This may be a relatively short topic for now. It's one of several things that have been on my mind of late.
Part of the way I promote my friends, fellow Arftire artists, and Guild members is through the Collections feature. I try to always create collections that are eligible for publication on the front page. Here's the thing: only the best looking collections get on the front page and the competition is fierce!
Whenever possible, I have my friends who are much more experienced at photography & editing and have much better equipment with which to take the pictures do them for me. In lieu of that, I have read the Artfire photography help guide
- which has helped me to start taking better pictures. There are other, more detailed tutorials
out there as well. I'm not sure if that 2nd one was the one I found so helpful but it looks pretty in depth and reading the help guide and tutorial will go a long way to helping you get to know your camera settings better and take better product shots.
I don't have a fancy camera. I have an Olympus FE-360 8.0 megapixel camera that is nice and compact for taking to the costume events I go to. It's a pretty good camera for the price and size. My quick & dirty picture set-up is a piece of white foam poster board, a piece of cardboard wrapped with white tissue paper, my full spectrum craft light, a miniature size tripod and various knick-knacks from around the house to pose my jewelry with. It's mostly for when I need to post stuff right away/on a tight time schedule. Sometimes these pictures will be replaced when I arrange to have better pictures taken. I can take a decent picture. My partner who has the jewelry tent, light box, and photography lights takes better pictures - like the one referenced in this article. His name is Carl Bergstrom
and if you're local to Seattle you can maybe talk to him about doing photos of your products as well. Some of my shots are also done by my friend and fellow Artfire artist: Jeliza
with whom you might also be able to arrange to get product shots with. I make no promises because it would depend on their schedules and more specific notifications about payment but they are both talented and well worth talking to about it.
It is well worth the time and effort to learn more about photography and seek out people to take great shots of your items in order to get into collections and have a chance at the front page. Why is this important? Traffic. Pure and simple. One of my items was included in a collection that was on the front page for part of the day. I got 190 hits to my shop that day as opposed to the less than 20 I have been averaging most days. I didn't get a sale out of it - yet - but a number of folks looked at my shop who had maybe never seen it before and some of them hot listed my shop or an item in it.
Collections are a great tool for showing people samples of your work and increasing interest in your shop. I've had to skip over people who had bad photos of their items because they didn't look good and, in some cases, I had a hard time identifying what it was they were trying to sell. As someone pretty new to selling on-line and taking product shots let me share with you the most important newbie tips for photographing your items for Artfire:
I hope this helps folks that may not have had the benefit of very helpful friends (like Jeliza) who helped me get started and pointed me to the forums and the help guides when I first arrived. I've been so busy I still haven't made it all the way through them but the 45 day success guide
waits patiently in it's own tab for me to get to as I have time and the Chatterbox Forum has an entire Help Guide section with many tips to help you be all that you can be on Artfire. Good Luck!