Another Sunday morning up early! This time I was heading to Wild and Woolly, a beautiful yarn shop owned by Anna Feldman in Hackney. A few days before I had seen a retweet advertising a photography workshop at Wild and Woolly and I knew I had to attend! I had never visited the shop before and got there early to have a look around. I received a warm welcome as soon as I entered the door and the charming interior was light, well presented and beautifully laid out. Immediately I was drawn to the various wonderful yarns on the shelves. Although the shop space is small the different stock held is impressive! Innovative kits, beautiful hand-dyed yarns, accessories and a beautiful shop front that changes frequently..what a gem!
The class itself was being held by Jeni Reid and Anna Maltz.
Jeni Reid is a photographer who knits and a spinner who takes photographs. A familiar face behind the camera at festivals, she blends fibre and photography on her Instagram account and the Wovember website.When she isn’t sitting in a muddy field photographing lambs, Jeni can be found living with her partner, cat, and too many bags of fleece on the north east coast of Scotland.
Anna Maltz is an avid sweaterspotter and documenter of the joys that occur before, during and after a jumper is knitted. She did her time knitting in the art world and then sidestepped into designing knitting patterns infused with an engagement in the joy of making. She writes a regular column in PomPom Quarterly and knits everywhere she goes. She is usually to be found in her hometown of London. Teaching has always been part of her career with a particular focus on playing and encouraging independence and experimentation.
Once everyone had arrived and we settled down with our morning teas and coffees it was time to talk photography! All of use there were knitters of course, and were able to talk through any issues we were having photographing certain colours or how to best show off a new knitted shawl for example. What are the best positions to photograph it in? How should the model hold it? We also talked about photography tricks and went through some simple phone photography techniques including how to turn your phone lens into a macro one! Look at the photographs below, these were taken on my iPhone with the help of a single drop of water.
After a spot of lunch hosted by Anna, which was delicious, we headed out to explore the area. It was my first time visiting Hackney which is another one of London's areas that is starting to blossom with new businesses opening.
Here is the beautiful Helen Reed, owner of The Wool Kitchen, wearing a hand knitted top. The pattern is called 'Chard' by Karie Westermann and the yarn is Helen's very own dk BFL Knit nerd and 4ply Mixed Fizz held together. Isn't it just stunning? We were all drawn to this picturesque door that was tucked down an alley. The mix of wood and brick texture really helps the yarn stand out. Helen's pose is also great as the whole photo tells a story. What's through that door I wonder?
Onto the photographs and some things that didn't work too well. Here you can see I have used a white background that happened to be a door we found. The lighting wasn't in the correct place so the image looks a little dull. The door handle in the lower right corner also takes the focus away from the model. The knitted hat doesn't stand out to me, and if I change the exposure to get a whiter background it highlights the hat too much, losing detail. This could be recovered with some editing, but the image isn't exciting enough for me to do so.
Aha! This is better! Here the natural cream beanie really pops! This was one of those shots I took when we were having a giggle and it has to be one of my favourites. Jeni looks relaxed here. Her smile lights up the photograph and the different textures in the background give the whole image depth. The photograph clearly shows off the knitted hat plus the pom pom on top.
Here is another of my favourites. Jeni has an almost cheeky look on her face which makes the image fun. The small daisy hidden in the knitted yarn shows just how chunky it really is. The weathered bricks were a test as we thought it might make the whole shot too dark, but rather the opposite! It frames the soft knit perfectly and adds more texture.
Onto props! Once again my colourful rainbow umbrella has ended up in the shot! Although not ideal to show off the colour of the beanie here as the light is coming from above. This means the umbrella is having a 'stained glass effect' on the natural cream yarn and tinting it different colours. Still a fun shot though!
The lighting is better in this shot. It isn't going through the umbrella so its colour of the yarn is true, though perhaps a little too light and losing some definition. Looking at this pose I should have asked her to turn her head to the side so you could see the pom pom, but thats why I was there after all! Make lists and work out exactly what shots you need to take before you start. Yes the photograph may be nice, but is it showing off the product? Thats what these photographs are for after all.
A few silly photos at the end! Not ideal for showing off the knitted beanie, but thats the fun of using a DSLR with a large memory card.
The whole class was lovely. I'm so glad I saw the tweet advertising it and loved meeting everyone who was there. Moving forwards I now have a clearer understanding of how to photograph my knitted garments to show them off in the best way possible. Now all I need are a few willing models and a nice sunny day...with the weather being so unpredictable at the moment this could prove to be difficult!
Here are some links to the instagram accounts on the ladies mentioned above: