Show It Off: Tips for Photographing your Projects

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Part of selling your work is your presentation to potential customers, so it’s important that you put some thought into your displays for selling at art and craft shows and have crisp, clean images that you can post for online selling. Keep in mind that no display or photo can overcome poor workmanship. You have to put your best efforts into everything you create. But when you do, you want to make sure your customer doesn’t silently wonder what it is and move on rather than taking the time to ask.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of putting together a display or photo is, “Will the customer understand what the product is that I’m selling?” Some items must include a demonstration of exactly what or how the product is used. I see so many products just displayed or photographed in a haphazard way and I really have no idea what the product is or why I should buy it.
Note this example, do you know what it is?


My original guess was a place mat. Turns out it’s really a great bag for your hair tools! This second photo (below) will sell the product! All I needed was some props — now I know what it’s used for and I have a visual sense of its size. The buyer doesn’t have to read any sales material, search for dimensions, or wonder “what IS it?” The image sells the product quickly.



So whether you use props or add signage “Perfect travel bag for your blow dryer and heat-safe for your curling iron”, make sure there’s no doubt what you’re selling!

By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert


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  1. says

    Although I agree that styling your product with props the help explain the product’s story and give a sense of scale, I think the bottom photo still needs quite a bit of reworking to really show off the product well.

    The light is causing a bright reflection off of the flat iron and I think it would be better to not show the brand name of the flat iron because it distracts from your own brand. Some depth of field and a lighter backdrop would also be helpful here. Tucking an accessory into the bag would be a better way to show the product’s use.

  2. says

    I definitely agree with this great idea, but I’m not sure these photos illustrate your point very well. I still have no idea what to do with this product in the second photo. If you hadn’t said what it is, I would be wondering why you didn’t clear the area before taking the photo. Actually showing the bag in use seems like a better way to make it clear. If I could see a blow dryer in the bag, then I wouldn’t wonder why it was surrounded by hair tools.

  3. Mary says

    I totally agree with using props or signage. I have been to so many craft fairs where items were laid out on a table with no explanation as to what it was or what to use it for. I am going to be in my first craft fair next month and am really thankful for all of these helpful tips. I plan to make a lot of signs on the computer to display with my craft items; also I’m going to be sure the price is clearly shown. Thanks for all your help!

  4. Terri H. says

    I agree with how it is displayed, having the actual use in view aka the curling irons and what not actually in the item in question, and have another shot of the actual product by itself. I make jewelry, and when I see pictures of others they usually have two views, one with just the piece, and another with the piece in use.

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