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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Etsy photos - what's good and what's bad?

etsy staging objects
When I opened my first etsy shop, which is now aaaaaaallllllll the way back in March 2008, soon celebrating my 5th anniversary!
I fell in love with etsy, here was the opportunity to see what people made of my work directly, did they look at it? and , did they like it?
Although the honeymoon is now over, and my shops sometimes are no better treated than stepchildren, I am still there, for 4 reasons...... and more.....
etsy staging papers and stuff
1) it has made a MUCH better presenter and photographer of my work out of me!
without a doubt! I now take at least reasonably good photos of everything I do really,
and they are all kept in one place (well... 3 etsy shops ;o) and in a neat folder in my computer 
labelled "etsy".  All with a nice happy snappy, nothing complicated in cameraway!

2)  I have over the years, through my 3 shops, "met" customers I would never have met otherwise,
and they have inspired me to create new work!! This is for me quite an enormous reason to stay on.
Working as a full time artist, is at times, a very lonesome profession, ( ahhh, I can hear how
sorry you feel for me;o) and taking into account the courses I give in my studio and the very          inspiring people I have met through them, I still love when the feedback comes in on someones etsy purchase.

3)   I have also over the years, learnt from other etsy sellers, I have seen their fun photos and their fun
efforts at presenting their work so it catches the eye.... and some of them are masters!!
So, as for a "free" masterclass in presentation, etsy is your place ! I should of course be giving you some examples , like

4) and reason no 4........ I love getting my whole "etsy set up" in place..... I am lucky enough to live in a land of mountains and beach and country side with fruit trees right outside my front door, so I collect, on my walks with Becky, over a couple of days, feathers, stones and shells, fruit and leaves and twigs and all kinds of other things, amongst them a little black and red dictionary that is just so "chic" somehow...did not find that on my walk:o)
all of these are natural or nature made things I hope nobody is going to think is included with the print ;o))) and I am not joking, it is not that easy to stage something you made, with other things, as they invariably, I think, distract from what you are supposed to look at.
I want the etching, the linocut, the monoprint or whatever it is that I made (yes..... all handmade on etsy, right...) to be what you see, at the same time, as I don't want it to be so sterile. Most of my photos are of course only the image..... that is what I am selling, but I have to my surprise, over the years noted, that when I take the time to place that image in a somewhat homey environment, then it gets more views!
etsy stage photo frame
5) ahhhhh, you thought I was finished? I did too, but apparently not so , a simple photo frame, like this cheap white Ikea one, in A4 size,  can make all the difference! it gives the viewer a chance to see what the print will look like framed. And as most of my work has a tendency to look good in a white frame, so much the better! It would be easy though to do what my sister does, she picks up old frames at the fleamarkets, for next to nothing, to frame what she hangs on the walls, and I should/could do the same to get some variation on my frame theme!! (on my to-do list) for my linocuts in it's new life as my shop for my new etchings, used to be for my childrens prints..... they are now being moved to a new Flickr account that should be in operation round February time! used to be for my drawings, but got so bored when all of a sudden there were gazillions of people drawing on dictionaries!

Happy Staging!


  1. Hi Mariann! A belated Merry Christmas and (a not yet belated) Happy New Year to you! I love Etsy, too, although, I fall in and out of love frequently. I have never tried photographing my work with a little bit of nature, but I think it goes well with what you do. Very complimentary! I love to see how a print looks framed, and also something in the picture to give it scale (even though I know the measurements are there, I still like to see it). Your work is so charming that it really doesn't need a thing to sell it. Happy 2013! xox

  2. Hej Mariann! This is a good list, with some interesting thoughts.
    I like to "stage" my photos too, though with the awful light levels we get here in winter, it's sometimes all I can do to get a decent image against a plain white background! I have an assortment of attractive pens, which I put in some shots; it looks nice, but also gives some idea of scale - when you crop everything to be seen in Etsy's square little photo boxes, it's helpful to give some idea of how big a book is. I do try to include at least one "staged" shot with each listing - it does help people to imagine how they might use an object - or who they might give it to!
    I do like to see artwork presented in a frame and/or hung on a wall. It does give a more "homelike" feel to it and it's nice to see it in a "real" environment. A plain frame is good, as it enhances the painting/print, without being a big distraction.
    I love your collection of objects above - nice natural items and some good colour. Nostalgic for the village orange trees....ahhhhh.... Somehow you know, I find it hard to be sorry for you, working "all alone" in your studio - high up at the top of a beautiful Spanish village, with that blue sky, warm sunshine (mostly!), views of hills and sea.... Somehow I never find myself saying "Oh, Poor Mariann, what a life...." ;-)
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts & ideas! x