Monday, November 27, 2017

post 9: talking yarn still lifes (and talking and talking...)

One of several balls I wound off my Jill Draper Makes Stuff Empire yarnbaby, sitting in for a lighting and prop test. I really like this off-the-cuff image. I also really like this yarn and what I am knitting with it--but that is another blogpost. 

I've had occasion to think about still life photos lately. I mean, I make still life photos for the blog and instagram, and in my commercial work as called for. I usually stack things and create three dimensional setups.
 Some happy handspun I was gifted last spring, with out of focus little pompom props. Love this yarn, too.

 I hadn't ever stopped to formalize my thoughts and preferences on shooting still lifes. Photographing people is what I'm most often hired for and lucky for me, many are people wearing knits or holding yarny things.  But in teaching and interviews, I'm often speaking on  how to make better still life photos. If you'd like to hear what I have to say on the subject, Leanne of Stitchcraft Marketing podcast had me as her guest, and the episode just released.

Listen to the StitchCraft Marketing  Business of Craft Podcast episode 20 and show notes here.*

I found myself with a lot to say, particularly on the subject of flat lay photos.

Spoiler, on the topic of flat lays: They are a great way to compose still life, especially for social media. Plus it is a style that is accessible and a style that works well if using a smartphone for photos. And, fun to shoot.   BUT...they are all starting to look alike!  If you don't believe me, go on Pinterest, search How to Make Good Flat Lay photos, and see how they all look the same despite coming from multiple sources.   So little incentive to click on any of them!

My advice is, from there, click on something like  " 50 Best Props for Making Flat Lay Photos".  Read the list of suggestions and then DON"T use any of those items!  That puts you on the way to making something that will get noticed.

I'm shooting yarn still lifes of some gorgeous yarn for a client on Friday, and looking forward to pushing us a little. Probably not too many will be flat lays. The chair, up top, passed the audition, but we'll  light it a little more dramatically. I raided an artist friend's studio for partially painted background canvas......and I'll go poke around Ikea's kitchen stuff, that's a place I find inexpensive things to throw in a composition and hopefully not too many holiday shoppers yet.  And in a couple of months--I'll show it as a Behind the Scenes here. 

*  In real life I promise I am not gasping for air between sentences.  My new earphone microphone kinda makes it sound that way at times in the podcast. Or, just mayyybe I'm being oversensitive!  yikes it is hard to listen to yourself, isn't it?


Carole Julius said...

I'm guilty of flat lay photos that look like everyone else's, too! I blame it on instagram.

Mary Lou said...

Must go listen. And look at Pinterest.

Kym said...

Fascinating! I can't wait to listen to you on the podcast. (And it is soomewhat horrifying to hear yourself . . . I sound so much better in my head . . . ) XO

AsKatKnits said...

Thank you for this. Really. From the bottom of my yearning to be a good photographer heart. I have queued up the podcast and think you sound just right. Probably exactly as you sound in your head (as opposed to your ears!)

Oh, and I clicked on some of those photos... and to me they all look the same, regardless of the photo content. And, sadly, that is not very interesting, at least to me. XO

Nicole said...

I hate listening to myself, too! I avoid it whenever possible.

That is some very happy yarn. I love the photo of it, too! Definitely not the same as all those other photos (which are scary in their similarity).