3 Jul 2009

Photography Tutorial: Photographing Intricate Textiles

I was searching for a topic for this month when my good friend Colleen asked for my help with her cross stitch samples: she’s a designer and told me she can never seem to capture the true colors of her work when photographing the finished product. I decided to tackle the challenge...and indeed, it was a challenge!

Here are four of my images:

Rule #1: Never, ever use a flash when photographing textiles. It will change the color of your fabric, thread, etc. and will also wash out the details in your image.

Rule #2: Unless you have a light box (see my previous month’s tutorial re: building your own), always use diffused natural light from a window (photographing outside on an overcast day will work as well, but avoid bright sunlight: it will create too many shadows when dealing with intricate, raised stitches as in the designs above).

Rule #3: Use the macro setting on your camera (or borrow a camera with that function). The intricate stitches deserve a detailed look, so don’t be afraid to get in close to highlight unique stitches, beading, etc.

Rule #4: If you have more than one photo spot, shoot one image straight-on, and one from an angle: this will help customers see both the overall design, as well as the details.

I will say the major challenge with natural light photography is shooting on a day with fast-moving clouds in the sky: they constantly change the light source. You'll possibly need to put down your camera until the next day, but don't be discouraged: using natural light is one of the best ways to ensure that your colors stay true!

Written by Michelle of MKC Photography

1 comment:

  1. Great advice. I've got to go back and replace some bad photos in my studio.


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