Monday, January 5, 2009

Am I worthy?

We see versions of this question posted daily on the Etsy forums. Are my photos treasury worthy? Why am I never picked for the Etsy front page? Answers abound in the form of photography tips and tricks, and networking advice. In my opinion, what most of us are missing in our own photography is the vital element of perspective. How do your photos look side by side with those that are appearing on the font page? Using Etsy's poster sketch, you can easily check for yourself and, in some cases make adjustments to your existing photos to make them work.



First, go to poster sketch. (I saved mine to my desktop by clicking "page" and "save as" in my browser bar, now I can click on it anytime and get to work.) Load the sketch with the item(s) of yours that you want to test along with items you have seen on the front page. I started with the photo above because I thought it was so great and I could not understand how so many front pages featuring these colors could get posted and not one of them feature my bag. What I discovered was that while my bag was photogenic, showing it in its entirety was keeping it out of treasuries. There was too much white space and the photo lost all of its punch. After cropping the photo closer, it becomes treasury worthy. Here is a screen shot of the finished sketch. My bag is in the lower left corner.


list of sellers in this sketch in order of appearance: outoftheflames, randomscraps, humbledaisyhandmade, ragnazidnar, livepoultry, petalandpink, thepaintedlily, rachel323, khphillips, debbyaremdesigns, patapri, studiocherie, studiocherie, sagegold, rachel323, elephannie

Using this method, I have discovered that some of my bags need a fresh photo shoot. The last photo in the third row of the poster above is a detail shot of a cute bag, but I am afraid that the fabric is a lot better in person than it is in the photos. This shot might work a little better, but I am afraid it is still too washed out and small for the front page. The door and the brick wall is more interesting than the bag. Can you be brutally honest with yourself? I have to accept that this bag is not front page material and never will be.


Here is another sketch I put together with one of my bags in each row. Each row could be the start of a complete treasury. I think they hold up to scrutiny along side the most popular sellers. So now I don't have to ask if my photos are treasury worthy, I can check them myself.

sellers appearing in this sketch in order of appearance: rachel323, studiocherie, larimeloom, LittleSparrowNest, studiocherie, makool, sherrytruitt, redrubyrose, totusmel, dillondesigns, studiocherie, maryandangelika, paintedmetal, studiocherie, livepoultry, imagesofbeauty

45 comments:

glentwistle said...

Cherie, this is a wonderful blog and very well written.

StudioCherie said...

Thanks, Gail. I appreciate you!

creativeapples said...

wow!! What a great idea!!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this, and to share it with us!!! I hope to see your bags on the front page all the time now!!! Good luck!

Maren at Ionascloset said...

What a clever idea - I'm going to give it a try. Thanks!

Ferragamo Studio said...

Now that's using your noodle. That's a fun way to learn how to play with your photos for maximum impact.

Miss Courageous said...

great tips, I'm sharing your blog with my local street team, hope you don't mind!

artsyclay said...

Excellent idea! I'll have to try that.

StudioCherie said...

Thank you for the comments! Do feel free to share this.

SeamsVictorian said...

Cherie, great job on the blog article. I think that will really help a lot of people!

Petal & Pink said...

What a brilliant idea! Thanks for this, I'm going to have to give it a try! (Thanks for including my necklace, too I found your blog through my google alerts!)

kim* said...

very cool! thanks

Cindy and Matt said...

What a great idea!!! Found your blog through a forum post - love it and am adding you to my regular reading list. Thanks!!

StudioCherie said...

Thank you Cindy and Matt, I hope you enjoy what you read here.

laijen said...

Thank you so much! I have so much to learn about running my store on Etsy. I didn't even know about the poster sketch. Thank for the tip!

Lizardo said...

Such great advice! Using a front pager as a benchmark is a wonderul way to see if your photos are up to par.

Anda said...

I think this is so brilliant. Thank you for sharing! I tweeted this to Etsy's Twitter followers just now.

Sara said...

That's such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. :)

JuliaA said...

i saw this when you posted to flickr about it and promptly tried it with some of my own photos--they need work. it's a great way to reconsider photo quality and composition! i do a lot of treasuries, and after seeing your idea i realized that making treasuries had really helped my eye for others' good photos. now i just need to figure out how to apply that to my own photography!

Judy Nolan said...

This is a very "common sense" approach to analyzing your photos. Thanks for the tip!

Annette F. Tait said...

What a well written and presented article Cherie, about a most pertinent point!

I, too, have wondered about showing only part of my Arabella bags, or baby hares. I tried out a small test and discovered that close-ups attracted very little attention for me. Interesting!

However, I love the idea of close-ups, half hidden, waiting to be revealed!

I might test again!
thank you kindly, Annette

Studio√ČLAN said...

Nicely done -thank you for being so generous with your experience -here and in the Storque article.

Studio618 said...

Cherie, you explained the cropping of photos in a way that I think I understand better now. Can't thank you enough.

chic beads by germaine said...

Great insight! Thanks!

City Chic said...

Extremely helpful! Thanks for sharing!

Hey Buttons ! said...

That's a great idea! I'm going to give this a try, thanks:)

BeadsForever said...

Good info. Thanks.

sewbutterfly said...

Cherie, thanks for the info. and I love your shop. tagged you as a favorite on etsy.

LeelaBijou said...

Absolutely great post, very helpful and well written!

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Thanks so much. As with others, this is my biggest problem. I make something that I think is adorable but as soon as I look at my pictures, I say "UGH! That is nowhere near as cute as what it looks like in person!"

random moments said...

You have such great advice, I think my jewelry needs a new photo shoot now... :)

Salzanos said...

Awesome tip, !!!!!! I am going to do that today!

Amy Jaz said...

I never knew what poster sketch was! This was very helpful! Thanks for post.

blossomnbird said...

That cropping of the photo...So clever!! Thanks for the great info...I'm off to play with photo sketch :)

Jeanetta said...

Great Blog, Helped alot, Thanks
Ancestor Vintage

SpiritMama said...

Thanks for the great tips, I really get it now!

Moondog said...

I never would have thought of doing this. What a great idea!! I tend to get complacent about my pics. This would help give me a fresh perspective.

Moondog said...

artsyclay, i love your avatar.

Gifted Designs said...

Hi there...:)

I'm new to your blog, but I have a feeling I'll be walking into it often enough from now on...*lol*

I've actually done what you suggest with my items and the ones I felt were lost either got reshot, or the pictures were moved around so that the most appealing treasury picture was first.

I actually did a complete shop revamp some time ago seeing as I felt my items were well shot, but, like your bag on the white background, rather uninteresting.

Since I've done that, I've had sales and people have been treading the path to my shop step.

I really do feel this year is going to be my year and I'm in the process of getting the business side of things understood. It's people like you who help me do this...so thank you...:)

The Hatdiva said...

Hah! You're a hop/skip away from me. I live near Lewiston, ID. Maybe you've seen my hats at the Inland Crafts Show?? Nice blogging...FP here I come.

One question: What brand/model number camera do you have??

beadsnbangles said...

These are great tips. Thank you.

Stacie said...

Great article- thanks. I'm going to give my own pix an objective look & reshoot them with this in mind. Appreciate you sharing your ideas ;-)

Il fait si beau said...

Great article! Thank you for sharing your tips! Merci!

Nyx Enchantments said...

What an eye opener! Thank-you so much for such informative information!

Laura K. Aiken said...

Thanks so much for the time spent on putting this together. Now let's see if I can pull it off, too. :)

Calyx Ann said...

Great idea! Thanks for the walk through!