’ to add more light, usually in ½ stop increments. In addition, you can make your own lightbox to give your product good lighting.
  5. Overexposed Pictures – If the photo of your craft work is too bright and lacking in detail, then it is overexposed. This means there is too much light hitting the sensor. Overexposure can be particularly bad on bright days or with light colored subjects. To correct for overexposure, you can try underexposing the image by choosing -0.5 or -1 and seeing if more detail has been retained. Additionally, use spot metering for accurate results – pick a grey mid-toned area in your image as the guideline.
  6. Over-Editing Photos – Now, this one is huge. Time and time again I see people over-editing photos to the extent that they just look really bad. Just because you have powerful photo editing options at a tap of the finger doesn’t mean that you should always use them. You should instead try to take the best photos possible, and only edit them to enhance the composition, draw attention to the main subject(s), and add the right feel for that particular photo. And that’s it. If you do anything else, the chances are you’ll over-edit.
  7. Dust Spots Appearing On Images – This is caused by dust or dirt on the sensor inside your camera, rather than on the lens or any other area of the camera. It will be most noticeable when you are shooting at small apertures such as f/16, and on plain areas.

I’ve made some of these mistakes myself, I see other people making them all the time, and yes, the chances are that you are making them too. I hope this post will make you reexamine your craft photography habits so you can decide for yourself if there’s anything you should be doing differently.

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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