Saturday, May 25, 2013

Why I suck at photography

It's true (if you haven't already garnered that from looking at my blog) I am a pretty blah photographer.
 Give me a pencil + paper and I can come up with a half decent sketch. A camera? Well lets just say that thank goodness we are now in the age of digital photography, as I think I would have wasted a lot of film trying to get half decent pics for my posts these years past.

Add actually being the model for the shots into the mix and my clumsiness factor behind the lens amps up to the max! 
I have decided, after trial and error, that a tripod and timer feature (on your camera) are indeed a bloggers best friend. Using both of these means I am able to take photos on my own (handy if you are doing it during toddler nap times) and it doesn't matter how many times I have to retake the shot (as I'm not taking up anyone else's time doing it). Also I may feel quite self conscious about having my picture being on my own means I can relax a little, and - most importantly- get rid of all those "unflattering" shots before anyone else sees them!! (ha ha vain much?).

So one thing I hadn't thought of much before signing up to be a pattern tester is that -if I am making the garment up for myself- I would be the one modelling said finished garment. OK not too unusual as after all I DO have a sewing blog BUT I totally forgot about the bit where maybe your pic might end up on someone else's blog or website- eek! Suddenly I'm thinking my crappy camera skills might not make the grade.
 Many pattern designers are now asking for "pro" (professional) quality shots from their testers. Having a very dilapidated (uh I have some unknown dust/grains stuck in my lens- probably due to being haphazardly shoved in a nappy bag without a case) digital camera and pretty basic skills I've not even bothered looking at being a tester anyone asking for "pro" level shots. So far so good I have managed to still test a few patterns while hanging on to my outdated digital camera and distinct lack of skills.
 However I think this will not be the case for much longer. As interest in home sewing increases (thank you British Sewing Bee) and pattern designers get a wider pool of  applicants for testing, it is more likely that sewists who are also good photographers will be selected for testing. Test garment shots that are of good enough quality to be used on websites and for promotional materials will always be an attractive added bonus for any pattern designer. 
So what does this mean for me? Well I'm guessing a new camera is on the cards, something a step up from a "point-n-click" but still not so $$$ as to break the bank, this is a hobby blog after all. Luckily this need for a new camera also coincides with a fall in the price of digital camera technology so yay for me- a small win ;)
I may possibly also borrow a book on photography from the local public library, or perhaps just google the web for some tips...who knows what option is better these days? It all depends on available time- or in my case lack of- so I would say the google option would be the most likely route for me.

In the meantime I have Instagram, which while being very un-blogger friendly at first appearances, does have the ability to take my Iphone pictures from "meh" to "quite passable" in a few deft finger swipes.

Here's a pic I took and edited on my Iphone of the "Eucalypt" tank dress that I pattern tested for Megan Nielsen (edited using the InstaCollageFree App and then uploaded to Instagram):

And here's a few out takes from today's shoot featuring the same dress and also the Cascade skirt (also pattern tested for Megan Nielsen), taken on my dodgy digital camera.

First up we have: Blurry

 Then I managed to get it in focus but chopped myself in half....

.....Not setting the timer long enough...

......Not setting the timer at all (yeah that's me still behind the camera)...

...OK lets chop off BOTH the top of my head and feet...

...and then how about this weird, slightly pained expression?

In the end (and after much swearing) I did manage to get a few shots that I think I can safely email off to the designer. 
If they pass muster I will post the resulting link lol!

In the meantime....

Happy Sewing (and may all you all have better luck at photography)!

Kate ;)


Renae said...

Oh I love this post! The few times I've sewn garments and blogged them I've been somewhat embarrassed to post my pics given the quality of some of the photos around. It's nice to know there's people out there who have just as many outtakes as me!

Kate @ Sewing For Sanity said...

Yay thanks Renae that was part of the whole reason I posted this- I wanted to say that not everyone produces a fantastic shot first off. Quite often it takes reasonably good equipment, some experience with the medium at hand and confidence to pull it off. And some people- like me- never really get "there" at all.
But still we blog/post and hope for the best.....;)

Jill said...

Gaahh!! I hate it! I hate pics of me and I feel so silly taking them of myself. It is certainly a conundrum...feel like a dork with no one watching or watch my husband scoff and still feel like a dork while he takes them.

Kate @ Sewing For Sanity said...

@Jill I know - it's so awkward isn't it?