Etsy Weekly Tip #1 Product Photography

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Without a doubt, product photography is the most critical ingredient in making your Etsy shop a success.

Nothing else really matters if your pictures are crappy.

Etsy is product photography. The shop who takes the best picture wins.

When people shop online, they buy pictures, not products.

Sales will only come if you have the best product photos in your niche.

Let's start by debunking some common myths, making sure we remove any possible excuses on why you shouldn't be immediately upgrading your photos after reading this article.


  • Use a White Background for your Product Pictures.
  • You Need to Hire a Photographer.
  • You Need to Own an Expensive Camera.

Let's quickly debunk these myths and move on.

Having a white background is not a must.

We went a different route, and it worked out great for us. We feel the background you choose should be related to your niche. We sell rustic handmade leather wallets, so we wanted a rustic background.

We are not saying a white background is terrible, it's just not a must.

Don't hire a photographer. This is a total waste of money. Use your iPhone and learn to take pictures. More on this later.

travel wallet

Rustic Wooden Background

You don't need to own an expensive camera. Smartphone technology has come a long, long way and for a starter shop, using a smartphone for your product photography is sufficient. 

How to Take Beautiful Pictures

We are not expert photographers by any means. For our pictures, we started with a Canon 650D and the cheapest product lens available and set the camera to auto-focus.

From there we used natural light, found a background we liked (wood table) and proceeded to take pictures non-stop for about two years.

Seriously, we just kept trying and trying to get better and better pictures of our products.

I don't recommend this strategy. We probably could have stopped after 3 months or so.

The main point to remember, capture every detail of your product. Customers want to see closeups.

Customers won't assume anything, and you will lose sales if you pictures are missing vital information. i.e., no images of the back of the product.

Customers don't read descriptions. They only look at pictures so make sure to make them count.


Pick a background and use it for every photo.

The main point I want to stress is consistency. Use the same background for every picture, use the same lighting, use the same camera angles. Same, same, same. Develop your style.

If you want to watermark your photos, that is fine, just make sure it looks super professional.


Once in a while, step back and try to imagine yourself as a shopper on Etsy.

The first time they ever will see your product is as a thumbnail on a search page. So your pictures better look extraordinary as thumbnails, correct?

I can't stress this enough. Make sure your thumbnails look amazing.


If you consistently use the same background, use the same camera angles and use the same lighting, your pictures will become part of your shop's branding.

People will start to recognize your pictures, and it will help customers find your products again when they return to Etsy.

A/B Testing (Advanced)

A/B testing (also called split testing) is a method of putting two pictures against each other and having customers determine the winner.

Etsy doesn't have a natural method of accomplishing this. (Promoted listings don't work for split testing, we've tried)

Once you have your pictures set, the best method to split test your lead pictures, is with paid ads, like Facebook. (they have A/B Testing available for Ads)

Personally, I don't like Facebook much. I prefer to use organic Pinterest.

Make pins and let the world of Pinterest determine which pictures they like the most.

PIN me Pls 🙂

Learn why Product Photography is our Etsy Weekly Tip #1. Each week we let our readers know the next critical step they need to take to succeed on Etsy. #productPhotography #etsytips #etsysuccess
Kelly Fitzsimmons

In 2010, Kelly left the corporate world behind, sold all his stuff and hit the road. He settled in Chiang Mai, met his super-intelligent wife, Bibi and together, they created their thriving Etsy business. To keep the creative juices following, Bibi and Kelly have started side blogging projects aimed at helping others mimic their Etsy and blogging success.