Handmade Ryan, who I know you are all acquainted with by this time, was asked to be part of the blog tour for the book The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos by Heidi Adnum. I was able to squeeze in a read this week so I was the member of the Handmade Ryan team chosen to take a look at the book. And I’m so glad I did!
First of all, this book is like candy. As it should be! You wouldn’t believe it if a book about taking great photos wasn’t filled with great photos. From the table of contents to the glossary, each page of Crafter’s Guide is full of some of the most beautiful pictures of handmade products, everything from jewelry to bags to knits to stationary. I flipped through it the first time like I’d flip through Vogue.
I rolled through the book a second time to take it in. The lovely photos are telling you things, like how to make your own light tent and flash diffuser. What aperture means. The pros and cons to using props in your photos.
It’s full of before and after pictures, and the same product shot in different ways, showing how the different textures in your background effect the look of your product. You want your product to look like the products in this book, so you naturally pay attention to everything Heidi Adnum is telling you.
Heidi goes into photographing specific crafts and products in the middle of her book, and naturally I read the Knitting and Needlecraft section closely. She goes into the challenges to shooting such textured products and how to overcome them. She talks about the most flattering backgrounds and compositions, and answers FAQs like how to shoot floppy, soft knits. Then she interviews Jenny Gordy of Wikstenmade about how she photographs her knits (though I couldn’t find any knitwear on her site).
Heidi goes into this kind of detail with crafts like bags, dolls, fabric, and stationary, so if you make it, she can specifically help you shoot it better.
Crafter’s Guide ends with help post-shoot. Cropping, color correcting, working with your digital files, sizing, and adding watermarks. Heidi even gives you ideas on what to do with your photos once they are looking their best, like sharing them on social media and working on your brand.
So yeah. I was really blown away by how much I liked The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos. I highly recommend this book if you sell handmade products online, if you shoot your craft and post pictures to your blog often, and if you are looking to upgrade your camera (or if you’ve got a camera you don’t really know how to use).
Written by a crafter for crafters, this book was easy to read, amazingly helpful, and instantly made me more aware of how the pictures I’m taking can look better. I’m excited to spend more time with this book soon!
Want to read more? Here are the other stops on the blog tour!
1/26 Rena Tom
1/28 SweatShopofLove co-creator of @HandmadeRyanGosling
1/30 Artist Success with Lesley Riley
2/1 Jenny N Design — featured designer in the book
2/2 Rifle Paper Co. — featured designer in the book
2/3 See How We Sew
2/4 Imagination Kids Toys — featured designer in the book
UK Blog Tour
2/7 Feeling Stitchy
2/8 UK Handmade
Australian Blog Tour