I'd like to make a confession: I take all my Instagram pictures with my iPhone 7 and I do not own any photography lighting or backdrop. Yet I often get the nicest compliments on my feed from you guys.
If you've completed one of our knit kits or if you're a maker, then you also probably want to share pictures of your creation(s) on your Instagram, or to send to your family and friends (and you should, because it's something you can be proud of!). So I would like to give you all my secret tips and tricks on how to take beautiful pictures of your knits without using any special equipment.
#1. Use natural lighting.
Forget about taking pictures in the evening, or using your desk light: look out for natural lighting instead. It doesn't have to be sunny, just bright enough. The best time is usually between 11 am and 3 pm. Position yourself outdoors, or indoors near a window. You will probably still need to adjust the brightness later on using an app (see #4), but the natural light will give you a good and neutral base to work with.
#2. Go for a clean, preferably white background.
If you're going for a flatlay, dark backgrounds or a messy desk is a big no-no. You want your knit to be the star of the picture, so a white and clean background is the best way to put your creation in the spotlight and avoid visual distractions. If you don't have any white tables, you can consider using your bed if you have white bedsheets, it will also have the added benefit to set a cosy mood. For my pictures, I found a very practical and affordable hack: I got the LACK Side Table at IKEA (HK$99), left the four feet out and I just use the board around the studio as a background.
#3. Hello props!
Use little objects that you have around the house to use as props for your pictures, it will make your photos look more natural and stylish at the same time. It doesn't have to be expensive pieces of decor, everyday objects will suffice: your morning cup of coffee, candles, pillows, knitting needles... For my pictures, I love to use my Gold Birdie Scissors as a prop, as well as flowers or plants that I have laying around. If you're on a limited budget, consider using fake plants (you can find some at the HK$12 store) or dried ones (I bought a bunch of eucalyptus leaves at the wet market a few months back and I still use them for my pictures - plus they smell good). Another tip if you want to shoot a scarf or a beanie: remember that the best prop for that... is YOU!
#4. Apps are your best friend.
Photo-tuning with apps is a must to get beautiful pictures. Not those dramatic filters that make the colours neon but sometimes just adjusting the brightness a little can do wonders. To edit my pictures, I use the VSCO app. I love the F2 and G3 filters, to which I add brightness and decrease contrast and I often crop and reposition the picture to make it straight. And voilà!
Left/top: before app editing
Right/bottom: after app editing
#5. Play with textures and perspectives.
Your knits are made of stitches so they are very photogenic by default. Feel free to play with their textures: instead of laying them flat, create waves or focus on the details of the stitches... If you're one of the lucky ones who own an iPhone 8 or above, use the Portrait mode that's included in your camera which will blur the background and make your picture look like it was taken by a pro.
How about you? Do you have any rules your swear by when taking photos of your knits?