Attention, sellers! I have been your faithful blogger for the past two years and I have an important tip for you:
You need to be prepared with photos that represent you and your business.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been working on a blog post spotlighting an excellent person — seller, blogger, figure in the arts-and-crafts world — but they either don’t have a headshot or they send me the most low-quality, blurry photo. It’s driving me crazy!
And here’s the thing — it’s not just the Etsy editors who might come to call. Journalists and other media outlets are interested in the stories of crafters, artists, and small business owners, but in order to take part and get the most out of the exposure, you need to have a mini media kit at hand.
I know, I know, you are creators and you’re busy making things! Yes, I hear you. You are makers of objects and art, not self-portraits! But I’m begging you, take a day to invite a photographer friend to come over and style some photos for you.
Here are the basic shots I look for and what many bloggers and journalists are seeking:
- A nice headshot: This is a portrait that is NOT a fuzzy, grainy photo that you obviously took of yourself with your cell phone. It’s NOT a snapshot cropped to include your ex-boyfriend’s hairy limb draped around your shoulders. This is a high-quality, professional portrait of you looking your best. Like any good portrait, it gets across your vibe and makes you look good. You are the center of the photo, not the Statue of Liberty you’re posed in front of with your group of friends. Want to get artsy? Do it! As long as it intentionally reflects your personality and your brand.
- A photo of your studio or workspace: Use natural light, not flash. If the room is too dark even in the day time, set up some lights. Tidy up your work area, or if a workspace crammed with stuff is your vibe, make sure it’s artfully portrayed.
- A photo of you in the creative process: Have a photographer friend take some action shots of you in the midst of making. Don’t be afraid to strike some natural poses and style these shots as you would a magazine shoot. Arrange your supplies, tools and background just so, make sure your outfit, hair and makeup are done the way you like it. Capture some of the action. Experiment with different angles.
- Your items in context: If you make paintings, show some of your pieces arranged beautifully on a wall. If you’re a potter, show some of your excellent tableware displayed on a kitchen shelf or in a dining room setting. Take some close-up detail shots and some shots that show the whole room. These photos are great for your listings as well as for press outreach.
- Your items against a plain background: Shoot some well-lit shots of your items against a plain white background. Some bloggers and magazines prefer simple photos with solid backgrounds. These make it easier for them to incorporate your items into their posts or spreads. (An item on a white background won’t compete with the design of their website or blog).
- Keep a high resolution version: Have on hand a version that is at least 300 dpi and 2500 pixels across. You can always size it down and send that copy.
Now you’ll be prepared when you get that call from a blogger or journalist, and with these new photos you can get out there and do some outreach of your own. They may not even use these photos, but the images may speak to them and get across the essence of what you’re all about. Here are some of the other uses for these photos:
- About page
- Your blog
- Facebook page
- A blog, magazine, or newspaper interview
- Applications for a grant, artist in residency, gallery show or craft show
- If you’re picked for Featured Seller on Etsy