The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos – the best techniques for showcasing your handmade creations by Heidi Adnum; Interweave Press, 2011. ISBN978-1-59668-626-7
I recently hosted a meeting with fellow textile artists and the importance of photographing work successfully came into focus. The entire group ventured into the city that same day to attend a free seminar on how to take professional photos of ones art work.
It became clear quickly that everyone was at a different place when it comes to capturing images of our art work. As a result I decided to order a copy of The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos. It finally arrived a few days ago and I made it a priority to read it cover to cover.
Here is my review of this affordable resource for those who cannot afford to employ a professional photographer every time we complete work.(- This includes me!)
The book is well organized and covers a variety of media. 16 chapters range from Getting Started to Image Handling and Business Advice. This may be a detriment if the reader is looking for concise and sound advice when photographing their work only.
With this said, the author begins by discussing camera equipment, how to tell one’s story, and several DYI accessories tutorials. The book soon moves into the Photo Fundamentals section which is well thought out. Each sub chapter includes a Practitioner Spotlight which takes the form of an interview. It features an artist who has successfully bridged the gap between creating, capturing their work in images and is actively selling this work. Chapters include Fashion & Fabrics, Bags, Purses & Accessories, Knitting & Needlecraft, Jewelry, Dolls & Toys, Ceramics & Pottery, Art, Books, Magazines & Stationary and Home Accessories.
Part 3 of the 192 page resource focuses on editing tutorials, image handling, optimization and, as mentioned above, business advice.
I gladly admit that this book is not specific to textile artists and quilters. However, it offers a wealth of information to those that use a simple camera, want to explore alternative lighting options and are not sure how to set their camera to specific image sizes and/or has not devoted much time to resizing images for submission or to upload to the internet.
Do you feel you want to get a better grasp on your images? Consider this book! Check your local library and if you find it has information you would benefit from to create better photographs pick up your very own copy!
The truest colours are obtained using natural outdoor light. A bright overcast day will prevent shadows. Test it out: take one quilt under several settings. Compare the results.
I have also found a website that was helpful for me: http://www.hollyknott.com/stq/index.htm
My husband built me the light standards with 2 x 4s and shelf brackets, and I bought simple light reflectors with daylight bulbs. This info I got from this website – down to earth and uncomplicated. I have been taking my own quilt photos for show entries and museum/ gallery exhibits for years.
Thanks for sharing the link to Holly Knott, Karen! She has sound advice for anyone taking their own images for submission!