I envy those of you living in nice, moderate climates, who have sun available a good deal of the time (or at least not rain), who have gardens and who do not have jobs. Why? Because I think this puts you in a position whereby you are likely to either have a nice location to take photos of large items, or can easily get to one, even if it might take you a little planning time. I live in a first floor flat, and even the ground floor doesn’t have a garden. I work full time. Oh, and I live in the UK, synonymous with rain to the rest of the world ;o)
I’ve taken photos of items in other people’s gardens, but it’s a little far for me to pop 350 miles down to Susan’s to use her fence every time I’ve got a new item to photograph, however useful it may be! My gran’s garden a few miles away is fence-free (well, apart from a little metal post fence) but is surrounded by other houses, and the washing line in the middle rather dominates it, so you don’t get the lovely rural feeling one might want in a backdrop. But, I suppose the question really is, does one want that? I’ve taken quilt photos in my pet multi-storey carpark, just down the road from the office, but do you want to see concrete and metal mesh fencing?
I suppose what I’m really asking you is, what kind of backdrop draws you to pattern covers? I’m assuming you already want the item in question to be well lit enough to see it clearly, but what else, if anything, do you want to see? For bags do you want to see a person in at least one photo for scale? If so I shall have to find a
victim volunteer to play model, and co-ordinating that, a location, free time and lack of rain may be a challenge ;o)
Jack comes to mind.
Not really pushed about a model for a bag pattern, would rather have a good clear photo of the bag. Some prop that helps me gauge the actual size of the bag is really useful. The bag on the fence gives me some idea of the size, the quilt in the car park could be any one of several sizes.
Being in the UK you have so much stone and old architecture at your ready. I like to see people for scale but not faces. V&co dies a frear job with her pattern photography. Check it out. Also, at FQ retreat Juduth taught us to wait for the right day and time to take the photo. Don't be in a rush. Wish I was there to help you.
i am as screwed as you and i've got a "garden" . if i lived near i'd accompany you on a dawn quilt bombing, there are some nice bits in glasgow…
I like a model for scale somewhere in the pattern, but on the back would be fine. I'm also totally buggered for backdrops, which is why I usually get hubby to hold them up and then I edit out any background in PS. It's a total PITA!
I like a model for scale on purse patterns. On other items, just a clear picture of the entire quilt is nice. While some part of the quilt folded might "look" better, a lot of times I want to change the size of the pattern and having a full view helps me to know row sizes, etc. Love your blog.
If it was a bag I'd like some idea of scale, probably a model -but maybe as an insert photo so can still see a fairly large scale shot of bag. I do like a good backdrop but know how tricky it is – any of Glasgow's lovely parks near you? Good luck! Juliex
I like to see a model with a bag so I can get a sense of scale since I am short. It's important to me to know I am not going to make a bag that will dwarf me!
Did you see Leanne's photos of her Orb in her office. It's quite an industrial background and I dig it! Loving your second photo especially 🙂
I like anything that shows the scale of the bag. I have a garden but now where decent to hang bags to take nice photos. Even if I did I'd be thinking the neighbours are looking and thinking I've gone loopy taking photos of bags in the garden LOLL
I have no idea but I have too have a similar problem in that I live in the Pacific Northwest, translation – rain 6 months of the year! Plus the person who would hold my quilts is NEVER home! That being said, I do enjoy an nice neutral background of a wooden fence, or even a clothesline. I think simple is better!
I do like to see the scale of bag with a model, but it needn't be on the front. Julie from Jaybird Quilts has done plenty of patterns covers with rugged or city backdrops. Of course, she's blessed with plenty of Southern California sunshine, so …
Yes, that darned surplus of nice daylight thing those Californians have going on lol
You always do a great job of finding backgrounds that suit the quilt or bag you are showcasing . I thought the car park was fabulous!
I rather liked the carpark. (Of course, I live in a big city, so maybe I'm partial to metal and concrete.) I agree with the bit about scale and using a model for bags.
The most important thing to me is that I can clearly see the bag's features. If I like it, I'll find a way to use it, regardless of the size. 🙂
I like seeing things in outdoor settings (one of my favourite quilt pictures was taken on wooden bridge) but in pattern pictures I think people are more interested in seeing what they're going to be making than background.
You could set up a white background at home for your stuff and then the project could really shine.
I do like the fence background though in your shot above.
I so understand your struggle. I do most of my crafting at night too and getting photos indoors is very difficult. If I go outside the light here in Queensland Australia is so strong that it tends to wash things out. Theat restrict photo taking to late afternoon. add in the challenge of co-ordinating with a 'model' and the weather and other life commitments … it isn't easy. I also find that getting good pics is the biggest delay in blogging.
I don't mind what the background is, as long as it doesn't distract from the item e.g. not too busy or the same colour as the edge (so I can see where it ends). For bags I really like a person for perspective.
Absolutely want to see a bag on a human or mannequin to get an idea of size – same with all clothing too. I can handle a quilt pattern with nothing to gauge size as I seem okay at looking at the measurements and picturing it.
I prefer the morning golden hour for my photos – less people around and the light is lovely. But it's so hard to get up that early!
I don't expect you need an answer from me as my photos are usually indoors, badly lit, and the quilts hanging in front of a bedroom door , nah I'm clearly not employed by the photo police. I guess a person helps for designs you are going to sell, I have a tailors dummy you could have to use for bag photos, not quite sure how I'd get it to you though!!!
Now that I'm starting over in a new location, I feel your pain as I cannot step into my front yard and have perfect lighting every day! I think a photo of a model on a city street would be fabulous. I also rearrange my living room to get most of my photos and use a combination of chairs/furniture/and backdrops to get the pictures. Have you considered a tripod for low light?
I agree with Dee, the sun here is too bright. Judith, who took a class at the retreat said that early morning is the best time to take photos. I loved your photos in the car park. As long as you have a photo somewhere on the pattern that shows the scale, there's no heed for the main photo to have a victim included.
For bags I do like to see a person modelling them so I can try and gauge size and hang next to a real person. For quilts I love to see them photographed in interesting places so the car park is a good choice. But not so interesting I spend so much time looking at the back drop and not the quilt…
Well, I think a person for scale with a purse/bag is essential otherwise one really has no idea but you don't need their head or even great light for that photo. A snap outside the office on a coworker would work. Then have a nicer photo for the details. You can get a tall coat rack and leave it at your grandmothers to move around the garden for taking photos of bags and such. I like the urban details but the picture of the car park could have just been edited to be the quilt itself. Look for an inside location where there are a lot of windows maybe too. Personally, my family gave me lights on tripods for Christmas last year for indoor shots in winter, our light just sucks even when the sun is out many of the days from November to March, maybe your family is wondering what you need?
For a bag I think a white backdrop for the main pic would be best, then a smaller photo with a prop I.e. water bottle or a model. I like the idea of borrowing a co-worker, do you have an atrium or other indoor area with natural light near your work? I also like the drawings on vintage patterns.
I'm afraid I can't offer any advice but I'm reading the comments with interest! I do think that a little photo (inset and on the back?) of a person wearing a bag would be useful on patterns, though. Or on a dress form if you can't find a willing victim…
Scale for sure on a model :). I also think the more natural the surroundings are the better…green grass, wood fence, lakes, trees. Love your bag!
I send my quilts to magazines and they photograph them for me 😉 But yeah I get you- I'm out of the house from 8 til 6.30 and winter is drawing in so soon I will only get photos on the weekend in the same old 2/3 spots in my tiny garden.
As much as I hate to do this to you, when it comes to bags I really prefer a model holding them for scale purposes. Other than that, I am not too picky about backdrop. I am not too caught up on what the setting is – for me it is more about maintaining scale. I get frustrated when I see a quilt, buy the pattern and then realize they photographed it in a weird way so as to skew the scale of the finished product. Does that make sense?
Hey, I've been away from reading blogs for so long it may be too late to voice an opinions? I don't make. Bags, but I do like know the scale of the size of them so at least one pic with a model is good. The backdrop to a quilt picture on a pattern doesn't affect my purchase. I think that's more for arty blog type photos. The main thing about pattern pics for me is that the quilt needs to be flat and I need to be able to see the whole thing. I hate pics with the quilts draped over something looking all scrunched and gathered so I can't see the whole thing. Moda Bakeshoo authors notoriously do that and it drives me batty coz it really affects my decision if I want to make the quilt or. Not.
I'm new to your blog and reading from the archives. When looking at a new pattern the front picture needs to be a clear shot of the bag. It doesn't matter if the bag is sitting on a table, hanging from a hook or on a model. But another shot of the bag on a model for scale is important. The water bottle is a good reference but what if you don't have an out pocket and I always have a small amount of doubt to what size bottle is that… Is it one-liter or a bigger size. Although I think your Grandmother is very cute and I was surprised that her bag was that big, she didn't sell the bag. I believe most advertisers focus is that the model needs to be young and full of life… photos of yourself immediately come to mind. I love you in your sunglasses and summer dresses! I know you have a tripod and surely your DSLR has a timer. So I think that if you were doing the modeling that you would eliminate all of the coordination problems with working with another model that you mentioned on this blog page. Being from Arizona in USA, I'm not familiar with your area, but surely there are public gardens where you could take photos? Even though I do like the cement wall from your car park. As for indoor shots… you sitting at a table having tea with your bag on the back of the chair or on the floor next to your chair. Messenger bags might be cute over your shoulder with you on your bicycle…. with the bag, you and the bicycle, I'm not sure people would notice that there was a white background… besides change that F-stop and blur the background and people won't know that you are standing in front of a window and it's raining outside!
Thank you for the suggestions :o) I would love to keep going back to that location when I was in my sun dress, but it needed the South of France for that one :oD I have branched out more since this post and gained dedicated studio space by doing a bit of a makeover on my spare room which is where my hooks are. Co-ordinating the non rain days with non work days is usually my biggest challenge, though I should be more prepared to capitalise on when that happens :o)
Have you thought about wearing a rain coat in the photos and maximizing the rain instead of working around it? A plain yellow rain coat would really show off your messenger bags! You in a Black 'james bond' type rain coat would be a great back drop for your traveler bag.
We Brits are so much better at moaning about the rain than embracing it, I really need to woman up on this! And get a more fun raincoat than my current one :oD
I live in the desert. We average about 10-inches of rain per year and only 36 rainy days. I have 4 or 5 rain coats. Thin, light weight ones for summer and heavy lined ones for winter. I even have on that rolls up into a little carrying bag to keep in the car. I have a tote bag made of umbrella fabric that has a zipper on the bottom to store a matching compact folding umbrella. So, dear heart, you definitely have no excuse. ps. all my friends must be related to Brits because they are experts on moaning too.
Ah, well we average 45" per year with over 170 rainy days, so it's a little more challenging to dodge it ;o) I have plenty of raincoats, but for 6 months of the year it doesn't get above 7 C (44 F) on average which makes it a tad less appetising to go out in too! I shall make more of an effort in the summer when the average temperature goes up to 18 – 19 C (64 – 66 F), even if the number of days and amount of rain doesn't come down much :oD I am going away to the highlands and islands this summer for a week, so maybe I can get some lovely mountainous and wind swept beach backgrounds. Or maybe it'll rain lol