Step Up Your Craft Product Photography

If you buy something through links on Craft Professional, I may earn a referral fee. To learn more see my disclosure.

What's your biggest challenge when it comes to craft product photography?

For me, the toughest problem to solve has always been effectively setting the scene and styling the photos.

I've taken a photography class, experimented, and read books and plenty of blogs on photography. I haven't learned enough to be a pro photographer, but I do know my way around my DSLR camera.

What I feel has been missing in my craft product photography knowledge is how to style a shot:

  • How do you set up a shot to really set a mood and tell a story?
  • What effects do different backdrops have?
  • What type of backdrop works best with different materials?
  • How do I use props effectively without taking attention away from the product?

I earn a commission for purchases made through links on this page.
To learn more, please see my disclosure.

It's all so important if you're selling your crafts online, writing a craft blog, or taking photos to promote your business on social media. The potential of a great product can be completely lost because of bad photography.

That's why I was excited to find the book, The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos , by Heidi Adnum.

Wow! I wish I'd had this book several years ago. It would have saved me an enormous amount of time and prevented some pretty terrible photos.


The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos has a short introductory "Camera Basics" section that covers light, aperture, shutter, exposure, color, focus, and buying a camera.

Camera and art supplies on tabletop. Text - Step up your craft product photography. A fabulous resource for craft artists who take their own product shots.

I had already learned those basics in my previous craft product photography research, but I still picked up a few solid tidbits of information here. This section would be quite helpful for anyone who is unfamiliar with using a DRSL camera or for someone who only uses their DSLR camera on manual mode and hasn't explored other settings.

What I really love is the main part of the book that covers how to tell your story and how to handle photographing specific types of crafts.

I have never come across so much specific craft photography information set up in such a helpful manner. It is fabulous!

There are chapters on photographing all kinds of products including:

  • fashion and fabrics
  • bags, purses and accessories
  • knitting and needlecraft
  • jewelry
  • dolls and toys
  • ceramics and pottery
  • art
  • books, magazines and stationery
  • and home accessories

Each chapter outlines how to plan and set up the shoot, design composition, and address common problems and questions. Plus there are informative studies of craft artists' product photos.

There are beautiful example photos used to illustrate points.

If you want to know:

  • How to take photos that make your product look more important or dramatic
  • How to show off the gorgeous texture of your hand knit sweaters
  • Whether you should photograph your handmade mugs full of tea or empty
  • Whether your product would look best with a neutral or colored backdrop, or if you should photograph your particular crafts in situ (as they would be used)
  • Where and when to find the best free lighting for photography
  • How to DIY photography gear like tripods, light tents, light boxes, reflectors, flash diffusers or seamless backgrounds so you don't have to spend a fortune setting up your studio
  • How to create a cohesive look across all of your photos so your overall online store looks great
It's all in The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos.


I've spent a lot of time researching craft product photography tips. I have always felt the information I found in classes and online, although helpful, came up short and didn't fully address specific questions I had about photographing crafts.

Then I'd end up overwhelmed with the sheer volume of photography tutorials out there.

The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos has exactly what has been missing in my craft photography knowledge:

  • Advice directed specifically to people taking photos of handmade crafts
  • Answers to questions that come up when you are photographing crafts for online sales
  • Tips for styling your photos beyond the standard neutral background (although it also shows you how to use a neutral background effectively)
  • Information organized all in one place, so there's no need to search through loads of online tutorials.

If you're not a pro photographer, and you photograph your products, you need to have The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos in your library.

I truly wish I'd had this book years ago. It would have saved me hours of time wasted on research, and it would have saved me from some embarrassingly bad product photos that probably caused me to lose some business opportunities.

While you can find free photography tutorials online, this book presents a huge amount of immensely helpful information, specifically for craft artists, all in one place.

Your time is valuable, and this book will save you a lot of time searching for answers.

It will help you take photos that really present your work at its very best, which is essential for better online sales and for getting into better craft shows. All of that, in my opinion, is well worth the cost of the book.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.