Why should we take photos?

I’m sure there’s a knitter out there who loves to be photographed in her newly finished garment. Who flounces and flirts in front of the camera and gleefully examines the resulting images.

Right? There’ll be someone, won’t there?

…crickets…

If there is, I’m yet to meet her (or him, of course). The vast majority of knitters shy from the camera, reluctantly positioning themselves there when absolutely necessary. They’re plenty proud of their finished object, but themselves? Not so much.

So why should we take photos of our FOs?

To help out other knitters

The database of photos on Rav is an invaluable resource. Photos of clothing on hangers and dress forms can be arty and cute, but they rarely tell us what the garment will look like on a real person (I don’t think I know anyone shaped like a dress form*). I’m including cowls, scarves, and shawls; all too often, these are draped over inorganic (if pretty) objects and we can’t see how they would work in real life, on a real person.

Rav images can show if the pattern really works out the way the designer intended and if it will look good on a particularly body type. Not to mention the myriad of fibre and colour combinations.

If you’re avoiding taking photos, think of all the Ravellers!

Ursula cardigans on Rav - I don't think I would've had the confidence to make this cardigan without all these great examples

Ursula cardigans on Rav – I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to make this cardigan without all these great examples

To  think objectively about our photos  – and ourselves!

On Saturday morning, I decided I must photography my newly finished Avery Cowl on myself. Just balls up and take the damn photo. Did my hair, bought a tripod, and flinched my way through it. Sighed over the resulting images.

But although I originally sighed at my photos, each time I looked at them, I felt a little better. I looked at them more critically, but in a more constructive manner. That photo was a little over exposed, but the way I positioned my arms was good. The cowl needing adjusting in that photo, but that’s easily fixed. Rather than a whole object that expressed all that was wrong with me and my appearance/knitting abilities/photography skills, it became just another photo – which could be accessed more objectively.

Photographs allow us to critique, but not judge. 

avery4

After a bit of effort, I don’t look at this image and think – jezz, that’s a bit gormless. I needed to settle the cowl a little bit, remove the distractions from the right of the image, and possibly smile a bit more – but all of those things are achievable!

 

To take better photos

As much as we continually repeat phrases like ‘practice makes perfect’, it’s surprising how much we don’t believe it. We (or at least myself and many people I know) want to be good at something now. And feel bad when we don’t. Which is ridiculous.

The best thing about ‘practising’ photography is that you really can see yourself getting better – you have evidence of how ‘bad’ you used to be and how much ‘better’ you’ve become!

For top tips on taking better photos, have a look at this post by sewing blogger Cashmerette. In addition to excellent tips, Cashmerette has been photographing herself for so long you can see her progress – if you needed evidence that practice will make perfection!

The only way to get better is practice – and that includes getting better at practising! 

So many things wrong with these slippers and the image – practice has improved by my knitting and photography!

*Amendment: After making the blatant statement that no one is shaped like a dress form, I have discovered one of my knitting friends has the exact same measurements as a Spotlight dressmakers dummy. I am oddly jealous.

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