At the Etsy Success symposium there was, of course, a lot of talk about photos and how important a photo can be to selling work, especially online, because it’s really all you’ve got to lure people in. There was a tiny bit of discussion about “story photos” and I made a little note to explore that more later on, and so I did!
Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, I already knew everything I wanted to know about this. I spend enough time doing Etsy stuff to know the benefits of story photos, but I also know that Fact photos are important as well.
Fact photos are the ones that tell us what we are buying, they focus on the product and the product’s details- the item that is for sale, is the center of attention. Normally, fact photos include only the item, and maybe some sort of scale informing object. They show us the colors, the stitching, the hardware, the fabrics… the details. They take the place of touching the item in real life – the top, bottom, side, and front shots of the item are all fact photos, they give us the facts about the item that we would normally obtain by picking it up and moving it around. They are necessary.
I consider most of my product photos to be fact photos.
Story photos set a mood, they make us feel something – they feature the item, but the item isn’t necessarily the focus of the photo. These are the photos we tend to respond to most… the ones that show us the dreamy/ nostalgic/ good times the item might provide us with… they put the item in context – how can it be used? What does it look like with other things? If it is wearable, how does it look on? These are the photos that we look at and think “owhhh pretty!”
Sometimes, story photos look more like photographs than product photos, and sometimes the item is very small compare to the whole image and is maybe even “lost” in the atmosphere of the photo – which is actually perfectly fine. We respond to this because the image is beautiful and that sets us in the mood to love things for the sentiment and possibility for beauty they provide us with…. you follow?
Here are some really great story photos
I think that having little bit of both is important. I like it when I see a shop that leads with either story photos and end with facts, or vice versa. Some shops don’t need both and have mastered one and have made it work for them. Of course, story photos can give the facts as well, and you always have the descriptions for the minute details and measurements and such – people respond to photos though, not measurements.
I want to add story photos to my fact photos – to show where hoops can be displayed or how, or how they can be added to gifts… and having a model wear some necklaces. I will be trying this out soon, and I’m pretty excited about it.
Do you have a preference? Are you using both in your shop?