Anyone remember Heather Locklear's TV commercial for Faberge shampoo in the 80s? "When I first tried Faberge Organics Shampoo with pure wheat germ oil and honey, it was so good I told two friends about it. And they told two friends. And so on, and so on…" (and if you weren't even alive then, well, hello youtube).
It took a similarly multiplying word of mouth (not from Heather but the KnitGirllls!) that I found out that Gale Zucker would be coming practically to my backyard to lead a workshop on photography for handcrafters. Sign me up!
I had heard Gale's lecture on how to shoot knitwear at Vogue Knitting Live in New York in January, and as with most talks of that ilk, I kept wishing I could watch her in action, or at the very least, have my camera in hand to try out her tips right then.
Eight other students and I met up with Gale in workspace at Portland's own A Gathering of Stitches (more to come on this dream space for crafters). Each of us explained her reason for being there. My reason? My Rav designer page shows FOs that have been professionally shot on models for magazines, and then, well, there are the self-published designs. Some of these things are not like the others...
It was more than time to confront my fear of photography. For so long, the idea of me behind the camera was funny, as I spent 20 years as a magazine editor in New York and it was part of my job to tell the art department why a particular photo just didn't work for a particular story. Karma is a you-know-what.
It wouldn't be fair to pass along too much of Gale's great advice, but I can distill it to one overall point that resonated with my particular photo phobia--the idea that "real" photography comes only through controlling your camera via its manual settings. Thanks to Gale, I don't think it's "cheating" to let the camera's auto settings do some of the work--white balance in particular. And, as I found in trying repeatedly to shoot the swatch for my X-Cable Turtleneck (right), no amount of changing backgrounds, settings or lighting rendered the yarn's true lavendar color. So, now, off to (free!) photo-editing I go.
Find out more about Gale's photography--yarn-related and otherwise--as well as her latest book projects at one of the best site titles ever in the fiber web world: she shoots sheep shots.