Tutorial: Get Etsy Friendly Photos!

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White background cutout images are the best when it comes to being noticed on Etsy for treasuries and such. Dull pictures just don’t show your product in the best light- literally! I know my way of doing this is a bit rough and ready, but it gives a bright white finish with bright colours to your images in a quick and easy way. Here’s how I do my photos for my Etsy shop, I hope it is useful. You will need Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to follow this to the letter, but I’m pretty sure you could do this in other programs with a bit of creative thinking.

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Take your product picture on a white background at the angle you want to show. I’m using the side of this bag as I like to show different angles as part of my listing. Get as much of the white in the image as possible and take the image without flash with as much natural light as you can get on it. Use the lowest ISO you can get away with in the conditions on your camera, or simply leave it on auto if you’re not sure. Get the picture onto your computer and open in Photoshop.

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Crop your image if it needs it. I make mine square but you can do whatever you feel is right. If there are any areas not covered by your white background sheet, paint over them roughly with white.

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Using a feather of 1-2 pixels (using the feather box in the top bar) and either the polygonal lasso or pen tool, click around the outside of your item neatly, following all of the bumps and then join together to make a selection (if you’re using the pen tool you’ll need to make your path a selection). It’s better to be slightly inside the product than slightly outside. Go to the program bar and click Select> Invert to select just the background.

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Go to Image> Adjustments> Levels and use the white dropper on the darkest spot of the background to turn it white, you may need to click a few times as sometimes an area stays grey as it is darker than where you clicked. Just keep going until you have found that darkest spot. Click OK, then Ctrl and D together to deselect. Repeat steps for other areas inside the product, in my example I need to do the same for the area inside the strap.

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If the colours of the item in general are not quite right, you might need to adjust the brightness. Go back into layers and try moving the positions of the white, black and grey sliders on the graph slightly until the item looks as you want it to. Go into Filter> Noise> Despeckle to get rid of any grittiness created by taking the photo in lower light. Save and upload!

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3 Comments

  1. Posted October 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Nice bag 😉

  2. Posted October 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Taking decent photos is the bane of my life – especially in the Winter! This is a great tute. I used to have a limited version of photoshop, which I loved, but I inherited a mac about a year and a half ago and now I’d LOVE even to have ‘paint’ back!

  3. Sheila McColgan.
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Very good tut on cleaning up pics.

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