How to take your own product photos…..on a budget!

diy product photosSo you want to start your own online shop but a huge obstacle is standing in your way: Money. You just don’t have enough of it!

It’s ok, I get that. When I started Shop Lioness I was working with a shoestring budget- literally. I was B-R-O-K-E. But I didn’t let that discourage me from opening up shop. While lighting kits, DLSR cameras, and backdrops do give online shops that “professional” look, there’s nothing wrong with starting where you’re at and improving as you go!

Don’t believe me? Take a look at my first pictures vs my newer ones:

shop lioness shop lioness

The first screenshot was from late 2012 and the second one is from 2014 (and how it also looks now). It’s really ok to start small and grow as you go!

Now, on to the tips. Here’s how you can take your very own product photos on a budget:

Get creative

One of my favorite new shops, Pixistics, has amazing product photography. Part of what makes her photos so great is her use of a bright blue background.

pixistics hippo crochet baby

This allows her photos to stand out amongst a sea of Etsy sellers, and makes her cute products pop! Want to know what she uses as a backdrop? A pillow set!  You would have never guessed huh?

Also, how cute is that hippo baby bonnet??

The takeaway: Be creative. Utilize the space around you!

Use natural light

If you don’t have a lighting kit quite yet, don’t worry. Just use natural sunlight. It’s effective and free- two of my favorite qualities!

pixistics baby

The takeaway: Follow Pixistics’ lead by shooting your product photos in the daytime, near a window. If you don’t mind being one with nature, you could even venture outdoors!

Use whatever camera you can get your hands on

Honestly, smartphones now-a-days have great cameras! Don’t believe me? Well what if I told you that this product photo was taken with a cellphone:


Crazy right? I can’t say this enough: Use what you have!

The takeaway: While you save up for that fancy DLSR, use your phone or whatever camera you have. Just make sure the photos are crisp and clean, not blurry. You want your customers to see all the details of the product.

Selling clothing? You knooooow I have an example for you! Joules Jewels Vintage took advantage of natural sunlight and used a colorful garage door as the backdrop for this lovely vintage dress:


This photo makes you want to buy that dress, doesn’t it? 



jump into online sales

Want to start your own boutique but don’t know where to start? You know I’ve got you covered! My e-book ‘Jump Into Online Sales’ walks you through the process of creating your very own online shop. Check it out!


One last tip? Use a photo editing software to enhance your product photos. If you know how to use Photoshop or it’s free alternative, Gimp, then you’re golden. If not, there’s an awesome (free) and easy editing app called Fotofuze, made especially for Etsy sellers. Check it out!

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