How to Take Great Listing Photos

Great product photos are one of the most important factors in a shopper’s decision to buy from a shop on Etsy. This article runs through some simple steps to taking great photos. For a deeper dive, check out the Ultimate Guide to Product Photography.

Get started taking great listing photos

Taking great photos starts with several components, including where you take your photos, how you light them, and how you use your camera.

Photograph in natural light. Using natural sunlight assists with soft lighting that can improve how your item looks. Try capturing images outside or by an open window. Starting with good lighting means you won’t need to use flash on your camera. Camera flash creates harsh lighting with dark shadows and an unnatural appearance. 

Creatively compose your images. Capture multiple images in different environments to find the best setting to showcase your item. 

Take different types of shots. To showcase your products, you can take different types of photographs to show it in different settings and contexts. Learn more about the types of product shots.

Leave space around your items. Take your picture from a far enough vantage point where you can see the entire product with extra negative space around your product. This will help when you crop your thumbnail of your listing photo.

Take photos horizontally. When you upload your photo, a horizontally oriented picture means you’re able to use more of the available space within the thumbnail frame. Vertical images will require more information to be cropped out. 

Clean your camera lens. A dirty camera lens will prevent the ability to capture crisp images that properly focus on the product. 

Try not to zoom. Using the zoom feature on mobile devices and cameras usually results in a digital zoom, which produces a lower quality image being captured. Instead of using a camera zoom, physically move closer/further away from your item. 

Learn more about taking great product shots.

Tips for uploading listing photos

The way you upload photos to your listings, and the order in which you place them, can have a big impact on how shoppers view your listings.

The first photo in a listing should be horizontal (landscape) or square. This ensures that the centre focal point of the image appears in the cropped thumbnail views.

Your first listing photo also dictates the shape of the photos that follow. Uploading the same shape photos for all listing photos creates a more cohesive browsing experience.

Learn about file requirements for listing photos.

Image rotation

Etsy auto-rotates listing photos, but keep in mind that this depends on information included by your camera in the image file. 

If your listing images upload sideways, try using a photo editing service to rotate your images, or retake the photo while holding the camera in a different position. The orientation of your subject matter should match the orientation of the camera.

Listing image thumbnails

Make sure that your thumbnail images have enough of a border that they can be cropped to a square thumbnail without losing some of the product. 

Our recommendations are:

  • Crop your images using Etsy’s crop tool to ensure accurate framing of your item. Using an uncropped image may result in inaccuracies on the final thumbnail. 
  • Try to capture images of your item further back than you think you’ll need. This will give you the ability to crop in without losing parts of your item. 
  • Avoid square crops. Upload horizontal or landscape images.
  • Use an aspect ratio of 4:3.

Use the placement tool when adding images to your listings to perform fine-tuning adjustments on what appears within your thumbnail on your listing. 

Your final image will most likely be cropped down from the original image that was initially created. Confirming the image was produced at the highest resolution would be advised to meet the minimum suggested size for listing images. 

If you’re having trouble uploading photos, learn how to troubleshoot common listing image problems.

Learn more about uploading listing photos.

How to edit listing photos

Newer smartphones (iPhone/Android devices) have cameras with sufficient quality to capture high quality images that can be used as listing images. Editing your images post capture is an important part of maximising the quality of your images to boost the quality of your listings. 

We also have many helpful sellers active in the Forums and Teams via the Community hub. Sellers who have experience in capturing high quality images for listings can likely help you with more tailored advice.

Learn more about editing product photos.

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