My good friend Ryan recently gave me some advice: "Drive to the store, buy a frame, and take pictures of your prints in the frame so people know what they will look like on the wall." She gives good advice (she does consultations--if you need help with your shop, look her up!), and my Etsy shop has been needing some tlc, so I decided to follow it. (Thank you Ryan!!!)
First, I bought an inexpensive little frame. Then, I decided where I wanted to shoot. I wanted an area that looked welcoming, but not too busy. A bit of color, but not enough to distract from the print. I finally decided on my dining room table. I put out a nice place setting, and a bowl of fruit, then put a small nail in the wall where I wanted my prints to hang. Finally, I set up a couple of clamp-lamps to get the area well-lit.
I have to be honest, there is a part of me that hates that Ryan gives such good advice, because to follow it means WORK. You should have seen me during the photo shoot. I had to turn up the music to get me motivated, and at least every other minute I had to give myself a little talk, "Lea, you are NOT going to stop now and finish tomorrow! Do you really think you're going to keep all of this set up until tomorrow? It will just be in the way! If you take it down you'll just procrastinate putting it all back together again." I give myself pretty good advice, too.
So I stuck to my guns. I pulled every print I have out of its plastic sleeve (I would recommend, if you carry prints, to keep a stock of them on file that are not in plastic sleeves, because it was really annoying to do this), and carefully took turns placing each in the frame, shooting, and replacing it with the next. I should mention that I took some time carefully placing my tripod at the beginning of the shoot so that I wouldn't have to re-position my camera every time.
Viola! It took a good bit of work, but it was worth it. Now all of my prints have a nice setting so that my customers have an idea of what they could look like on their wall. Plus, of course I kept the close-up scans in each listing so they can see the prints in detail.
Now to update all my listings!