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Using Mockups and Moveable Pieces to Create Unique Images for your TPT Business with Kelly Harvill
Episode 698th May 2023 • The Creative Teacher Podcast • Kirsten Hammond
00:00:00 00:27:54

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Have you ever seen the same mockups on product listings or social media posts? Maybe you feel discouraged that a lot of sellers are using the same images for your store, just like the fonts and clipart we all know about.

The good news is that we can stand out and be unique even with mockup images! Our guest Kelly Harvill will share with us insight on how we can make this happen.

Kelly is an educator and photographer who also sells resources, mockups, and images through her TPT store and membership. You can connect with her on Instagram at @speakingofimages and visit her website

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The difference between a mockup and a moveable piece
  • How mockups and moveable pieces can enhance product listings
  • Some "dos" and "don'ts" for using moveable pieces and mockups
  • How mockups and moveable pieces be used outside of TPT product listings

Resources and Links

Image Maker Membership - Use these special codes to get 1 month free on the quarterly or annual membership! Use Creativequarter or Creativeyear

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Mentioned in this episode:

FREE TPT Store Audit for Teacher Sellers!

Have you checked out the free self-guided TPT store audit? Use this free tool to help you self-assess your TPT store! This audit will help you see what’s working well for you on TPT- and what can be improved. Take the brief quiz with questions to ask yourself in 5 key areas, analyze and reflect on your results, and get clarity on your next steps to improving your TPT store!

Download the free TPT Store Audit!

Branding and Product Listing TPT Templates!

Done-for-you templates that are completely editable for TPT sellers and teacherpreneurs to make their own? Say no more! I have ready-to-use Canva and PPT templates that are designed in a way that make it EASY to plug in screenshots, photos, or square images, type what you need, change the colors, fonts, and more!

Learn more about TPT Templates!


Kirsten 0:00

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the creative teacher podcast. I hope you're having a great morning or evening or afternoon, whatever time you're listening to this episode. So we have a special guest on this episode. And it's kind of funny because I've mentioned this individual several times over the course of the last few months, I think. So I keep talking about this person. And the good news is that I'm actually bringing this person on to talk with us about moveable images and mock ups. So if you're thinking along the lines of Kelly Harville, you are correct. I wanted to share a little bit more about something that she specializes in with her work with her mockups, and those are movable pieces. So we're going to be learning a little bit about those some differences between them some do's and don'ts for using movable pieces and mock ups and also just kind of some more mock up tips. Just because mock ups are super popular right now even more so than in the last year I feel like so I thought we can bring her on to for her to share her expertise. If you don't know who Kelly Harville is. She is the owner of speaking of images, she's got a TPT store, where she sells mock ups for TPT sellers. She also has a membership of a essentially a content library of images for pretty much any thing you need for your business. They're all professionally designed and edited. So you can just drop your product in and voila, you have your mock up or your photo or stock image that you need. So let's go ahead and dive into that interview.

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact in their teacher businesses. I'm Kiersten, a teacher business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together. All right, we've got a special guest on the podcast today. Kelly Harville is with us and she's going to be talking to us about mock ups and movable pieces. So welcome.

Kelly 3:51

Thank you. I'm excited to be here.

Kirsten 3:54

All right. Well, my favorite question or one of my favorite questions is just telling us about yourself about your what you do your teaching experience and just your journey as a teacher printer or teacher seller.

Kelly 4:08

ly know about TPT until about:

Kirsten 5:55

Yeah, I remember. Because there was like, maybe a few years ago, there really wasn't a lot of mockups. I didn't even I was like I remember specifically, I'm like, What is that thing that people use with all of the different images around and you put your picture in? I it took me forever to figure out what it was called. And your store was one of the first stores that I came across as far as mock up images.

Kelly 6:21

eren't a lot doing it back in:

Kirsten 6:41

Yes, yeah, me too. Yeah, it makes it a lot easier to find great things. Exactly. So I know you do primarily mock ups. And I know moveable pieces are also something that people are kind of utilizing in their covers, and their thumbnails and previews. So if you could let the listeners know, like, what is the difference between what you might have as a traditional mock up versus a movable piece?

Kelly 7:12

Sure. So I considered like when I tried to describe to people what a mock up is, I consider it kind of like a picture frame like we, I provide the frame for you. And so if you had your family photos done, right, you're not going to just take the photo that you print and just tack it on the wall with a thumbtack, you want to have a nice frame, you want to have lighting around it so that it looks nice over the fireplace or wherever it might be. And so that's kind of what a mock up does. We provide the frame, but the accent, and the attention is on your product. And so for example, if you sell test cards, and a lot of people use those photo boxes, to store the test scores, so it's a very common or familiar thing for teachers to see. And they're like, oh, yeah, I have those in my classroom. So maybe you do those and that but when the kids take those little cards out of those boxes, they're using them with mini erasers, or they're using them with the bingo daubers or something like that. So the movable pieces act as those pieces to be able to show let me see what it looks like with those little mini erasers on it. So it kind of up levels, the visual interest of your image, and gives the buyer or the teacher a quick reference as to Oh yeah, I use those in my classroom. That's how I would use it without having to really think too far ahead. So it just kind of makes it a little bit more unique, and really can show what your product, how it's used in the classroom, and not just what it looks like.

Kirsten 8:32

Yeah, I love that idea as far as because you, you might have somebody get the same image from you. So you might have 100 Different people with the same image. And maybe the only difference would be the screenshot. But I love how you can add the movable pieces in addition to the mock up to kind of give it your own unique flair. And to give a more realistic picture of what the teachers can do with your, your actual resource. So I love that that is available. So that's awesome. All right, so kind of segwaying into, you know, enhancing the actual resource that you have, how can both of those things, both mockups and movable pieces? How can they enhance your listings? So as you have your little square product, cover images and thumbnails and you're trying to get people to click and buy a resource? How can that enhance your listings?

Kelly 9:30

Well, for me, it's how comfortable like you know, the, in our marketplace on any marketplace these days, you have about three seconds of someone doing the scroll right for them to see something and either relate to it or not. And part of that is in the quality of the image or all of that is in the quality of the image because if the image is edited dark, or it's hard to kind of see there's just too many other options to find one that you can see. So for one thing I think that when you're using a A mock up image that has been shot with a professional camera styled lit, you don't have to worry about that, because it's already put together and the quality of the image is going to be high. And then if you buy sets or work with sets, when you're making your cover, and then your thumbnails and then your previews, you get some consistency throughout that product, which provides a professional cohesive look for your brand. And so to me, that's kind of an important thing. And it's so you don't want your your cover to look, you know, really professional, and then all of a sudden, you go to the thumbnails, and the shots are really hard to see again, because your product can be fantastic. But if someone isn't going to take the time to get to actually look at it, you're not going to sell it. And so it can enhance your page views. And that's the first step of the whole process, you're not gonna have a conversion to a sale, if no one stops and looks at your at your actual product. B that's kind of how when you're thinking about it, and there are people that are fantastic at product photography, so don't get me wrong, it's just where's your zone of genius, if you're really good at creating products, but what's holding you back from putting them in your store is that you don't want to do the photography part, then don't do the photography part, you have lots of options to get past that block, so you can get the darn thing in your store and start selling it.


Yeah, I love that idea of like, a customer or potential customer can either relate to it or not, they can relate to the image or not. And it's really in how you showcase it. I mean, there's too many times where as a teacher myself buying resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, I like some I wouldn't even give some resources, the light of day just because it I can't it's not something that I would buy. I mean, maybe it's perfect for my classrooms, perfect for my students, but it's just the way it is showcased the way it looks, is just it doesn't appeal to me. So and yeah, I totally agree like, you know, with the zone of genius, not everybody or not everybody is a product photographer. And as much, you know, as much as we preach, yes, product photography is great, you know, you should add it in your covers and thumbnails, we may not all have the capability to edit it the way in a way that appeals to potential customers. So I think I feel like mock ups are perfect for people who just really either don't have the time to, or just don't have the patience to want to photograph or just don't have the resort, it's, it's still something that's useful for TPT sellers who could lead in a way to enhance their listing.


So the exact is I'll tell you this last weekend, I had a friend visiting me from Chicago, and I'm in the Seattle area. And she's an antique er, so we went to this little town that has all these antique stores. And I get super intimidated in these stores because it's not my thing. But we went into this one that was like a warehouse. So there were lots of different sellers who had their little 10 by 10 foot store, right or you know, little area that you could go into. And I stood back for a while and kind of just watched down the hallway of what people were just kind of glancing in and walking by, and which little stores they were going into. And then I walked down the hall to look and it was the merchandising like there was space, it was set up in an inviting way so that you could see stuff. And then you'd go into the next little section. And it would be just it was like you're in grandma's attic. This stuff, right? And it was tight. And you had to dig through stuff. And no one was going in there. When I was watching like this is very similar to what we do, right? Yeah. Like, you know, you're, you're gonna go into the place that you can breathe, and you can look at the image and say, Okay, I know what this is or in that face. So yeah, it was kind of fun to watch my friend who was like, looking at all the jewelry and stuff said, What are you doing, watching people that I'm observing, because I'm not buying anything here? Because I'm Yeah, yeah.


Yeah, I love that. I love that analogy. That's a really great real life example of how that could even be applied to for our, our


Exactly. That's kind of what I was thinking when I was there. I was like, Wow, it really makes a difference of you know, what you're looking at when you're going to go buy something.


Yeah. So you mentioned like, I'm thinking back on that. That little area that had just stuffed cluttered everywhere. Nobody was snowing in it. So that's a good kind of branching into the next question I have for you about what are some do's and don'ts for using mockups and using movable pieces so that you're not you're not scaring people away with all the all the all over your all the things on your cover?


Yeah, that's that's a great question. When I always want to start with what your product is like, that is what you're selling and that should be the attention grabber on any of your images. And when it starts to get too cluttered, where there's crayons, and there's pencils and their paper clips, and let's throw in some, you know, pin it, because you just think, oh, we should have all these different things to bring color, that all of those things are drawing the eye away from what you're there to sell. And so when when I get asked about styling an image, I mean, mine are very, I have a style, that's very, there's a lot of open space that's on purpose, so that you can add text and things like that, too. But it also is just I like that breathing space in an image. But think about how, again, I keep going back to the same thing, how is this product used in the classroom. So if you have a, you know, I've never understood the images that are of a laptop, and then there are scissors on there and there, and I'm like, you're not using scissors with a tech device, right. So just kind of think about it. And that kind of will help you declutter, also, but just to have a couple of accent pieces for visual interest. But you don't want the eye to be drawn all of a sudden, to all those things and taken away from your product. And then one other thing is I had somebody asked me this the other day, because they they put a sample image up to get critiqued. And if you put anything with text, the AI automatically goes to the words. So it's great if your product has text on it, right? Because that's what we want is our ID to go to that. But if your, if your knickknacks or your props around it also have text, your eyes are going, they're gonna read those things, because that's just what we do. So that can be distracting. So be careful, if you have stuff that you have a lot of text on around your image, because it will distract away.


Okay, those are some good tips on that. So making sure that you're keeping as much space as possible, draw your attention to the resource that you're trying to sell is one of the main things. So yeah, so you basically you're saying just using the mock ups and movable pieces to complement the resource not in? Like, you're not trying to have it all compete with the actual resource, if that makes sense. That actly


Exactly. And I know like, you know, there are a lot, there's a lot of talking branding, and you're a very good, an excellent expert at branding. So you're a great person to talk about this with but you know, when we talk about, you know, wanting to add our brand colors, and that doesn't mean that you have to add in 15 turquoise movable pieces. To that, you know,


you can all brand new branding right there.


Yeah, exactly does not mean, you know, you start you don't want to be known for turquoise and pink versus what your actual product is. You want them to know it's you.


Yeah. But yeah, totally agree. All right, well, how can I move? Okay, so let's say you have some markup photos, you have some movable pieces. And you like using them on your covers, and thumbnails and previews and your listings on TPT? How can they be used outside of TPT? As far as you know, just Are there any other ways you can use those resources?


Absolutely. I especially like if you're doing blogging, or if you're doing email marketing, or if you're doing pins for Pinterest, Instagram, any of those places. But I've had people tell me that when they're trying to think of what they should blog about, they kind of go through, I have a membership. So they go through the image gallery, and they're like, oh, look, here's a picture of a kid playing with that magnet, one of those little discs, I can write a whole blog post on resources that I use the magnet, you know, and there's the image versus writing the blog post and then having to find images that go with it. So it's kind of reverse engineering, how a lot of people will write a blog post or an email. And so it kind of can give you ideas, starting with the image for using them in those ways. You know, five different ways I use these magnet discs. And there's your picture right there. Yeah. And I've done them, I use them in my email marketing. And so like right now, I have in the in the membership, which we can talk about later. But there's, I don't know, 5000 movable pieces. There's a lot and that's kind of where they all are. So when this airs, I will have some that I've posted in my store that are how I'm going to start with holiday related. And they're unusual, because my prop collection is embarrassing it like on the order. But if I tried to choose things that you can't find anywhere else that you could use, but you can use them for a lot of different reasons. And that's the smartest thing to be able to do is to repurpose those images. So you're not starting from scratch, or all the things Yeah,


I like that idea of reverse engineering like because I do love I'm in your membership. So I really love how you can just easily search keywords. So let's say you're doing a you know, summer or blog posts or something you can type in summer and get some ideas for eventually what you can add into your images alongside of your resource or something like that. So like five different summer activities you can do with your, I don't know, summer school students like that. Yeah, that's an idea.


Yeah, we all get writer's block, right? Where I'll sit there and go, Hey, I've done my pillars. I've done all the things. And now, you know, I'm supposed to send an email every week. What am I going to write about? Yeah, it just gives you a little hint. You're like, Oh, okay. Now I don't have to search for the image, because I've done it the other way around.


Uh, huh. Yes. So speaking of. You mentioned your membership. But I guess can you go into a little bit more about your membership and how it is a great resource, in my opinion, I think it's a great resource for TPT sellers, on mockups and movable images. Sure.


So I have a membership called the image maker membership, because that's the purpose is to make images. And it's really, I call it a membership. Some people say, you know, it's more of a subscription, because it is recurring. But it's really just a huge library of images. And like Kristin said, I tagged things 20 different ways. So that you're looking, when you're looking for things, you can just search for whatever you're looking for, based on the topic or the grade level or whatever. I also have images of students have the higher student and pay for student models, and their parents sign a commercial model release. And all of this is based on what people are asking me for. So I come up with an idea sometimes, but 99% of the images that are in that gallery, are teacher driven. And so there's a place where they just give me suggestions. And so for the model, some of those are movable pieces, too. So like for example, I had a kindergarten or elementary teacher say that they do a right the room type of activity. And they're like, I don't know how to show that, you know, and so I said to her, you tell me what you do. We don't do this in speech therapy, right? So she says, you know, the kids walk around with a little clipboard, and they're looking for cards on the walls, and blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, okay, so when I hired my models for that next shoot, I shot some from the back, where they're pointing at the wall, and then there are movable piece so you can move hard on the wall. And then here's little Joey, who's actually like walking the room and finding them. So that's cool. Yeah, so it's kind of, I love the fact that I get the ideas from, you know, early, early childhood, like Birth to Three, all the way through secondary. And when they'll ask for something, I'm always like, Can you be more specific, like, I had a high school teacher asked for a walk right through and she wanted a picture of a kid and tennis shoes, walking just their feet. And I'm like, Okay, I need some backstory here. Like, what are you talking about? Once you explain what it was, then I was on the floor for that next photo shoot shooting the kid walking back and forth, just beaten this, you know? Wow, yeah. But the blog post turned out really fun, because she had a vision and could explain to me what it was. And then the other thing that, you know, I've had lots of people asked me to create a course and I just don't have the time to do a course, at least right now. So I do have a free Facebook group that's called mock up mastery for TPT. Sellers. And there is where I post some of the tutorials. So I teach people how to use images, and I give sample images, so you can play with them. Because to me, it's really important. This is a whole new world for a lot of people. And I don't want people to be intimidated or to just to be intimidated of saying, I don't know how to do this, I don't want to buy this because I don't know how to do this. So in that Facebook group, once a month, I will pick a theme and show how the image was put together. And then provide some free images in the gallery for that group, so that they can play with it to get comfortable with it before you would start investing money in any thing, right? It's just kind of nice to have the opportunity to try those things. And then I show some covers and some resources that other teacher sellers have created and then kind of break it apart, like how they do that. And it really kind of breaks the pieces apart to show how they live how they layered.


Yeah, yeah, that's awesome. That sounds like a really great resource. Even if you're, you know, not ready to invest in a full membership. I think it's great to get that resource, or that free information at the mockup mastery Facebook group. So I'll make sure to link both of those in the show notes so that anybody listening can take a look. Great.


Yeah, right. Yeah. And if people have suggestions on what they want to know, I'm happy to address those. So in that Facebook group, I'm always asking what do you guys want to learn about like? So sounds good. It's fun to teach that without the stress of having to actually create a course. That's a big the membership is enough. I'm a pretty much a one man show. And so to do that, and have a course I'm like, oh, yeah, that's yeah, I'm still working. I mean, I'm still in the schools as a speech pathologist, so amazing.




I need to have a life.


All right. Well, if we wanted to find you elsewhere, where can we find you to connect with you online?


Sure. So my website is speaking of, you can find out about the membership there, you can find out about the other things I do. I am on Instagram, I'm at speaking of images everywhere. So speaking of images on Instagram, and on Fridays, I have what's called free photo Friday on Instagram. So that is where I post every Friday, to images that you can screenshot to use for you know, it's a quick win. So if you just want to be able to think I need to do some stories, here's a background for it. And then you can put your polls or whatever on top of that. But that's been going on for a couple of years now. So every Friday, I post to there.


Sounds good. All right. Well, thank you so much for being here.


It was so fun to do this. And I've worked with you. As you know, I've hired you to do things for me for my for my business. And so I always love and I get to actually talk to you and not just in or talk to people that are other than not just in DMS and stuff. So it was super fun. Thank you.


Yes, I totally agree.

Thanks for tuning in to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also find me on Instagram at the southern teach. I cannot wait for you to join me in the next episode for more tips and inspiration. Have an amazing day.





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