Yeshen Venema



To view/download my presentations for The Design Trust, ETSY, Crafty Fox Market, Craft Council and New Creative Markets click the links below.

For ETSY/Crafty Fox Market at the 2015 Manmade show.
Manmade Product Photos that Sell

For Creative Hub at The Fashion&Textiles Museum
Creative Hub: Visual Styling

For the New Designers/Design Trust Start up Day 2015
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Sales

Many of my previous presentations with The Design Trust and New Creative Markets are available at
Over 50,000 views!

I asked some industry friends - PRs, Bloggers, Press and clients - for some actionable tips on how to get the most out of your shoot and how to use your images and video. Please share this page, I will continue to update it with new tips. The page is part of my How to Prepare for your Photoshoot guide.

Minor Goods
Simple Shape - Sue Pryke
Blogs always need lifestyle shots. I have noticed that cut-outs really don’t do well and I have had second thoughts about featuring someone who only has cut out shots because they just don’t draw readers to the page.

The other thing - and I realise that this might be a cost issue - is that I do need some variation between the lifestyle shots. I had one company who had gone to the expense of doing some great shots for their pendant lights but it was different lights hanging over exactly the same table and accessories - ended up looking like one shot and I couldn’t really use it. So even if you just swap the accessories but leave the background the same, try and bring lots of accessories to the shoot - you probably can’t assume the photographer has everything. That way you can get three or four shots of the same product - this is also a good idea if you are approaching lots of blogs (for example) different bloggers like different things so you can get lots of coverage but it will always look fresh because the images will be different.
— Kate Watson-Smyth, Mad About the House

No matter how amazing your product is, without decent images the press will not feature it. Good professional 300dpi photography is worth its weight in gold and essential if you want to be taken seriously in a competitive industry. My tip would be to make sure you properly budget for professional photography, spend as much as you can afford. Remember these images aren’t just for press, they can be used for marketing, your website and social media. Good photography isn’t cheap, so if cost is an issue, club together with a group of like minded designers and and spread the cost of the session.
— David Gorrod, Seen PR
Make sure it’s clear from your photos what the product actually is - include props which help show scale but make sure they don’t overwhelm the product itself.
— Sinead Koehler, Crafty Fox Market
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have good product shots when you sell online. A customer can’t see, feel or hold your product if they buy it online, so your images have to work hard to make up for that.

Although press often want cut-out shots, lifestyle images tend to work best in your online shop because they give people an idea of how your product can be used and help them imagine it in their home or how it will look when it’s worn. Use the five picture slots available on your listing to show your product from different angles, highlight important details and textures, and even how it will be packaged, and introduce a sense of size and scale with well-chosen props. If you can include a cut-out shot as one of the five too, that shows the press you have those available if they need them. It’s also worth including either a work-in-progress photo, a shot of your studio or you designing your products if you can, because those kind of images help people understand the making process and feel a connection with you as the maker.

A good product shot is one that is clickable, makes your product look desirable and tells a customer everything they need to know. Get it right and a brilliant photograph can sell your product for you.
— Camilla Westergaard, Folksy
Hend Krichen
Don’t be too abstract, too cluttered or too contrived: the press need photos that clearly show the product and how it is used.

Props: keep a note of where they are from as sometimes journalists want to attribute them in the copy so their readers can buy their own – I nearly came a cropper with this recently when a magazine wanted to know where the christmas decorations on a tree came from and they were Yeshen’s vintage Swedish ones, luckily I found something similar on-line!

Cut-outs: work out ahead of time which the best products for cut-outs are, the ideal ones are a strong colour and interesting shape, so think dark blue coffee-pot not white cushion. Make sure you leave time during the shoot to get them; beautiful lifestyle photography is great for web and brochures but realistically it’s those cut-outs that often get you coverage in the new product pages and gift guides.
— Gina Channel, Fable Media