10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos

female entrepreneur stock photography

Grab your pen and paper because today you will learn 10 tips to improve your Etsy product photos! I am so thankful that Kate from White Nova Studio collaborated with me to share her words of wisdom on how she captures the most beautiful stock photos. You’re in for a real treat! Without further-a-do let’s jump to it!


10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos

Hello, my friends!

Today I’d like to share 10 easy and budget-friendly tips to make your products look amazing on your Instagram or Etsy shop. Most entrepreneurs prefer to take photos of their products at their home studio, so let’s talk about it. I’ve tried to make all the tips below maximum concrete and certain.

Before we start I’d like to say special thanks to Yana from 11UTRA studio for her wonderful handmade samples she provided me, especially for this article.

Well, let’s go! 😄

TIP #1 | Camera Settings

It doesn’t matter what you use: iPhone, compact camera or DSLR but try to make your photo maximum size as it possible. Choose the biggest dimension, which your camera supports.

Use automatic white balance, low ISO level (200 is guaranteed good) to reduce noise on your photos and try to use autofocus to make your shots looks pretty good.

TIP #2 | Photo Light

Try to use natural light. Why? We have three big reasons:

  • it makes your shots elegant
  • it’s available everywhere
  • it’s cost nothing.

How to do it? First, try to take photos at the lightest time of the day. Sun is good but be careful – it can bringhard shadows on your photos. Cloudy weather is my favorite because of soft shadows and equable illumination for all scene.

10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos

Tip #3 | Best Place for Your Photo Studio

Find the lightest place in your house, as for me it’s my living room. You need big windows and some photo space near it. Minimum is 3ft*3ft (1m*1m) if you’ll use iPhone or 6 ft. *3 ft. (2m*1m) if you’ll use a camera with a lens about 50 mm.

Try to have the window on the left or the right side of yours. Left side is more desirable.

In addition to photo space, you need some (1-2 ft). distance from the window because it can be some shadow from window sill if you’ll stay very close.

10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos

TIP #4 | Subsidiary Stuff

Photography equipment can be discussed endlessly, but I’ll tell about the minimum you’ll really must have.   

  • Reflector.  Use it to neutralize deep shadows from opposite window side. You can buy or make it by yourself. If you prefer to buy, the best decision will be  2-side reflector (white and silver) about 32” (80cm) diameter. If you want a bigger one, you can try something like this Powerextra 32″/80cm
    model. Or you can build a simple reflector yourself. You will need a large sheet of white paper, or any whiteboard from a hardware store. E.g. on the photo below I took a whiteboard and put it vertically by supporting it with a toolbox from my husband’s stuff.
  • Clamps. You can use clamps to hold the reflector or hold it with your hands. As for me, I prefer holding it.  This way I can choose the best angle to neutralize shadows.
  • Tripod. A tripod will help you to keep the camera angle steady and directed straight at your scene. I recommend this one made by Manfrotto. It helps me take all types of scenes including flat lays. In case you don’t need this extra possibility you can choose a simpler model like this Manfrotto Compact Tripod. The first tripod features are durable, sustainable and comfortable for you. If you want to use outdoors choose a bag to carry it.

10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos 10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos

Tip #5 | What Will Be Featured in Your Photo?

Try to show your products in different ways. Your customers want to know all about it. Sometimes it’s not easy for them to make a decision, so try to help them as much as you can. 👍🏼  Show them top view, front view, take a photo with your hand included (it can be any well-known thing) to understand product size. Take a photo with other products of your shop to show an interaction between them. Who knows, maybe you’ll make an extra sale. 😉

10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos 10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos

Tip #6 | The Shooting Angle

As a continuation of tip #5, try to use 180, 90, 45, 20 deg. view angles.  These angles make photos look neat and clean.

Tip #7 | Verticality

Verticals have always to be vertical. Sometimes it’s not easy to achieve it during a photo session, pay attention to it while shooting and check it later in post-production. Rotate your images until they look ok.

Tip #8 | Style of Your Shop

We all know that branding is an important thing to make shop successful. And photos of your goods have to look stylish to ensure the best perception of your shop.

The easiest way to do this is to adhere to similar light conditions (e.g. morning in the northeast room), use the same simple background (e.g. white or dark wood) as well, and the last one: try to use the same or similar filter or Lightroom preset to post-process the photo.  I prefer this Adobe Lightroom presets bundle, but you can choose your own favorite.

Make this easy steps and you’ll receive a cohesive look of your shop or Instagram feed.female stock photography, 10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos Female stock photogarphy, 10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos

Tip #9 | Atmosphere

The most interesting shots are not only about products. They tell us about life, your own or someone else. So try to tell a story and to bring atmosphere to your shots. Add some details to your photos to make them alive. It can be flowers, greenery, breakfast, candle or stationary stuff.

female entrepreneur stock photography, 10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos female entrepreneur stock photography, 10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Product Photos

Tip #10 | Experiment

Feel free to experiment! You can find something interesting in ordinary things. Look around and you’ll find a lot of interesting photo ideas. I can recommend resources such as Creative Market and Pinterest, but you can find inspiration everywhere. Ask children or seniors. Talk about your products with people which are not included in your target group. All of them can bring you fresh ideas.  

I wish you amazing shoots. As you absolutely can take your own beautiful photos!

Fill free to write me on whitenovastudiophoto@gmail.com and visit my photography and mockup shop on Creative Market for inspiration and my Instagram for free stock photos.


I certainly hope you enjoyed this post! I know that I will be using these tips to help improve my product photos for my Etsy shop! Kate definitely deserves more Instagram followers, so please go check her out and follow for more great photography.

Comment below to share what you learned the most.

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