Taking photos of your sewn creations made from sewing patterns is something every budding fashion+sewing blogger ought to know how to do. Doing it solo, without your photographer husband – or 5-year old child – is the tricky part.
Your photography setup:
- Phone mount for tripod
- Small Digital pocket camera (I use an Olympus Stylus 820)
- Nikcon D7200 professional digital camera
- Nikon WMU Photo software for iPhone (or Android)
In all cases, you need a tripod, and I use a collapsible SLIK tripod. Our preferred setup is the last one, as I can trigger the shutter from my phone so the remote is on the phone and I can focus the camera using the phone’s app. If you do not have a separate digital SLR with a Bluetooth or other connection to the camera, use your self timer and focus on the wall behind you, that you’ll stand right in front of, to ensure you are in focus. You may have to experiment with your phone or camera on the self timer using auto-focus to get it to work.
Prepare your garment and yourself:
- Press whatever you’re wearing (that you have made)
- Wear nice shoes (preferably newer ones that are trendier)
- Wear lipstick and makeup (or at least lipstick)
- Shoot earlier in the day or later in the day, not at high noon where the shadows are intense, unless you are in the shade, facing the sun
Set up your shot location:
I’m fairly self conscious while being photographed by myself. That is, taking the photos myself. So I tend to lean toward backgrounds in my own yard:
1) My deck, which has three walls, shade but enough light and two glass doors
2) My side yard bushes or daylilies on the side of my house
3) My tall grass (other side yard, against my house)
4) Front sidewalk (two directions, north or south)
5) The small park on our street
Use your seasons and surroundings
Use a local park that is quiet – one of our pattern testers shot herself near a lake in the winter in the snow. She wore boots and created a really cute scene (and she reportedly almost fell off a log she was standing on during the shoot)
We shot another sewing friend at a local park in the fall while her kids were playing on the play structure right nearby. Fall leaves and sunshine are just beautiful! While we photographed her, this is easy to set up a solo self-shoot at a park off to the side of playgrounds and picnic areas.
Use your friends!
We shot another sewing friend at a plaza downtown at a hotel and got wonderful shots both outside and inside the hotel lobby bar. If you have a friend willing to photograph you when you meet for coffee, this is a great option.
Because a lot of our shots include multiple garment changes, being near home or near a place to change (the hotel lobby bathroom worked for our photo shoot downtown) is essential. You may just be shooting one garment, and you can take yourself anywhere – even the brick wall at your child’s school!
We even shot at a local café and bookstore (but I highly recommend having a friend photograph you for the public outings, as you’ll feel very self conscious with your tripod and remote.)
In a pinch, you can press your elementary-school-aged child into photographing you, but you’ll have to be very specific about what you want to show in the image. For example, head to knees, or head to feet, straighten up the camera and look for background items that might be in the photograph (messy side yards, a plant hanging down, a lightpost that appears to emerge from your head.) This also applies to husbands.
And for a good laugh, watch this video “instagram husband”: