4:33 PM

Etsy Bag Photography Tutorial

(A portion of this tutorial was featured on EtsyMarketing.org)

I don’t make purses and bags, but I do like them an awful lot. I’ve seen a lot of lovely bags on Etsy hampered by minor issues that could easily be corrected.

First, invest in a light box! All the Photoshoping in the world can’t make your photos as good as a great light box setup. Believe me, I learned this the hard way with my own shop.

Don’t think you can’t have a lightbox unless you’re willing to buy an expensive professional one? You actually don’t even need to invest much money. There are tons of tutorials online for how to make one for cheap (or nothing) available online. My current light box cost me a whopping ZERO dollars to make using this tutorial and items I had already. It took maybe a half hour tops to put together and has made my photos noticeably better.

Second, a bag is a 3-D object and customers will want to investigate how it looks from many angles before they decide to buy it. I’ve seen too many Etsy bag stores who just show their bags from the front and top and then call it a day. Show us the back… show us the side… show us important detailing! Make your poses exciting using props and angled poses. Treat your bag like a supermodel!

Need some help thinking about good poses for your bags? Look to expensive bag advertisements for inspiration. They’ll give you ideas for ways to stage your photographs and angles to try out. Also check out online stores that specialize in bag sales. They’ll give you examples of the types of views online customers want to see before they purchase a bag online.

Third, make sure your bag looks crisp and sturdy in your photos. It makes me sad when I see bags that are made in beautiful fabrics with excellent construction, but look sloppy, slouchy, and wrinkled in photos. There’s a reason when you buy a bag in a department store it often is stuffed with tissue paper: this helps it keep its shape, which makes it more appealing and makes it look more expensive. So when you’re getting ready to photograph your bag, give it some internal structure by stuffing it. Also remember to press it so it has no wrinkles and even consider a light starching so it behaves the way your want it to. In particular, make sure the opening of your bag looks crisp and sturdy in your photos. For some reason this one really sticks out for me. I love seeing that shot of the inside of the bag, but sometimes it can be the shot that makes the bag look the worst.

In order to make your bag look as luscious and desirable as possible, I recommend trying to get the opening to look as much like an elongated oval as possible; you want the opening to look symmetrical along the middle and have no ends flopping this way and that. Bag pictures where the mouth of the bag is asymmetrical or wrinkled never look as inviting to me as symmetrical ones… in fact, I’d go so far as to say they make your bags look cheap; and your bags are NOT cheap! Try this out; I think you’ll be happy with the results, even if it means having to fuss with the mouth of the bag a bit.

I hope I’ve helped you think about what tweaks you can do to market your bags better by making your pictures make Etsy shoppers covet wildly!