Why Product Photography Matters: For Makers and Shop Owners

I have a friend who has the cutest Etsy shop ever.  I can serve wine to a decent sized group of friends in funny wineglasses thanks to her amazing talents.  My kids (and I!) have great t-shirts and mugs, and if you're my friend, the odds are decent that you or your kids have gotten a gift she's made by hand.

But for those who live out of town or don't see her goodies in person, photographs are the only way to see her talent.  And her photos of her products before were fine.

Fine, however, isn't good enough for a great product.  

It just so happens that Capitol Maker and I have a similar clientele.  We have lots of local clients (she has out of town clients, too.)  We have lots of moms with small kids, and moms with big kids, too.  Our brands are both bright and bold.  Check out this change!



Her instagram now, which contains professional shots and her own shots, which are now more representative of her brand:

The whole point of product photos isn't about photographers who can operate a camera and edit, although we can and I think we're awesome.  The point of product photography is to showcase a brand and allow potential customers or clients to see what the product looks like in action.

This little series is for the shop Harris & Fin.  Seeing these fun tanks on two little tornados helps potential customers get ideas of what the shirts really look like, and also picture who might need one.  

These back to school samples for Page Brook Market show a sign in use and across grades.  Moms of littles AND bigs might need this product!

The Artistic Soul has products that I love as well.  To capture her brand, we went to Union Market to catch an artsy hipster vibe.  Here's what Shay had to say about these photos: 

"Product photography is one of the most important aspects business owners take for granted when it comes to marketing. A beautifully captured photo, with the product in action helps the customer relate and envision it in their home. My advice is to showcase your work in the best possible way. Megan did that for our brand!

And back to where we started, with my friend from Capitol Maker.  I asked her to tell me why product photos matter.  (For the story on this IEP set, check out this post.)

"I'm creative but I'm not a photographer. Taking good, clear, Etsy worthy photos was a huge stress for me. The amount of time it was taking me to stage photos and then "edit" them was really taking away from the time I could be designing new products. I would also put off doing the photos so I wasn't listing new things as I was making them. I just had so much anxiety over the photos. Case in point, the IEP set. I had that made for weeks but I wasn't able to get it photographed. As soon as you took the pictures and I was able to list it, it immediately became and overnight best seller. I was getting by just taking photos on the same background. My Instagram was basically all the same thing, just the product changed. Now I have a bright, fun Instagram that really represents my brand."

But it's not just me!  See what some other shop owners have to say about their partnerships with photographers:

Professional photography helps me control the narrative/ evoke a certain feel for my items. This helps me reach my target market.  - Emily Davies

 I NEED pro product pictures! As a maker using an iPhone to take pictures, it's incredibly difficult to get well-aligned, well-lit, balanced pics. And to do so from a neutral point of view. And to choose which details to highlight. And to "style" the pictures. I now have a huge appreciation for progressional product photogs! - Suzanne O'Brien

Simply put, product photography brings my products to LIFE. I get so many compliments from people who already know my brand- but to be able to reach a wider audience they must be able to see & 'feel' what others have experienced through my products, high quality product shots does this for me- it brings them closer than I ever could from a distance.  - Annie Brown