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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and with online shopping, that may be even more true. A bad photograph or boring item description can hijack all the hard work you put into developing your brand. Now you have to focus on presenting your products at their best so you can connect with your clients.

Make sure that your products are photographed in ways that make them stand out, with vibrant colors and professional standards. You don’t need to employ a professional photographer, but make sure you have a good camera and are presenting your wares in a good light. Quality photography not only makes your products look their best, but it also signals that you are a trusted and quality seller that cares about what you are presenting. Those details go a long way.

When deciding how to photograph your product, think of the picture as a tool by which to highlight your brand. If you choose to take photographs yourself, expect an initial trial-and-error period. Good pictures take work. However, if you have the time, taking the photos yourself can allow for much more flexibility and experimentation. If you don’t like the lighting, you can tweak it. You can try several different backgrounds until you find what fits your work best. Keep the background simple. You want your product to stand out. It’s easy to be distracted by the background when you have a small product. Sometimes the look and feel of your store demands images with real-life situations. If you’re going for the hip and modern boutique style it’s fine to have more complex backgrounds. Make sure that you show anything you mention in a tag line or the product description. For instance, if you describe how many pockets a bag has, show the pockets! And show as many angles as possible.

Ask yourself what makes sense for your product. Some products are actually much more compelling visually when they are in use. If you plan on selling jewelry, including a photo where someone is actually wearing the piece might be more compelling than a set of photos where the jewelry is simply displayed on some neutral background or styrofoam model.

Ultimately, there is no “right” way to present your product. Take some test pictures and experiment on your own or with your photographer until you find a setup that complements both your item and your brand. Taking the time to have awesome product pictures on your Etsy shop can have a big payoff. Good pictures answer questions and lead to more traffic and more sales.

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