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Extreme Shop Makeover: Ontheround Edition

January 28, 2009

As I was standing there making hundreds of bangles this morning staring out the window in deep thought, it occurred to me...I've had a major shop makeover in the last month (this thought isn't as random as it seems, I was reading etsy's blog shop makeover series)!

So I thought we'd all take a look at that today and I'd offer up some tips on how I improved my etsy shop.

First and foremost, PHOTOGRAPHS!

My photos have come a long way! Here's a look at some photos past:

This is one of the first items I ever posted on etsy. I don't think this shot was a total failure, but I had beginners luck on my side. I used a big piece of white heavy paper as my back drop. The problem with this photo is the intense shadow. I took this in the living room of my old apartment that was "cursed" with heavenly amounts of sunset all day every day. Great for basking in the sun and knitting, not so good for shop images.

Here you can see my beginners luck wore off quickly! I used a large drawing pad to keep up with the white background and make it easier to move around the house depending where the light was best. Apparently this wasn't that place! This shot is WAY to dark and really distorts the color of the bangles, placement is pretty boring, and I should have cropped the spiral of the notebook out. Duh.

Well, at least I found a photo editor! For this photo I used the same notebook backdrop as above, but I used it in a better light source. I also used to brighten and sharpen the images. And that's not all I used picnik for! I thought that I could make my items seem more interesting if I added a frame and my web address. Looking back I'm able to see that how silly that idea was. Obviously people knew where the website was, they were there after all! In addition, the frame only took away from the item not make it better. And most importantly, a better way to make this items more interesting would have been to change the way I photographed it "stuff" to the picture. Picnik is still a very useful tool however, it is how I made my banner.

So that brings us to now. This is how I photograph the main image on my bangles currently. I switched the background to something a little softer. I discovered that plain white is just that, plain. I also discovered the best time and place for taking pictures and I stick to it. Finally, I changed the way I arranged the bangles and the angle that I took the photo. I realized that the most important part of my main image is to show the color and the craftsman ship of the item. I still use the neatly stacked arrangement in my photographs, I just don't think it's the best main image.

Here are some tips on how you can create your own look:

*Use the same backdrop for every picture. I use a large piece of wallpaper that is is easy to roll up and put away when I'm not taking pictures. Make sure it is large enough so that you can prop half of it up an create a backdrop and a base. Be sure that the colors and pattern are not a distraction and go with the look that you are trying to create.

*Coordinate the banner and avatar to further the look that you are trying to create in your shop. Originally I used the same backdrop for my banner as in my photographs, but that was too matchy matchy. Instead I switch it to a photograph that had the same color scheme and used Picnik to crop the image and add text.

*And finally, don't give up! Every week I try and improve the images of an item in my shop and every week I learn something new.

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