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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Photography for Dummies

Probably the most difficult thing about selling on Etsy for me is getting those "Etsy quality" photographs. Seems like you need to be a pro to do what some of those uber-talented sellers do with their photos on Etsy. Prior to starting an Etsy shop, my photo experience consisted of taking candids....badly.

Fortunately, photographing still life is easier in some ways than taking candids. The items don't move, you have more control over angles and lighting, and they don't complain if you have to take one more shot. All of that makes it easy enough to take ok pictures, but I have a feeling that reaching "Etsy quality" will take lots of practice.  Good thing cameras are digital - personally, it takes me about 20 shots to find 5 that I can live with. If I had to use film, I'd have gone broke well before I ever made my first sale! Not to mention all the wasted paper and chemicals.  With a digital camera, you can take 100 shots if you need to. Of course, if you have 5 items to list, taking 100 photos of each will take the entire day if not longer. Because not only do you have to take the time to stage the item and shoot it, but then you have to review and whittle your choices down to 5 and then crop, adjust, resize, and save those 5. 

Bottom line is that I have no doubt that Etsy will make me a better photographer, but given the time it takes just to get passing photos, it may be a while before I reach what I call "Etsy quality." But I will keep trying because I can see just how much of a difference good photography can make on Etsy.

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