BtnEtsy Talk Review – Focus on Photography with Lyndsey James

For those of you reading this that have an Etsy shop you’ll know the importance of having good, clean, bright and pretty images of your work in order to entice potential customers to click on and ultimately buy your products. There are literally thousands of sellers on Etsy all competing for that click, which, at the end of the day is made by you clicking the button on your camera. Easy to do it is not, in fact it can often be one of the most disheartening and frustrating aspects of selling products online, all you need is a little knowhow…

The month of July is all about photography at the Etsy School and there is a certain young lady that is proving herself to be an oracle of photography knowledge for crafters. Lyndsey James, founder and director of Photocraft®, has been working with Etsy for this module, sharing photography facts, commercial insights and advice to get us all clicking our camera buttons in a more effective way.


Last Thursday evening the Brighton Etsy team were lucky enough to have the lady herself talk for us at The Old Market in Hove, the talk and following Q&A discussion lasted for about two hours, this blog post couldn’t nearly cover all that was shared but it can point you in the right direction to get learning for yourself.

Lyndsey first discussed a great idea of visualising your customer, creating mood boards to work to and really understanding who you are designing your product for. She explained that having this distinctive client in mind really helps you to focus your brand image and in turn know what outcome you want from a photoshoot – having a direction in the first place and an image in mind means that your photographs are going to be relevant and do the job that you want them to.


This visualisation also includes thinking of your product as a living thing, on a journey, this in turn can create ideas for how and where you could shoot your product. The example used was the exciting life that a bag leads, draped over a chair, sitting by the door with a pair of shoes waiting for its owner to take it on an outing, hanging over a shoulder etc… all images that can easily be shot once you know what you want.


Lyndsey covered the technical aspects of shooting, the importance of knowing your camera, what it is capable of and using it properly. Understanding aperture so that you can achieve those lovely product in focus shots while the background is blurry. Understanding lighting, for the most part sunlight, and how to use and diffuse it. Understanding props, what to use and importantly what not to use. I also think that she mentioned something to do with ALWAYS USING A TRIPOD – a lesson that I have learnt from Lyndsey, my old habit of being lazy and not bothering with a tripod has died hard, it is actually more effort not to use one. I’m still working on using the self time or remote tip but i’ll get there!…


The business Photocraft®, that is the brainchild of Lyndsey, is a lifeline for crafters who are determine to make their online creative business work. If you struggle with shots, or even do ok but want to take it to the next level Lyndsey offers amazingly well priced online courses that you can study in the comfort of your own home. Once you’ve got the knowledge and understanding then you’ve got it for life and you really can have “one of those Etsy shops” the ones that make you a bit sick with envy.

If you didn’t make it to the talk then lets be honest, you did miss out but fear not you have more chances to learn, there is a new series of one hour tutorials that are just £10, you can watch a lovely movie about them here and you can book onto them here.

Lyndsey is super kindly doing a free webinar for Etsy Sellers which is running alongside this months photography Etsy School Module. It is happening THIS MONDAY – JULY 7TH at 8pm BST. You can sign up for the free webinar here.

Lyndsey has also written a series of blog posts for Etsy and you can read the first one here

For those of you that came along, particularly Lyndsey, thank you for coming. My stomach is always in knots before the event, the arrival of the speaker and a full house soon disperses that! You should have gotten yourself a sticker and badge, get tweeting you badge images to @photocraftTM to be in with a chance to win a free Photocraft® workshop.


So that is that, there can’t really be any excuses not to tackle the big scary monster that is product photography with this bright young lady around!

See you at the next event…



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