December 28th, 2021
5 Basic Tips on How to Photograph Your Quilts!
Have you ever taken a selfie? If you don’t know what a selfie is, just ask any teenager or better yet, let them show you… they’re guaranteed to have at least a dozen on their cell phones from the past week alone! The ultimate goal of a selfie is to show off your best self (or in some cases your best duck impersonation #ducklips). You’re going to do whatever it takes to find that ideal lighting that makes your skin glow and the perfect angle that makes you look a little thinner or a little taller.
Even if you’re not taking daily selfies and posting them all over social media, I’ll bet you DO want to take some awesome photos of your quilts to share with all of your friends, don’t you?? After all, you did put your heart and soul into them! Here are a few simple steps to taking a successful photo of your quilts and sewing projects:
Natural light is your best friend. The number one reason a photo doesn’t turn out right is bad lighting. Unless you have a professional photography studio in your home, then natural light will give you the best detail and the most accurate colors to show your beautiful craftsmanship in the best light (see what I did there?). So, open a window or go outside… more on this to come!
Look for open shade. ‘Open shade’ is that sweet spot right between the sun and the shade where you’re illuminated by light, but not actually IN it. Mid-morning or early evening are perfect times to find beautiful open shade. If you’re taking the photo inside, then open all the windows and let in as much light as possible. Your project should be facing the brightest light source in the room (most likely the window). Pick a time of day where the room is filled with light, but the sun isn’t shining directly into the window. If you don’t have a room in the house with nice natural light, then take your project outside. Surprisingly, an overcast day is an excellent time to take a photo outside. Just make sure you’re still looking for that source of light to keep the shadows at bay!
Think about what you are trying to showcase in your photo. If you’re trying to show the overall design of your quilt, then your angle should be straight on, showing the entire area evenly. If you are folding your quilt or draping it on furniture, make sure it shows enough of the repeated block pattern that people can get a good idea of the design! If you want to show the detail of the stitching, then you can be more creative with your angle and get close up to the quilt.
Remove unnecessary distractions. I understand that the best-lit room in your home might have a treadmill right in the center of it, but you want the primary focus of your photo to be your beautiful quilt and not the dusty workout equipment it’s resting on. So, get up close and let your project fill the photo without much else in the background.
Practice, practice, practice! Just like when you’re taking a selfie, commit to practicing and trying it out until you find what works! Try out different rooms in the house or spots in the yard until you find that sweet spot!
If you follow these basic steps, even your cell phone can take a ‘post-worthy’ photo!
Have you made a quilt using a Missouri Star quilting tutorial or pattern? Use #msqcshowandtell to share your creation with us on Instagram! We can’t wait to see what you’ve created!
Written by Marissa Swearngin