4 Must-Snap Etsy/Ebay/Online Shop Listing Photos

You don’t need fancy pants photo equipment to take great product photos. Chances are your phone has a camera in it that takes great photos. Just add lots of light (a big ol’ window should do the trick) and a little know-how …

Fresh outta know-how? We’ve got you covered with our guide to the 4 essential online shop listing photos. We’ll cover the what, why and hows of the “Studio” shot, the Macro, the Snap for Scale and the Lifestyle Pic.


The “Studio” Shot


What: Your product, on a plain-jane background, lit well for all to see.

Why: This is the clearest way to show what you’ve got to offer. When shoppers are browsing thumbnails they’re going to be drawn to clear bright photos that really show off the product. An added bonus to the studio shot is that clear photos set a realistic expectation of what exactly is going to be showing up once it is ordered, and this helps you avoid the hassle of returns and exchanges.

How: We call this one a “studio” shot in quotes, because you don’t actually need a pro photo studio to get a clear shot of your wares. Just use a plain background and plenty of light. If your creations are small you can tape a piece of white paper onto a wall and let it curve down onto the table or floor to make a seamless backdrop. If you’re selling clothes, tape a white sheet to your garage door.

Now, light it up! Bright indirect light is the best. Set up near a big window in the middle of the day. Or, if you’re outside, shoot in even shade. You can always used a light colored piece of paper or a reflector to bounce extra light onto your subject. Or, grab a Foldio (a mini white photo studio with lights built right in).

The Macro


What: Take a photo of your product as close up as you camera will let you get.

Why: Having a close up shot or two will help you show off the quality and texture of your materials and show just how lovingly each stitch/cut/nail/sequin/paint stroke went into the making of your products.

How: As always make sure your subject is in bright even light, then just get your camera as close as you can while maintaining focus. To get super duper close, grab a macro lens. These little wonders let you get your phone within an inch of your subject with tack sharp focus.

Snap for Scale


What: The size comparison, a photo of your goodie with a common object for scale.

Why: Shoppers want to know what that brooch is going to look like on a real live lapel, how low that necklace hangs or if that pencil holder is going to hold 3 or 30 pencils.

How: If you’ve made clothes or jewelry, put it on a human! Shoppers who feel like they are in between sized, or aren’t familiar with the exact measurement scale you’re using will have all their questions answered when they see a human sporting your product. The only exception here is earrings. No one wants to see the earrings you’re selling in someone else’s ears.

If you’re selling a non-wearable object, this photo can be as simple as that purse you made with a phone peeking out, or your hand painted dessert plate with a couple Oreos on it. You don’t have to use a boring ol’ ruler to show scale, just choose any object that most people are familiar with.

Lifestyle Pic


What: Your product doing its thang, and looking good doing it.

Why: The main reason to include a lifestyle photo is so that when someone sees it, they can really imagine just what they’d do if they owned your amazing product! You want them to imagine your goodie in use.

How: If you’re selling prints hang one on a wall, so your shoppers can see just how great it looks incorporated into home décor. Give ‘em an idea just how cute that salt and pepper shaker set look on on a cozy dinner table. Pick the cutest spot in your house (or your adorablest friend’s house) and take photos of your creation while it’s in use.

With just 4 pix you can give folks who come into your shop a clear view of your products, a sense of their detail and scale and a view of just how nice it’ll look incorporated into their surroundings.