Monday, January 28, 2008

How NOT to Take a Good Quilt Photograph

Today, I am presenting a quick tutorial for all of you who are considering taking lovely photographs of your quilts for web or blog posting. As a veteran of say...oh...maybe TWO good photographs of my quilts...EVER...I am not qualified to write a tutorial on how to take a good picture. It is for this reason, I offer the next best thing, and that is: how NOT to take good digital picture of your quilt for public viewing.

Step One: Do not make an entire precious original Happy Hula Hut quilt, photograph it for posterity with your new one megapixel digital camera back in 1999, and then mail it off to a far away quilt shop as a store sample. You be left with a small, blurry, postage-stamp size version of your quilt to remember it by forever. (Especially if you forget to write down which quilt shop in the United States you sent it to. Ahem...anyone?)

Step Two: Make an EXACT replica of the first quilt for the next shop that calls and wants a sample of your Hula Hut pattern. This time, write down the name of the shop you send it to; also remember to ask for it back one day.

Step Three: Decide your blurry quilt picture is not up to today's blog standards and will NOT convince anyone to buy a Happy Hula Hut quilt pattern from you. The tiny, flat and splayed museum look in quilt photography is dated. You need something more hip and modern. Decide to dig out all your old quilts from their storage lockers and photograph them looking more "natural." No more "Look at me, I'm a flat, square, unlumpy, non-wrinkled quilt, getting my picture taken in a white studio!" The new look in quilt photography is limp and drapey and outdoorsy; like you've just come upon a quilt grazing like a wild animal in it's own habitat.

Why, here's one now, grazing on our plumbago hedge! I'll take a picture of it!!!

Step Four: Be sure to secure your quilt to said hedge before the wind catches it and it lands in the spider-filled log pile underneath it. Brush off the mud and choose another shorter bush:

Uh oh. I think I killed it.

Step Five: Give up on the bush idea and lay the quilt on the grass. It's flat, but at least it looks somewhat "nature-y."

Step Six: Decide that maybe you should've ironed the big storage crease out of the middle of it before you decided to take its picture. But it doesn't matter anyway, since this is a terrible camera angle and it's starting to rain anyway.

Step Seven: Give up. You're wet, your camera is wet, your quilt is wet, and you've decided that you're a quilter, NOT a photographer. Go back in your house and sew something.

P.S. A mahalo to my new blog friend Cinnamongirl in snowy Illinois, who mentioned my blog in her text...and also showed me what my blog page looks like on her new dreamy pink Blackberry! Make sure you scroll down past all those lovely tomatoes and snow and look really close at the tiny screen. It's my blog!!! On her cute little Blackberry! Oh, I think I need one of those, don't you?


cinnamongirl93 said...

I'm glad you noticed your page on my BB. I actually like your first picture. Taking pictures of quilts isn't easy. If you have a huge spare wall or the tallest clothes line in the world.....Maybe! Thanks for the funny post!

Valerie said...

Oh, goodness! I'm so glad I'm not the only person who has this difficulty!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. This is something so many of us have problems with! LOL

Under the Lychee Tree said...

Thank you Lisa for the tutorial. I still need some practice!