Dealing with Etsy’s Huge Photos

I know I haven’t posted lately, but I’ve been quite busy in my other life.  Apologies to my faithful readers!  With that out of the way, here we go again…

The majority of Etsy sellers don’t seem at all happy about the “new and improved” photo sizes that go along with the “new and improved” wider pages.  There really aren’t any good solutions, other than the Etsy site adapting to its users’ needs rather than the other way around (but we all know that’s not going to happen!).  But there are a few things you can do to deal with it.

First, let me give you a summary of what’s happening.  I did a post a few months ago explaining how your photos should have a minimum width of 570 pixels.  Thankfully, that hasn’t changed.  But … while in the past you didn’t need to concern yourself too much with the height of your photos, now you do!  The biggest complaints seem to be from sellers who don’t like the idea of shoppers having to scroll down the page just to get to the bottom of the photo — and therefore  the description.  Etsy used to do a pretty nice job handling “vertically oriented” photos, but what the site now does (whether we want it to or not) is display the entire image at 570 pixels wide x whatever height you feed it.  Upload a 570 wide x 1200 high image and that’s exactly what will show on your main listing page.

Okay, so what?  Well, for anyone selling small items that photograph well in a landscape orientation, it’s no big deal.  But if your items (and therefore your photos) are much higher then they are wide, you’ve got a problem.  My wife (click here for her shop), for example, sells doll clothes.  If you look at any of her listings, you’ll see that she likes to have at least a few photos showing the entire outfit on one of her dolls.  Assuming that most folks like to see the doll upright as opposed to laying on a table, she really doesn’t have much choice but to have photos that are almost twice as high as they are wide.  She decided to go with…

Option 1 — Leave the photos as  is, and accept that viewers are going to have to scroll down to get to the description.

A lot of folks don’t like that idea, though.  Well, that’s why they’re called options, right?  Here’s what else you can do:

Option 2 — Include a lot of “wide” background in your photos of “tall” items, and crop your image to a 1:1 or wider aspect ratio.

Option 3 — Using your photo editor, place your “tall” image on a larger white canvas (the Photoshop term) with a 1:1 or wider aspect ratio.

Option 4 — Upload undersized photos (less than 570 pixels wide x a reasonable height) and let Etsy fill in the sides with that ugly taupe(?) color.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger — I already told you that there weren’t any good options.  But I thought I’d at least give you some points to consider so you can decide what’s best for you.

Until next time … Happy Shooting!

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3 thoughts on “Dealing with Etsy’s Huge Photos

  1. Thanks for the *not good* tips!! LOL! Actually, I was just thinking of you lately and wondering if you wouldn’t mind taking a look at a few of my item’s photos. I have been diligently working on your tips and have been using the gray card for white balance.

    I still cannot get white/light items to photograph well, but I think I’ve improved a great deal on the other photos. All 4 of my featured items are new, all Christmas cards are new. Anything with other than a black background are NOT new.

    I’m just hoping to get a bit of your criticism and hopefully encouragement!! I apologize if I am “out of bounds” asking you to do this.

    Blessings,
    ~Pam
    PaperCraftLady

    • Hi Pam,

      Well, your shop looks great. Without the item in front of me, I can’t tell which colors are correct and which ones you’re having problems with. But I do see one simple indicator that tells me that you’re something very right. What I mean is that all five photos in any of your “new” listings all look the same (from a color and lighting perspective). I know that might not sound like much, but if your lighting and white balance were marginal, slight differences in position or angle or even camera-to-subject distance would have an effect on the colors. Take a look at some random Etsy shops — it’s not too hard to find listing photos that illustrate my point.

      Hope this helps!

      Mike

  2. Thank you so much, Mike! Yes, I know what you mean, in fact, I just redid the photos in one of my listings as they were all varying degrees of lightness. So much so that I’ll bet folks didn’t know which version was true!

    Well I appreciate you taking the time to poke around in my shop and give me your opinions!! Also, thanks for the encouragement!

    I have been missing your blog posts. They are very helpful! (not to put pressure on you, I know what it is like to be busy!!!)

    Blessings on your day,
    ~Pam
    PaperCraftLady

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