In the Etsy world presentation is very important. It's a virtual world and the main thing that draws customers is the photo.
A photo says a thousand words and this is especially important when your tactile senses won't help you, as in online.
There are a couple things to keep in mind when going for a photo that will represent your item, and draw the customer in.
The first thing to consider is taking a decent photo to start out with. Photo editing comes later, and is a huge part of it. But it's so much easier to start out with a good picture. Editing can't fix blurriness, and you don't want to spend all your time photo editing anyway.
When I first started selling online I took great care (as best I could) in my photo taking. I took my pictures against rolled out white paper, stuck to the wall and over the desk and made sure it was well lit, but not direct sun. One major drawback I had was that I was then staying with my in-laws', in my sister-in-law's bedroom, with purple walls. Try as I might, there was always some purple reflecting on the white paper.
I did some mighty fine editing, but now that I've been doing this for a little over a year, it's time to go back and revamp some of those not-so-sparkly images.
As you can see the original photo at the top does leave a lot to be desired. Major blue issue and shadows.
The second photo is what I managed to get it to. Frankly I'm not sure how I got it looking as good as I did.
It was about time that I took another look at these images.
The final picture is so much better don't you think?
It is amazing what photo editing can do these days. I've been working with Picasa and Gimp. Usually I've edited on Picasa first, concentrating on highlights and contrast, then going into Gimp to brush out corner shadows and such. But now I've been toying around with Gimp and discovered a whole new way to edit photos!
Stay turned and I'll try to come with a tutorial (very untechnical) soon!