How to Maximize Your 5 Etsy Listing Photos

Tips for maximizing your 5 Etsy listing photos. Here's how to make EACH photo count!

Etsy lets sellers include up to 5 photos for each item listed.  This is awesome – you’re gonna need all 5! But don’t just take five photos and call it a day – you can maximize your 5 Etsy listing photos by following this easy guide.

Your Photos = Your Sales Pitch!

Your photos sell your product.  Online shoppers can’t pick up your product, feel its weight, and look closely at its details, so your photos have to do the heavy lifting here.

Etsy listing photos should answer these questions:

  • How does this product feel?
  • How large is this item?
  • What color is this product?
  • Is this item well made?
  • Will this item fit?

Maximize Your 5 Etsy Listing Photos

Follow this simple guide to get the most bang for your buck in your 5 Etsy listing photos.

Shot 1: The “Click Grabber” shot

Etsy uses the first photo on the left to represent your item when it shows up in search. This photo has to be your very best shot – it’s what I like to call your “click grabber”.


An effective click grabber…

  • piques the viewer’s curiosity
  • looks good at a small size
  • makes it pretty clear what the item is
  • doesn’t have to show the whole item

That last point is worth some more discussion: many Etsy sellers make the mistake of putting a rather bland, far-away shot as their default. The interesting photo(s) get hidden inside the listing, unseen.

This is backwards.

You want your most compelling shot up front, even if it’s not your most complete. It’s okay to hide a little bit – you want people to click, so get them interested without giving it all away.

How do you know which of your shots is best? Test it! Put your favorite on the far left and see how it performs for 7 days. After 7 days, re-arrange the shots in the listing and see if clicks go up. Keep re-arranging every week until you find your winning shot.

Case in point: I used to stock my shop with photos like this one, all zoomed out and flat because this composition shows the entire product. Seemed logical, but nobody was clicking.

My default shot was zoomed out and difficult to "read".

“Before” shot was zoomed out and flat. Unsurprisingly, nobody clicked this version.

On a whim, I tried using this zoomed-in shot as my default shot. Clicks and faves went way up!

Maximize your Etsy listing photos: Using this zoomed-in shot of my product got way more clicks.

Etsy Listing Photo Tip #2: Wow ’em with the first shot. This photo gets way more clicks than the previous one did. Lookatdatface. Octavius is from my own shop,Weird Little Friends.

I was wrong: you don’t have to try to show the whole product, just show an inviting image. Learning how to select a “click grabber” takes a bit of practice. Try browsing Etsy and seeing what you click.

Shot 2: The “Big Picture” shot

Unfold/unwrap/lay flat your handmade object and capture all of it.  The goal of this shot is to show your product in its entirety.

Sometimes this shot is better used as your click grabber, but oftentimes “whole object” shots are less exciting than what you can do with a closeup or action shot.

Think of the “big picture” shot as being rather technical. It answers these questions:

  • How large, exactly, is this thing?
  • What does it look like unfolded/unwrapped?
  • What does the design look like when it’s not folded/wrapped?

Shot 3: The “Back/Bottom” shot

This shot shows your product from an unusual or different angle. Let shoppers see the backside (or underside).

Adding a shot of the back or bottom gives viewers a much better understanding of your product’s design.

Maximizing your Etsy photos: Show your product from the side or bottom.

Etsy Listing Photo Tip #3: Lay your product on its side or show the bottom.

Shot 4: The “Action” shot

Show your product being worn, played with, on display – whatever makes sense.

If your product is jewelry or clothing, showing it on a model is essential. You might be shy about appearing in the shot with your product, and that’s okay as long as you can find a friend who isn’t shy about it! Showing your product with/on a live model gives viewers an instant sense of size, fit, and purpose.


Etsy Listing Photo Tip #4: Show it in action! Awesome aqua-colored Large Fleece Squid Hat by Obey My Brain.

Shot 5: The “Detail” shot

This one’s easy – just get up close and show off the best details of your product. Every product has details – stitches, paint brush strokes, embossed lettering, sprinkled sugar, sequins, paper texture – you name it.

Is your product a tool or a supply or otherwise contribute to the creation of a finished product? Consider showing that finished product, too. Valek Rolling Pins does a fantastic job of showing off the tiny, laser-cut details in her customized rolling pins.


Etsy Listing Photo Tip #5: Dive into the details! Capture the tiny touches that make your product special. Dinosaur pattern embossing rolling pin by Valek Rolling Pins.

Even *More* Ideas for Maximizing your Etsy Listing Photos

Still don’t have five shots? That’s okay, some crafts don’t need all five. You can still make good use of the extra photo slot with the following tips:

The “Family Portrait”

If appropriate to your product, line up a bunch of them in a big rainbow – or group them together like a family portrait.

If it’s not feasible to make a bunch of your product, consider showing a stack of the alternative materials instead. Invite shoppers to choose their own colors/fabrics/embellishments.


Iamagique‘s listing is for one crocheted bunny, but she uses one of her photos to show off a whole group of ’em. So cute!

The “Request Requester”

Invite your shoppers to order a customized version of your product with this shot.

“Order a custom version made just for you!”

The “Soda Can” Shot

If your “whole object” shot doesn’t communicate scale very well, include another shot with a soda can or a coin to make your product’s size crystal clear to shoppers.

The “Brand” Shot

You still have a photo slot left to fill?!  How about creating an image that represents your brand, like a nice tall banner?

Advertise your services – do you do custom work? Repairs? Tell viewers a bit more about yourself or drive visitors to your personal website.

Your Logo

Fill that last listing photo with your logo. Think of it as a sort of digital business card. The logo will re-emphasize your brand and remind viewers of your off-Etsy url (if you have one).

Help, I *still* don’t have 5 photos and I’m out of ideas!

Browse the shops of other sellers selling similar products. What do they do with their listing photos?

When all else fails, take a nice photo of yourself holding your product. Seeing the artisan behind the product is what separates Etsy from the local W*Mart down the road.

A Few Don’ts

Remember, each shot should feel like it has a purpose.  Hopefully I’ve given you plenty of ideas above, but don’t include five shots for the sake of having five shots.

Don’t include two (or more) photos that are too similar.  If the second photo doesn’t show something different than the first, such as another side or a different fabric option, viewers with sluggish connections will resent clicking and waiting for the same image to load.

Don’t include poor quality photos just for the sake of having five photos. Three great photos is much better than three great photos and two bad ones.

Don’t always show multiple items if your buyer is only getting one.  One (if not more) of your photos should be of just the thing your buyer will actually get.  If you always show your product in clusters of three, your shoppers will think they get three and be disappointed when just one arrives.

There you have it – a whole slew of tips for maximizing your Etsy listing photos! What do you do to make your listing photos stand out? Let us know in the comments!

Hello there! I'm Mandi, a lifelong crafter with a passion for helping others use technology. DIYCraftPhotography shows artisans how to photograph and publicize their handmade goodies. Thank you for visiting!

For more craft business advice, follow DIYCraftPhotography on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest.