Etsy Handbook – Camera and Equipment

The very first Etsy article I read was entitled Choosing Your Camera and Equipment

As Etsy sellers there are four types of cameras to consider:

  • smartphone camera:

  • compact (or point-and-shoot) cameras

  • DSLR cameras

  • mirrorless system cameras

The camera tools to consider to take REALLY GOOD product photos such as:

  • lenses

  • tripods

  • Camera remotes and triggers

  • seamless backdrops

  • lighting tools

    • bounce cards and reflectors

    • softbox lights

  • light boxes and light tents

  • external flashes

  • flash diffusers

My First Camera 

When I started my YouTube Channel, my husband and I purchased a Sony Handycam 9.2 Megapixel HD Video Recording Camcorder to make craft tutorials, which is almost likecompact (or point-and-shoot) camera.

It has still photography and video recording capabilities.

After getting my DIY Craft Tutorial Channel established, I opened up my Etsy Store. I continued to use the same camera for picture taking.

From a personal point of view, taking still photos, the Sony Handycam performs a decent job capturing pictures as long as the camera stays mounted onto a studio stand , hoovering over an object that is laying flat on its back, facing towards up to the camera, then maneuvering either the product or adjusting the studio stand to get the desired framed image seconds before snapping a picture. By taking a picture this way, most times it felt like I was looking through a microscope to view a lab specimen!

On the other hand, if I had an object that was propped up in a light box posed in front of the camera, it was just as tedious…as the camera does not come with a remote, or a tripod, and is extremely light in weight, the camera shakes a little even while held tightly in my dominant hand…after applying the slightest pressure of the snap button to take a still picture – so that meant, the pictures taken even after multiple tries were not of good quality.  I had to take multiple photo shots of the same item multiple times to get a picture that was Etsy worthy.  This is neither an efficient or smart way to work!

So for example, if I had 50+ sale items ready to sell with the only task left was to take pictures, using this camera, would take more than an 8 hour work day.

A Tripod for the Handicam

After a considerable amount of wasted time of taking poor quality photos, we purchased a tripod. Setting it up did not involve any tears or frustration…(the best feature of this product), which was definitely a happy bonus!

In the corner of my work office, I created a  stationary photo shop:

  • Using an Ikea table as a sturdy foundation photo taking area

  • Placed a light box in the middle of table

  • Created the ideal product placement within the light box

  • Installing handicam on the tripod

  • Making proper adjustments to lighting, camera, and tripod

Actual setting up took the most time to do, which of course can be done a day ahead. This took us at least 40 – 50 minutes to do in total.  However, the end result was worth it… because this time, we took good quality Etsy-Ready photos. The only tip I suggest before snapping photos  is to place one hand on the tripod to reinforce its steadiness then go for it…snap the photo! My husband and I found that to be effective. After 10 photo shots we checked if we needed to make any further modifications or adjustments to product placements lighting, tripod height, camera settings, light box assignment by critiquing our photos.

Backdrops

Backdrops are necessary in my work. For still photography and video recording,  I use white backdrops. Light bounces off  the color white, it makes objects appear brighter.  I use the following all in the color WHITE:

On my Etsy store, my items are placed on a white background. There is a lot of effort in depicting the truest color in my handcrafted items on the computer screen and in person – because it truly does make a difference in customer satisfaction.

*A good tip to keep in mind when using these tools is to keep them crisp and clean. Obvious stains, creases and wrinkles become easy visual distractions.

There is more on this topic, stay tuned….

Just as an extra bonus side note to this post…

If you are considering making youtube videos, the Sony Handycam 9.2 Megapixel HD Video Recording Camcorder is a good starter camera.

  • It’s a reasonably priced camera for making videos;
  • A very reliable camera;
  • User friendly
  • Light weight 

In all of my videos,  you will notice that my camera is hoovering over my hands and working area. This is because, I keep my camera  in a stationary place, I use a Knox Gear Professional Microphone Studio Stand.

Reference: Choosing Your Camera and Equipment; https://www.etsy.com/seller-handbook/article/choosing-your-camera-and-equipment/144077583900

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