|1) Crescent City Couture 2) Jamie Spinello 3) Jason Hooper|
If people only look at images of your work, what do you want them to take away? What's special about the items you make? How you set your scene can convey this without counting on people to read descriptions. Consider what inspired the piece, how you made it, what materials or tools were involved, how you intend it to be used or displayed. A all natural bath and beauty brand for example can include ingredients to reinforce their main value. Whereas, a seamstress with beautiful handbags could show a woman filling and carrying a purse, conveying form and utility. For 2D work, you might focus more on the story than how it's made or used, staging the piece with what it's based on. All in all, you want to add more depth to your handmade product photos to invite people to consider buying.
|1) Pigsey Art 2) Kimball Prints|
2. If your crafts are wearable, use a model.
What better way to help people envision owning your art than showing it in use on a person just like them? This is especially effective with jewelry and accessories to show scale and matching styles, how it can be worn. For clothing you can help people understand fit better than a garment laying flat.
|1) Kickin' Legs 2) Bolsa Bonita|
3. Demonstrate scale creatively.
Since your online buyers can't hold your crafts until they buy them, it's helpful to show how large or small the piece is (in addition to listing the dimensions in the item description). With that said, you'll look more professional if you use something relevant to show scale as opposed to any common object that you have lying around. As mentioned above, for jewelry, clothing and accessories, a model can be quite effective. For 2D work, consider framing them and setting them on a shelf with related items. Not only does this help depict size, it'll also convey how the piece fits into a potential buyer's space. The materials you used as mentioned above can also help here since most us are familiar with the size of a pen or pencil, a paint brush and other tools as well as paint tubes, spools of wire, etc.
|1) Fartsy Arts 2) Billie Claire Handmade|
5. Keep it simple so you don't distract from your work.
While I am in favor of adding things to your shot to make a scene, be careful that nothing overshadows your pieces. It needs to be obvious that you sell bath bombs for example, not the ceramic dish you've set them in. You can achieve this: 1) by positioning, keeping your art relatively centered and in front of any extras, 2) by size, keeping all of the scene elements smaller than your work, or 3) by minimalism, limiting yourself to just a few related additions.
|1) RhynoClayworks 2) Maman Sucre|
6. Consider the end use of your images.
Last, but not least, before you set out to shoot new photos of your work, it's important to keep in mind how you're going to use them. This should guide your planning. Most art show juries actually want no staging, just your work on a plain backdrop so there are no distractions. The main exception would be if you stage a shot of multiple pieces together on your collection. The storytelling staging comes more into play for online store shots and any you'll use in marketing. This is where you want to help your buyers see the potential in your work. It's not just a bracelet, it's a handmade piece with pearls and silver that will go perfectly with cocktail attire.