My FO Photography is an ongoing Work-In-Progress
I like to think that I am an unofficially qualified knitter. And blogger. And photographer. I’ve been at this for 8+ years, on and off, but mostly on. I’ve knit a wide range of projects, yarns, and fibers. I knit for myself and others. I’ve taken classes! And this? This is the best I can do for a finished object (FO) post?
No! It is a pet peeve of mine when bloggers just throw up a photo with a lot of excuses (it’s dark, it’s late, it’s early, I’m tired, I’m on a moving train…). I have done the same thing. I am sure it wouldn’t be hard to find an example of this, I get it. But when it happens in post after post after post, I don’t want to read your blog. I’m getting on my soapbox. Here are my pointers:
- Take a LOT of photos. Don’t stop to examine each photo, just keep shooting. Did you know your iPhone has an auto-shutter feature that will snap a burst of photos after 3 or 10 seconds? Set it up, and do a dance, wiggle, whatever. Sort it later. Pixels are essentially free. I got lucky, in my opinion, with the photo above. I was snapping away and my daughter happened to pop the shawl on her head. It made me happy so I told her “Thumbs Up” and that’s the shot we got.
- Try for natural lighting. Don’t wait until you’re settled in on the couch with your evening work in progress (WIP) to take a photo. That light is awful. There are shadows. It just doesn’t work and you won’t be happy. I totally fall for this on a weekly basis. I try to grab a photo of Jackson and my project and either it’s grainy or the colors are off BECAUSE it’s dark and the light bulb is a low wattage. Then I get annoyed. I do better when I get snap a photo on the floor near a window or outside on my porch. Lighting is a tricky thing, but so it photography. Here we were by a window (not outside). The project is 100% bulky wool yarn. The weather has been ridiculously hot and humid. I can only push my model so far. The natural lighting here was better than being by a lamp, but not the best. I was stressed and getting stuck on ideas.
- Use real people and give the “model” something to do. Got a copy of a knitting magazine? Take a look at the pictures closely. Or the photos on Ravelry for a pattern you like. Even if the model is holding a stick, they are still doing something. Hats are meant to be worn on your head, shawls are wrapped around shoulders, and socks are on feet. Modeling something flat can be helpful for showing a stitch pattern detail or how impressed you are by blocking (as I was)! Most of the time in real life, your knit item is going to be taking up 3D space and not be flat.
- Get in the photo. I handed my phone off to my daughter because I liked how the color of my shirt looked next to the colors in the yarn. She told me she zoomed in, and out, and just kept taking photos. Great! Many of them were blurry, but so what? Pixels are free and there is something about this one that I like. Action shot. Asymmetric shawls are tricky, yo.
- Keep taking pictures. Did I say this already? I was snapping away and giving light directions. I think this is my favorite FO shot that actually shows the shawl.
So what did I knit?
Wouldn’t you like to know more about this shawl? The pattern is Tea & Picots, knit in Knitted Wit Cotton Candy on US 17s. I picked up the yarn at TNNA. I loved it in the skein and seeing the sample on display. This took just a few nights of knitting. The trickiest part was figuring out how to photograph it. I think I’ve done ok. Do you have photo tips for your knit and crochet items? I’d love to try them!