Thursday, November 8, 2012

Photographing your Crochet Work

There are so many tasks as a business owner that a crochet designer has to know. Really, the list is pretty long.  Many of us crochet designers consider ourselves a "one man band" of sorts.  Crocheting is only PART of what we get to do. Do we really need to do a quick run-down of the list?
  1. Bookkeeper
  2. gopher (post office, office supplies)
  3. IT expert
  4. Graphic designer for pattern formatting
  5. pattern writer
  6. model maker
  7. advertising executive
  8. administrative assistant (letter writing, proposal making, scheduling)
Though I was a photography major in college, it was all artsy stuff, and was many years ago. So, when I saw there was a Craftsy class for crafts product photography, I thought, I could use a brush up on my skills and likely a few tips for the digital world.

Caro Sheridan does a great job of giving a crash course in photography in her new class "Shoot It" She briefly goes over the basics of how a camera works, general rules of composition and why to break them. The part I most enjoyed and found most useful was watching Caro do a photoshoot with a model with all Caro's explanations and tips as she went along.  I instantly have a few things I can apply to my next photo shoot.

Why is this important? If you want to be a designer, I think you vastly increase your odds of being successful if you can clearly communicate your skill. That means GREAT photos.  Now, I have stumbled along with mediocre photos for a long time, so it can be done, but GREAT photos are what can set you apart from a sea of design submissions.  Is it worth the price of the class, you bet! When I am deciding how to spend money on my business, I always think of ROI (return on investment), will the cost of the item/class/tool increase my revenue by at least that much?  It's hard to measure it, but I think YES, this class was worth the cost. Craftsy classes are anywhere from $19.99 to $49.99 or so depending on the specials they run and the complexity of the class.

Here's what I learned from Caro:
1. How to direct a model to get her to be her best.
2. How to change up the boring white background.
3. What plan needs to be in place BEFORE the photoshoot.
4. Why a model or location release is important and where to get it.
5. Great results can happen even in your own home without fancy equipment.
6. It's ok to let you model use props.

A few of my own tips:
1. I always use the two corners of my house that have the best windows/natural lighting depending on what time of day it is :)
2. I try never to use indoor lighting.
3. I always take more than one set of photos, one with a flash and one without so I can choose which ones I like.
4. For pattern writing and notes to myself, I'll often hand write a note to myself on a slip of paper and PUT IT IN THE PHOTO to remind myself either of what I crocheted, or what the photo is of "right back" or "step-out 2" or "Tr4tog"
5. I try to put garments and accessories ON people or at minimum ON the dress form rather than flat.
6. Keep the background uncluttered (make sure there are no trees or poles "growing" out of your model's head.
7. Overcast days are great for photography because the colors "pop" with better contrast than on super bright days and you can avoid unflattering shadows on faces.

Here's a sneak peek of a new pattern that will be out soon. It's modeled by my model, Robyn (before I took Caro's Craftsy class!) It will be revealed sometime this month.

Online Product Photography Class

1 comment:

YarnAddictAnni said...

I've taken 'Shoot it' too and it's a great class.