How To Take Pictures for Etsy

Have you ever gone through the products on Etsy? I love adding cute and aesthetic home decor stuff to my space. And I have shopped from Etsy shop quite a few times now. If you are like me, and you scroll through this platform during your leisure time, you must have noticed that some pictures really pop out as compared to others. And that is the magic of product photography.

The photos you take care of your product matter, and I have had first-hand experience regarding this theory. My sister runs an online shop on Etsy to sell her handmade crochet items, and I have been helping her with product photography to market her products.

girl taking pictures

And I have one thing I can say for sure. Even if you have an excellent product that has the potential to sell, it will only be able to do as well as you market it. If the listing pictures are not visually appealing, they won’t be able to attract your target customers.

But what if you do not want to spend much money on product photography? Don’t worry; you do not need a huge budget to ensure your products look good on the listings. You can ace this game with the help of the proper techniques. And I will help you with precisely that in this article.

If you want to know how to take pictures for Etsy shop to achieve the best results and reach out to a high number of customers, keep on reading till the end.

Why do pictures play an essential role in the Etsy marketplace?

Let us suppose you run your own Etsy shop. So when any customer checks your shop, the pictures they get to see will determine the first impression they have about your goods. The pictures are what will help them decide whether your product is worth investing in or not. The primary objective is to capture the attention so that they should feel like they want a closer look.

Etsy is incredible for reaching out to potential new customers, and millions of people shop on Etsy. And if you are still wondering whether great product photos are actually that important, I have the statistics to prove it.

etsy chart

According to a survey done by the platform itself, taking into consideration the preferences of its buyers, it was seen that 90% of the buyers make their decision regarding purchasing a product based on the quality of images.

In fact, customers consider product photos more than the item cost, reviews, and even the shipping cost. Etsy even lets you upload around 10 pictures, making it easier to showcase your product from multiple angles and their variants, if any.

Plus, there is another solid reason to concentrate on your product photos. The editors on the platform pick out the most attractive products to feature on their social media posts, newsletters, and even on their official website.

And this promotion will enhance your reputation and increase awareness about your brand. Even though there is no particular formula to make it to the featured products list, it is a great opportunity, and clicking the best pictures can help you achieve that.

Tips on taking the best pictures for Etsy

Now that you know how product photos are an absolute game changer, it is time to work towards it and make your products shine. The tips I am going to share below have been tried and tested, and they will help to capture the best shots to attract your target audience and create a solid first impression.

Go for a clean background

How to take pictures for Etsy when all you can see are messy surfaces? The background you choose plays a significant role in how your pictures turn out.

I recommend choosing a background that does not clash with your product and does not distract the viewer, either. Whatever the product is, the safe side is to choose a background with solid, single-tone color. And this tip usually works with every product.

go for a clean background

The only thing you need to remember is that the color of the background should complement the product. It is okay to go for contrasting colors to make a product pop, but the overall image should be aesthetically pleasing.

Some of my favorite backdrops to use for great product photos are wooden planks, red bricks, a plain white wall, luxurious fabrics like satin or velvet, white marble, green grass, etc. You can also go outdoors for some gorgeous backdrops for your products.

Having a DSLR camera is not mandatory

Who says you cannot click stunning pictures without a DSLR camera? If you have one, you can definitely use it. But how to take pictures for Etsy when you do not own a DSLR camera? It is not a big deal because your phone will work just as well.

having a dslr camera is not mandatory

I do have a DSLR, but I use my phone to shoot pictures all the time. And let me tell you, it is way more convenient. Whenever I use a DSLR and I want to edit pictures, I have to transfer all of them to my laptop to do any editing. But when I shoot using my phone, I can simply edit the photos there and upload them within a few minutes.

And you won’t see significant differences in the results as, well.

The lighting can make or break it

Yes, choosing the right background is very important. But if there is one aspect that you really need to focus on, it’s to get the lighting correct. Having a thorough knowledge of lighting and being able to create that perfect balance between light and shadow is very critical if you want to know how to take pictures for Etsy.

I always feel the shorts look best when captured in natural light. You can place your product near the window or any place where there is sufficient sunlight. It really makes the colors of your product pop. However, extremely bright sunlight can ruin the picture. The trick is to get that balance where the sunlight is adequate but it has a soft and diffused look to it.

lighting can make or break it

There is one helpful tip in this scenario that I would like to share with you. If you feel the lighting from your window is too harsh, you can use a white bedsheet over it to diffuse the light.

The natural light makes the pictures look gorgeous, and it also captures all the realistic details. If you are shooting pictures in the evening, you can use a powerful table lamp. If your budget is slightly higher, investing in a suitable lightbox will be my recommendation.

If you are using a table lamp, just check out the lighting beforehand. If the lamp emits a yellowish light, it may not be able to capture the accurate colors of your product.

Do not shy away from editing tools

Whenever we think about editing pictures, the first name that comes to mind is Photoshop. But not everyone wants to spend money on the subscription plan, isn’t it? It is okay because there are a lot of editing tools on the market today.

Once you are done capturing the shots, the editing part can be a little tricky. You should edit in such a way that it does not change the overall appearance and the colors of the product and should only enhance the natural appeal.

editing tools

Typically, I start the editing process by adjusting the brightness and exposure at first. Then I go ahead with the contrast, white balance, and shadows. I do not make any significant changes while editing, only a little bit of color correcting.

Talking about recommendations for editing tools, I love using Canva and Snapseed the most. These are free to use and do the job well. VSCO is another editing tool that performs decently. If you want to step it up a notch, you can go for GIMP. It is free and offers almost the same features as Photoshop. It just takes a little time to get the hang of it.

Avoid using the flash

Initially, I did not give much importance to this particular feature. But I noticed that whenever you shoot in the evening or in low light conditions, we tend to use the flash. But if you really compare the results of pictures taken in natural sunlight with the ones where flash has been used, you’ll notice significant differences.

avoid using the flash
Cropped shot of an attractive young businesswoman using her camera to photograph cupcakes for her blog

Using the flash creates a mild false shadow and can even alter the color and texture of the item. If you are capturing metal objects, it can also create a glare and make the details look kind of fuzzy.

And if the product photo does not match the actual product, your customers will not be satisfied with their experience. I usually avoid shooting when the light is very dim, but if you absolutely must, please keep the lighting in mind.

Add props and let your creativity flow

How to take pictures for Etsy in such a way that they don’t look boring? If you want to convey a special message with your product, gather some props and use them in your photos. They can make your product look even more visually appealing, or you can use them to play with the color scheme.

add props and let your creativity flow

However, make sure that they do not divert the attention away from the main subject and should fit the theme. The primary goal of using props is to enhance the photos of a product. It also gives an approximate idea to the viewers about how the product will look in their daily lives.

Do not zoom when using smartphones

I know this may come across as a little unexpected. But I have made this mistake before, can I do not want you all to repeat it. If you are shooting using your smartphone and you try to zoom in, the resolution decreases.

And when you look at the final results, you may notice grainy pictures. So when I need to zoom in, I avoid doing it manually and instead bring my phone closer to the product.

Play around with several angles

If you want to know how to take pictures for Etsy in the best way possible for your product, you have to experiment and little with angles. As I already mentioned before, the objective of clicking photos for your product is to capture the attention of potential buyers. And when there are so many products on the platform, yours needs to stand out.

play around with several angles

Instead of getting a regular shot from the eye level, you can get down and take a shot from below. You can also try placing your camera directly above the product to showcase it from a different angle.

Since Etsy lets you upload around 10 images for a single product, the one thing you need to avoid is clicking similar photos from the same angle.

Flaunt the different variations

If you have different variations of your product, like a different color, size, etc., showcase them in the product listing photos. It will make the customers feel that they have a lot of options to choose from. And doing this will also give a better idea regarding the scale of the product.

Check the Etsy formats and sizing of images

Clicking stunning images is the first step. But if those images are not displayed in the correct way, it can ruin the appeal of the product. Etsy recommends uploading pictures in square or landscape format, where your product is the center of attraction.

If you shoot your images in portrait format, you may see that the platform interface has cropped out some essential bits. Another point to keep in mind is to upload only high-quality images. They should have a width of at least 2000 pixels, and the resolution should be a minimum of 72ppi. This is the actual photo size recommended by Etsy.

etsy formats and sizing of images

When you are uploading the picture for the thumbnail of your product listing, maintain a 4:3 ratio and include a margin around the image.

Following these criteria will help display your product in a proper manner.

Invest in a tripod if you use a DSLR

If a DSLR camera is your choice of equipment for product photography, I would recommend investing in a tripod. It does not have to be a costly one with tons of features; even a basic one will do.

how to take pictures for etsy

The tripod will help keep your camera steady and capture clean shots while avoiding camera shake. Sometimes, you can even place your phone on the tripod to get that perfect shot.

Go for minimalism when in doubt

Whenever I am unable to brainstorm fabulous ideas for a shoot, there is only one mantra I follow- ‘Less is More.” Playing safe does not always need to be boring. Trust me when I say this, your shot can turn out to be gorgeous even with a simple white background with your product on top of it.

how to take pictures for etsy

Always remember that it’s about quality, not quantity. If you upload only 3 pictures of a product, but they are of high quality, it will still perform better than uploading 10 grainy and unclear images.

Make use of models for certain products

If you run a shop selling jewelry, clothing items, footwear, etc., try showcasing your products using models. In this way, your customer will get a better idea of how the product will look on them.

how to take pictures for etsy

You do not have to hire a professional model for this. You can take the help of any family or friend to capture the shots.

Do not let fear take over your mind

Thinking constantly about how to take pictures for Etsy will only create pressure in your mind. If you are feeling nervous about how the shoot might go on, take deep breaths, and try to do your best using the tools you have with you.

Understand the style of the product to get ideas on how to make it shine in your photographs. You can refer to some video tutorials on YouTube if required, and capturing some test shots will help to understand the lighting, focus, framing, and overall background.

You can start the shoot once you feel more at ease and comfortable.

What makes a good Etsy banner?

Etsy gives you a chance to create a banner for your store on the platform. I consider this one of the most important elements because it acts as an entry point to your store and is the first image that a viewer gets to see.

Hence, the goal is to create the banner in the most activating way possible so as to attract the attention of potential buyers. It also has to be memorable and personalized so that whenever anyone sees that image, they should immediately remember your store.

how to take pictures for etsy

Here are some tips to make a good Etsy banner.

  • Create a mood board beforehand so that you can get an idea about what you want to illustrate. You can use platforms like Pinterest or Canva to do this.
  • A banner is all about showcasing your brand. Include your brand colors, the brand name, the logo, and other relevant elements in the banner.
  • You can also use the banner to highlight some of your best product photos. It will help give an idea to the audience about what they are getting into.
  • Check out the size specifications for creating a banner on Etsy. The recommended size for a big banner is a minimum of 1200 x 300 pixels, and you can go up to 3360×840 pixels. On the other hand, if you want to create a mini banner, the minimum dimensions are 1200×160 pixels.
  • It is not mandatory to have a fixed banner throughout the year. You can change it once in a while to spice things up. For example, if you decide to conduct a sale during a particular season, or maybe you are offering free shipping for a specific time period, you can use your banner to display those offers.
  • Another idea, which I do not often see but is quite effective, is flaunting great customer reviews on the banner. You can try adding a particular product and its review to attract more customers to that product.

how to take pictures for etsy

  • Your banner needs to be incredibly attractive and catchy. And you can use design tools to make the best use of your creativity. If you are a beginner and looking for something budget-friendly, I would recommend Canva and PicMonkey. If you have experience in graphic design and want more advanced options, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Sketch might meet your requirements.
  • Always remember that your banner should compliment your brand identity. You can, of course, keep switching the designs, but they should have a pattern and should resonate with the customers, especially the repeating ones.


I hope I have been able to help you with various tips and tricks regarding how to take pictures for Etsy in this article. If there is one thing I could say about product photos on Etsy, it would be that they are an absolute game changer and can determine how your product will perform on the platform.

Yes, the quality of the product matters as well. But a customer is not getting to experience your product at first; they can only judge it via the pictures. And hence the tips and strategies mentioned in this article will help you make an excellent first impression by clicking attractive product photos.


What is the best image format for Etsy?

Whenever you are uploading any images on Etsy, the format should be .jpg, .png, or .gif. These are the only image formats supported on the platform. You cannot upload transparent .png files or animated .gif files.

Can you use iPhone photos for Etsy?

Yes, you can use iPhone photos on Etsy. A lot of smartphones today come with decent cameras and are able to capture high-quality images. You can definitely use these on your listings, but you can also edit them a little beforehand to enhance their quality.

What size should an Etsy listing be?

The size recommended by Etsy for listing images is 2000 pixels for the shortest side. And the recommended resolution is 72ppi. It is not recommended to upload pictures having sizes more than 1 MB, as the upload procedure may not get completed, especially if your internet connection is poor.