Wednesday, March 27, 2013

anatomy of a knitwear photoshoot

 I was blabbing with a friend about my activities leading up to a photo shoot for Green Mountain Spinnery last week, and she was surprised at all the stuff going into it. I thought maybe you'd like to know, too?  We haven't done the final editing, so consider these a peek.
Looks like a simple photo, right? Here're all the parts:
•  The design itself:  the Gulfoss sweater, by Cap Sease.  (The sweater link is to their existing image, on Ravelry.  I am updating their look.)
• The rest of her wardrobe. I shopped for the shirt (borrowed & returned after the shoot). I was a teeny bit obsessed with finding plum & white gingham. The jeans & boots belong to the model, who brought 4 pair of each that day,  at my request.
•  Karen, my model, is a real person.  Yes, she looks like this. I know, it is unfair.  She's an acquaintance I've been keeping in mind in case the right sweater came along for her.  I recruited her and her hubby for the shoot.  (It took a bit of persuasion).
• Her hair & makeup, by Jill, my super talented makeup/hair/groomer wizard. She knows what she is doing. Everyone looks like a best version of themselves-  fabulously natural. 
• Her hairstyle--in the weeks leading up to the shoot, I collected images on a Pinterest board with the feel, or detail, or  textural combination, or pose, that related to this shoot in my imagination. A styling moodboard.  I sent a link to the board to Jill, who figured out how to do the fishtail braid just right for sweater modeling (stylish, outdoorsy , and doesn't block the sweater yoke!).
• The location: I spent a day (plus some)  driving and stomping around sites that were close to each other, had good colors or textures for the background, fit the theme I was imagining, checking where the light was falling, and not too far from our homebase where changes and makeup (and warming up) were happening. Scouting is more time consuming than you'd think.
•  Posing- well, you need to direct the scene. Otherwise the most important details of a sweater might get lost.  I was trying to get the yoke to appear against the upper color of the boat, to sort of frame it.
Pretty sure this won't be the select for the scarves, but it's good for my post. Love these two!
The shopping and wardrobe can be the hardest for me . What you put together, and the little details,  can totally change the look of the knitwear. Which is why it is called styling. I like coming up with the ideas or the themes,  but I just don't like shopping that much.  If there is budget, a photo stylist does this important task. I love photo stylists. Like, here, both models are wearing pairs of my boots. I shopped for the shirts, and the bracelets and earrings were a combo of borrowed & shopped for.  Giuliana (on the left) is wearing a  pair of vanilla jeans that belong to Yliana, on the right. Both are freeeeeeezzzzzzing.
You can tell  the temperature by how the client, Margaret from Green Mountain, is dressed. And she is a Vermonter! The shawl went to my queue, stat.
So, when I scouted, there was a beautiful sleek horse next to one location,  who just wanted to be petted and nuzzle me. When we were shooting, instead of my loveydovey, there was a grizzled older horse in the pasture--and I'm not so sure he's into knitwear fashion.
• • • • • • • • •
Two comments about links and a (literal) footnote:
If you click on the Green Mountain Spinnery link in the first 'graph, you'll find some really excellent stretching /PT advice for sore wrists and handstress on their front page.

Cap Sease, who designed that Icelandic influenced cardi,  is the author of the best selling Cast On, Bind Off, which is linked to her name, You ought to own this book!

and finally, the boots on the left that Giuliana are wearing, are mine courtesy of Ann of Purling Swine and The Village Knitter. Ask her for the story behind them, it's a good one.


patriceod said...

I want to make these knitted garments. I want to buy the yarn. I want to be styled--every day before heading out. And your models did a great job of not looking cold. Great work!

Lori ann said...

whew. it is alot that goes on behind your great photos. i love hearing about it. everything sounds like a lot of fun (work fun) except the shopping, i'm not too much for that either. cute boots and knits! i've always wanted to try green mountain spinnery wool.

Mandy said...

Your styling is great! I recently attended an ASMP event and was surprised how much time/money goes into a commercial shoot. Do you ever use an assistant?

Carole said...

I think this is a really great post, especially for anyone photographing handknits. There is so much planning and thought that goes into all this - it's not just popping into the backyard with your latest sweater and taking a few snapshots. This is why your photos wind up in books and mine wind up on my blog! Great advice and details, Gale.

Ruth said...

I used to work as a production manager for tv commercials, and your post took me right back! I remember having to track down sweaters in multiple shades of turquoise for a winter shoot ... which was taking place in August. A lot of effort, but I always thought that the prep was fun.

Ellen Mason said...

Holy Mackeral, I can't wait to see all your photos of this gorgeous collection! The styling is so approachable - I think most of us can imagine ourselves dressed this way.

Lisa Allen said...

I love the story behind the story. Your framing detail about the yoke of the sweater against a certain portion of the boat's hull and the unexpected change in horses -- wonderful!

Mary Lou said...

We all could use some styling. Giuliana looks beautiful, if cold. Great post. I wish I could hire you to reshoot all my patterns, lucky green mountain.

Jan Cooper said...

Wow, what an interesting post! I wish you would collect all your fiber photography advice into a book (an e-book, please?) When I looked back at the first photograph after reading about your composition against the boat, it felt like I was seeing a brand new photograph!

Maybe it's time for me to take another class from you! :)

Lee said...

THIS is why I will always use a pro for my photo shoots. Little old me can do a meh job for the blog, and when I remember what you have taught me my pics are better than meh, but you get what you pay for! :)

Ellen Bloom said...

WOW! Great description of all that goes into a stylin' photo shoot, Gale! I'm tired just reading this! Nice work....great knits!

craftivore said...

I love hearing about your process getting ready for the shoots. I've art directed some food shots and they are super complicated in their own way but I haven't had too much to do with models and fuzzy fashions. So nice hearing all about it and I did notice your pins in the last couple of weeks and figured you were doing research, same with Mary Jane's and love seeing them.

Marla McLean, Atelierista said...

I have to say, you make everything look easy, beautiful and flawless. Who knew how much truly goes into it all. Bravo! It really was interesting being a sorta fly on the wall.

Stacey (FreshStitches) said...

Thanks so much for this post... those beautiful photos don't come easy! :)

gayle said...

I love this!
Thank you so much for the behind the scenes look!