One of my favourite things about crochet, is the community. No matter where you look online, there are fellow crafters to chat with, be inspired by and share your work with. We’re a friendly bunch, crocheters. One of the best things in the world is sharing FO photos of your latest project, right? But, how do you ensure the photographs are as swoonworthy as the project itself? No matter whether you use a camera or just your phone to capture images, you deserve to deliver beautiful images that show off your work PERFECTLY. So, I’m going to share some of my top tips on how to photograph your crochet projects.
Lighting is KEY to a good photograph. Natural lighting is your new BFF. Think like a moth and find the light. Any time you can use natural daylight do it! Not only does it make your photo nice and bright, it can add interesting dimensions with shadows and highlights that really pop those colours and textures.
Take a quick look around your house and find the brightest room. Avoid direct sunlight as it can overexpose your images. The perfect spot to photograph your crochet projects has soft, indirect light.
My bedroom is the IDEAL spot for taking photos as it’s south-facing and I have curtains, which help to diffuse the harsh light. Whether your perfect place is the dining room, living room or even the bathroom. Find that light!
Before you even snap an image, there’s planning to do! This covers everything from props and backgrounds to more abstract ideas like the mood and intention of the image. Understanding why you’re photographing your project can really help with how you style it.
Make use of Pinterest
Gather inspiration on Pinterest to get an idea of the ‘feel’ you want for your photo. Always have your own branding/aesthetic in mind when creating your concepts. This works particularly well for Instagram where your entire grid is used to create a mood, rather than just one image.
What is the project that you’re snapping a picture of? Crochet projects work really well with ‘cosy’ props like candles, books, plants, tea and of course, crochet tools! Just be careful around naked flames, yarn is flammable!
Props are particularly useful when photographing large items. Draping larger items like blankets over chairs and beds is a great way to showcase your work. We’ve all tried to photograph and blanket and had to take several steps backwards to fit it in the frame, right?! I often fold blankets over coat hangers to show them off. You can always think outside of the box and use items like a cute set of ladders, a picnic hamper or a bookcase! It’s a great time to use your imagination and think about new ways to display your work.
A busy background can detract away from your hard work. The focus of the image should ALWAYS be the project you’ve worked hard on. If in doubt – a simple white background works wonders. Not only does it keep the focus on your project, but it reflects light beautifully helping keep your image clean and bright! If you’re photographing a project like a blanket or a cushion, channel your inner interior decorator and stage a beautiful scene in your home.
Landscape or portrait?
It’s worth making a note of what you are going to be doing with your photos BEFORE you take them. For me, I tend to use more landscape images on my blog as it makes for a better user experience when reading a blog. These are also used on Facebook and sometimes for my YouTube thumbnails. I use portrait images for Pinterest and Facebook or Instagram stories. I’ll then use a combination of these for my patterns.
You also need to be aware that some of the images will be cropped for Instagram, so remember to take a few photos a little further away so they can be cropped down.
Don’t be afraid to play around with your styling. I sometimes have to play around with the arrangement two or three (or more…🙈) times to get it just right.
Put the time into your styling and your photos will REALLY stand out. But, don’t be afraid to change things up if it’s not working. Focus on quality, not quantity of props AND photos.
PIN FOR LATER
Let’s face it, if you’re on social media…you’ve seen a flatlay. They’re HUGE at the moment, particularly in the crafting community. And there’s a good reason. They show off your beautiful stitches PERFECTLY. Still not au fait with the flat lay? Let’s break it down…
A flatlay is EXACTLY what it sounds like. Basically, you arrange your items on a flat surface and then shoot them from directly above. Need an example? Voila!
So, how do you make a great flatlay?
- Choose a simple and uncluttered background
If in doubt – a plain white sheet makes an excellent, clean and bright backdrop.
- Check your lighting
Remember, natural light is your best friend. Find the sunlight and use it!
- Place your MAIN product
In this case, this should be your crochet project. Make sure it’s laid out to best showcase the stitches, colours or texture. Everything else in the image should work to compliment this one item.
- Add props
Choose your props carefully and make sure they support your main focus rather than taking away from it. Natural items like plants, flowers and wood ALWAYS shine in flatlays.
- Point and shoot!
A flatlay should be taken from a birdseye perspective, so hold your camera or phone high up and get snapping! Try experimenting with angles to find your favourite.
Think of editing as the cherry on top of the photography process. You can get away with not editing. But, it can really add that extra bit of oomph that make your photographs shine.
There are ways to simplify the process, so even a quick 60 second edit will do wonders.
There are some amazing apps that can add all manner of filters to your images. In general, avoid anything that alters the look of your image too drastically. You want to enhance the photo, not change it. Whether you use Instagrams native filters, or download an app like Lightroom, A Color Story or VSCO there are some basic tweaks you can use to boost your image, such as cropping, saturation, brightness and contrast.
You can also…
You can find some great presets online to help you edit you photo to suit you own style. I really like using Lightroom which you can use for free on the mobile app. Just be aware that if you do buy a preset, you will still have to make a few tweaks to the photo to get it just right.
Photography is very personal and it will take some practice and tweaking to find out what works perfectly for you. But hopefully these pointers on how to photograph your crochet projects will give you the starting blocks to get going with. Think of them as the foundation chain to your crochet project! 😉
Need some crochet to photograph? I can help with that too!
If you’re looking for the perfect pattern to try today, how about this?
Or, if you’d rather increase your crochet stitch knowledge, try this.
And if you need some inspiration? Why not try one of these beautiful blankets?