5 Simple Photography Tips for Sewing Bloggers

5 Simple Photography Tips For Sewing Bloggers

When it comes to taking great blog photos, I think there are 2 main areas to work on: the “how” and the “what”.  Here’s what I mean:

The “how”

A professional photographer knows how to take amazing photographs: clear, sun-filled images with perfectly balanced color and an interesting backdrop.

For an amateur sewing blogger to accomplish this, you typically need time (availability during daylight hours, traveling to and from a good outdoor photo-taking location), money (equipment), skill/expertise (lighting setup, camera settings, photo editing), and let’s face it, another person to take the pictures of you wearing your finished garments.

I don’t have any of these things!  Therefore, I do the best with what I do have: a decent camera with a self-timer, a few boxes to prop it up on, and sunny weekend mornings in my apartment.

The “what”

How to take great photographs is tough, but what to take photos of is a lot easier to work on.  The photos I share on this blog aren’t great (maybe one day!), but I do make a conscious effort to take specific shots of my finished garments that I think add value to my posts.  If you have limited resources but want to make the most of your blog photos, I hope you can benefit from my very unsophisticated tips.  : )

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Nutcracker embroidery – 2 finished projects

Sugar Plum Fairy embroidery (The Floss Box) Clara embroidery (The Floss Box)

Two finished embroidery projects, both from the Nutcracker pattern series by The Floss Box (via Etsy). Top: Sugar Plum Fairy embroidery.  Bottom: Clara embroidery, including winter/holiday scene.  I just love how they both came out!  : )

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More Stitches del Sol and an upgraded lightbox

Stitches del Sol surface - Day 1 closeupI started another little project today – the “swirly surface” (as I have decided to call it) from the Stitches del Sol pattern series by SeptemberHouse.  I think the pattern is a good combination of adorable and funky, and I love the color scheme of all these patterns.  In particular, I’m totally digging the red on blue here.  I traced the pattern using a heat-sensitive white marker from Clover with the fabric and pattern taped up to the window – not the most fun part of a project, but kind of necessary!  I hope I stick with this project because I’d really love to see it all finished and up on the wall.  As usual, I’m not holding my breath.  : )

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Stitches del Sol: Butterfly

Stitches del Sol - Butterfly startedI guess I have project ADD these days, because I started something new before finishing off my ABC sampler – oops.  : )  This is the butterfly pattern from Stitches del Sol by September House.  I did almost all of this embroidery tonight, which just goes to show what a quick little project this is turning out to be.  It was a good companion for tonight’s America’s Got Talent, which is pretty much blowing my mind at this point.  (You can tell there’s a lack of good summer TV when a show like this is capturing my full attention, haha.)

Stitches del Sol - Butterfly started - close upThe Stitches del Sol pattern contains four main designs, all with a southwestern/Mexican theme and all using only four colors.  I really like the look of it.  Perhaps one day I will actually stitch up all four patterns… but I’m not holding my breath considering my aforementioned project ADD.  : )

BTW, these photos were taken at night using my new light box.  I adjusted the exposure and temperature a bit, and the resulting colors are fairly true to life.  The color of the yellow background fabric is more true in the top photo – not sure why the close-up is so much lighter.  Still a lot to learn on this front!

Anyway, the new academic year is kicking off this week, and I’m happy to be wrapped up in all the excitement.  This will be my first semester without any classes (finally!), so I’m looking forward to it.

Hope you’re having a great week so far!

Photography for handmade items: DIY lightbox and photo editing

Comparison of Daisychain ABC Ws

Welcome to the exciting world of craft photography for total noobs.  : )  In an attempt to improve the quality of photos on this blog without investing in any new or expensive equipment, I started playing around with a DIY lightbox and basic photo editing.  You can see some of my initial results above — the color is much more true to life after my adjustments.  Awesome.  I know I’ll never get truly great photos without upgrading my camera, but until my budget allows for such things, I’ll take whatever progress I can get.  In this post I present my experimental results as any good scientist would do: with full disclosure.  : )  Feel free to weigh in with thoughts and advice!

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New embroidery, old embroidery

My very first embroidery attempt

Oooh look what I found!  A recently-completed Daisychain ABC sampler over at One Sheepish Girl.  So pretty!  Go check it out, and say hi to Meredith while you’re over there.  : )  I just discovered her blog today while looking for photos of finished samplers, and it is such a sweet and gorgeous site.

As for my sampler, not a stitch of progress has been made since my last post!  I want to pick it up again tonight before bed, so keep your fingers crossed that I don’t fall asleep before I get to it.

In other crafty news, I was at the bookstore again today, and I stumbled across an interesting book: The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos.  Ah, the nemesis of all craft blogs – crappy photos!  I admit that I’m plagued by Crappy Photo Syndrome (CPS), which I usually blame on my cheapo camera and lack of free time during natural light hours.  However, this book got me thinking about making a light box to at least get a little bit of improvement.  Any thoughts/experience with this?  Or do I really just need a better camera?

Finally, since no blog post is complete without a photo, I present my very first attempt at embroidery – a little likeness of Maggie all curled up in blissful sleep.  (Haha, of course it would be a cat!  Did you have any doubt?)  I made this in January of this year – not bad for my first try.  I found the cat pattern online here – give it a shot to honor the sweet kitty in your life.

Have a great night and happy crafting!