Etsy Photography Tips: Are your product photos selling or repelling potential customers?

etsy beginners how to sell on etsy photography Jun 17, 2021

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The power of Etsy listing photos

Are you a brand new seller on Etsy? Are your sales slower than you’d like? I have SO been there! Don’t worry--- we’ll figure it out! Since photos are totally critical to the success of your Etsy shop--- today we're going to chat about some Etsy photography tips. As you analyze your shop and look for ways to increase sales--- I’d suggest you ask yourself this critical question: Are your product photos selling or repelling potential customers?

Back in 2017 when I increased my Etsy shop sales from $25 per month to over $6,000 per month, one of the biggest lessons I learned and implemented was how to give my customer exactly what they were looking for in my Etsy listings.

Here’s my free guide that will show you the "4 Strategies I used to grow my Etsy shop from $25 to $6000+/month" 


We were full swing in the age of Instagram and Pinterest—so I knew my photos were the most important part of my Etsy listings—but what I didn’t realize was that some of my well-intended product pictures were actually sending potential customers away to other shops. (And it wasn't even the primary thumbnail picture! It was other pics in my photo galleries that created confusion instead of answering questions.)

You see, early on in my Etsy shop journey, I only sold reclaimed wood signs.

If you’re unfamiliar with reclaimed wood--- it’s wood that has been repurposed or upcycled. People love that the use of it is planet-friendly and that the wood comes with a story-- a life before it was made into their sign-- and it always has lots of character!

One of the ways that I showcased our beautiful wood is by providing this picture on each listing to show would-be buyers the earthy “back” of a reclaimed wood sign and the high quality hangers we attached to each piece. Now, don’t worry—this wasn’t my primary pic--- those looked great! But this was a pic within the gallery that I intended to help answer some possible customer questions.

In my newbie seller mind, this picture was great! I thought I’d covered all my bases.

 The up-close, clear, well-lit photo shows the beautiful grain of the reclaimed wood.

 The photo shows that we provide the service of attaching a hanger, and we don’t skimp! They’re safe and high quality.

 My finger in the pic reveals the scale/size of the hanger.

 My URL stamp showing “” gives the pic a branding element.

The text I placed on top of the pic reading “Example back of reclaimed wood sign” makes it clear to the shopper what they’re looking at.

BUT—this photo created more questions from customers than anything else I EVER did in my shop.

Can you guess why???

(Try to figure it out! This exercise will help you develop an eagle eye for potential issues with your own photos.)

Here’s the answer:

When shoppers looked at this photo, they thought the hanger was at the very top edge of the sign and would show above the artwork when it was hung. They didn't realize it was attached to a crossbar on the back of the sign more than an inch below the top.


Here’s what the ACTUAL back of the sign looked like--- the hangers are TOTALLY hidden:

But only I knew that since I took the picture. It was unclear to the shopper. I took the hint after I received a few DM’d questions about this and updated my pic. But in the meantime--- how many shoppers moved on to other listings because this important visual element was unclear?

So what’s the moral of the story?

It’s a great reminder that:

  1. People see things differently. What we think is great might be confusing to someone else. 

    For most of life, that’s fine! March to the beat of your own drum! But if you’re wanting to see your Etsy sales grow, find ways to eliminate questions about your products. Study your pictures and product descriptions carefully and look for things that may be unclear.

    I HIGHLY recommend asking 5-10 people to look at your photos and listings as well and have them tell you what they see and what questions they have.

  2. Pay attention to the questions that come up from your customers.

    If one person asks the question, SEVERAL others had the same question--- only rather than asking you, they just moved on to another product in another shop that answered their question in the photos and listing.

    Use shopper questions as clues for opportunities to make your listings better and help more shoppers feel comfortable enough to buy your products.

  3. Photos are THE MOST important part of your shop. They’re your first impression and they will make or break you. 

As you create each listing, spend the greatest amount of effort producing the        pictures. Use them wisely to showcase your product and answer questions the buyer may have.


If you're just getting started on Etsy or you’ve been around for a while and you want to boost your sales, I’d highly recommend you take another look at your listing photos! That primary photo (the thumbnail that shows for your listing) is most important, but your whole gallery tells the story of your product.

A closer look-- and the fresh perspective of some friends or family who don’t help you with your shop—can help you discover whether your product photos selling or repelling potential customers.

Stick with me and we’ll get you rocking and rolling! Let me know in the comments below what questions you have.

Happy Selling!


Lizzie Smiley


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