Photographing your craft :: The importance of backgrounds
This is a new segment which I'm going to be writing about on the blog, and that's tips for photographing your craft. So many times when looking around the web, I see beautiful quilts and handmade items, but the photo lets it down. It's such a shame as I know how much hard work goes into your handmade pieces and if there had been just a few tweaks here and there, the photos would've been gorgeous!
Now, I must start this by saying that I'm not an expert in photography, but I have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. I really want you all to show off your pride and joy and hard work in the best possible way. So I hope that you get something out of these postings. They are going to be written specifically for the crafter and quilter in mind...fingers crossed!
Today, I'm going to be talking about the importance of backgrounds. The right background ensures that your handmade item is the first thing that people will look at in your photo. Choosing the correct background will set the scene and enhance your craft piece. Choosing the wrong background and this could take away and hide your handiwork.
When choosing the background be aware of colour and patterns. Too much can be distracting and will hide your handmade item.
It's easy to create your own background. I often use boards which I tape fabric or paper to. This way I can change the background easily and when I'm not shooting, I can easily slide the boards away. Remember though...choose a matt, non-shiny background. Choose a background colour that complements what you are showcasing, remember you are trying to show off your handiwork not detract from it.
Let me show you what I mean. Here's some photos I took of a punnet of berries for an earlier post. It's the same punnet in each of the photos, I've just changed the backgrounds.
Here's the punnet of strawberries taken with a soft, white, neutral background.
When using colour you need to know a little bit about the colour wheel. Choose colours that are of the same shade (contrasting) or are complementary.
Here's the same punnet, but this time I chose a pink background to contrast the reds from the strawberries. Pink is a lighter shade of red, and therefore is a contrasting colour.
Ok, can you see a difference? The white background makes the berries "pop" out more, don't you think? Whereas the pink background flows better. It just depends on the final look you are trying to achieve.
Try the same berries but with a blue background. If you look at the colour wheel, blue is directly opposite red on the wheel and is a complementary colour.
You can also think about using patterns in your background. Just remember not to use patterns that are too bold, too big or clash with the handmade item. You want something that is soft and subtle.
You can also think about using different textures, such as woods, linens and tiles. Cutting boards also make great natural backgrounds to use too. Try creating some layers.
Here's another shot of the berries, but I've layered some pieces of fabric underneath.
So next time you are taking a photo think about the background. Can you move it to somewhere else? Can you put something behind it? Is there a colour in the quilt that you would like to highlight by choosing a background that will contrast with it?
Hope I've been of some help. Which photo of the berries do you prefer?