Photo Software Links Help & Advice

Okay it`s the weekend and I am not about so I have done this in advance.

The colour alphabet theme is on hold for two whole days.
Today I am going to `advise` about photos. Note that I`ve marked the advise word mainly because I am rubbish at photos. It`s so time consuming, you take about a million, okay a slight exaggeration, and then you put them on the computer and they are too dark, the colours don`t look right, you got in things you shouldn`t....... well I could go on and on with that except it`ll get boring.
Most of those apply to me.
If your photos are already brilliant and crystal clear then read no further. If you struggle with them then stay on the page.

If you look around on many of the big sites, Etsy, Wow Thank You and Folksy, you will see quite a few bad product photos that are dark or out of focus, too big, too small etc etc. Very often they are new sellers, or people who haven`t got past the new seller stage, ie: they are still waiting for it all to happen a year or two down the line.
That probably sounds rather harsh but unfortunately it`s true. I know because mine were awful and I am still working through all my pics, taking more, editing etc and it takes forever.
A customer has only those photos to go on. It doesn`t matter how cheap you make that item, without good pictures from every angle that show clearly what is being sold, they rarely buy. You do also need a good description and title but it`s the photo that gets seen first.
I think many are like I was when starting out. You think all you have to do is fill the shop and that`s it. You take the pics and write basic descriptions without looking at what other shops are like. Then begins the massive learning curve, especially if you want to turn that hobby into a business.

I got the idea for this blog after seeing these links on a forum for the mentor month and I thought I would share them.
As crafter`s, until we are well established, we don`t have a lot of money to spare on trying different photo editing software. All of these are free and many with the option to upgrade for premium tools.
This is from Mooshpie If you don't have photoshop then try Gimp out. It's a great little design software package that allows you to edit your photos!


From Ailsa of Bramalfie Beads etc.
I use Fotofuze.com to get a nice crisp background on all my photos and edit them in Picasa - Google's free software.

From Kes of Kestrel of the Sea. I use a free online photo editing tool at www.BeFunky.com. It has lots of interesting effects (e.g. to look like old photos) and you can also upload your altered photo to their site which means more people will see it...

From Elizabeth of EANJewellery.
I can also recommend Picassa for storing and editing photos. It's very easy to use and is FREE. The features I use the most are lightening, highlighting and neutralising the background of photos

These links and advice from Dollydripp
I use Photoshop for all my image editing but there is Photoshop Express which is online and free. It has some of the basic Photoshop editing tools.


I've also discovered one called Fotor which is online and free.


If you use software like Photoshop look for an adjustment or tool called 'curves', it's my favourite for instantly brightening dark images! It's not always available on the free software but Fotor has it, it's like magic!

Ribbet and Picture Monkey are great for creating fun images with filters, stickers and text. I use them a lot for Facebook and Instagram images.
Ribbet is free and if you sign up you get access to the premium tools. There's no charge for this.

Picture Monkey is mostly free but you have to subscribe and pay for some of the premium tools.

This link and helpful hints and advice comes from Ellie of Hunted & Stuffed.
Photoshop is the industry standard but if you don't have a few thousand quid to splash on it then try Pixlr.com

It's free and seems to have a lot of photoshop style tools.

Open your image and select the crop tool icon (top left in the long skinny tool box on your left). Up above in the grey box next to 'constraint' select aspect ration, 1 and 1 is fine, then drag the cursor over your image to achieve a square crop.

Another useful tool is 'brightness/ contrast' which you'll find in the top black bar in the drop down menu under 'adjustment'. A simple way to brighten your photos up if they are a little dark. Or further down the same drop down menu is 'exposure' which will do a similar thing.

If you want to save different versions of your image, just give them different names. You could start with the same source image and save a version of each thing you do like this. "SAVE AS" image-1, image-2, image-brigher, or whatever you choose to call them. Save each separately to give yourself more options. You can review later and choose your favourites to upload.

Don't feel overwhelmed with photography. Good photos are achievable even with basic equipment or even iphones etc. When shooting, be aware of natural light, it's a fallacy that bright sunny days give the best photos, bright sun = harsh shadows! An overcast day or shooting in the shade will produce less harsh shadow and contrast and help you get that lovely soft daylight look.
Also leave lots of room around your subject when composing your shot so you have room to crop later (square format for Etsy). It's easier to shoot a lot at once and then edit later than to shoot a few, have them nor work out, then have to re-shoot some more again.

Well I think that gives you plenty to go on with.
Try them out and see which one works best for you. The right one can make a big difference in time as well as picture quality.

As there is a lot here and each will take time I am going to leave this here on the front page for two days, Saturday and Sunday.

If you liked this post and found it useful please share to help others, thank you.

A ditty for you, some light relief after the hard work.

You took your pics, thought they were fine
but many of them were just like mine.
Doesn`t matter they`re a bit dark,
I`m only doing this for a lark.
It`s just a hobby I love to do
making exclusive things for you.
Then you start to widen the range
now you realise it all has to change.
The stock is growing at an amazing rate
and not very much has sold to date.
Now suddenly you need to know much more
just to get those creations out the door.
What happened to the hobby that was fun?
Now it seems the work is never done.
Time to have good pics and get clever
make sure that you learn whatever
it takes to get everything right
and then the future will be bright.
You`ll get back to doing what you love best
as well as managing to do all the rest!!


  1. Many thanks for including my advice in your blog post Linda. I hope you've found Mentor Month useful.

    All the best,

    1. You are welcome Elizabeth and Mentor month has been brilliant.

  2. Some good useful advice and links to photo editing websites Linda.

    I use Windows 7 to edit and brighten my pictures. Then I use fotofuze to get the nice white backgrounds.

    I use a cheap light tent and large piece of white cardboard too.

    Another trick which my daughter taught me, who has a City & Guilds in photography is to think about what you want to achieve with the picture. What are you trying to show the customer? And she also taught me to have a theme - ie all similar items pointing in the same direction and to be consistent with the style of photo, so that customers will instantly recognise a picture as belonging to your shop!

    It's hard work though but worth it, because it doesn't matter how beautifully made something is, if it can't been seen properly, then no one will buy it.

    Shirley x

    1. Thank you Shirley, that is really good advice too. Must admit I never thought about the whole `what you want to achieve` part. It makes such sense though, as well as having a theme and being consistent. I fear I have neither, but it is certainly food for thought.