Friday 9 June 2017

Photographing your quilt items

Photography Mug Rug from my Hobby & Fun Pattern Book

People often ask about my photo taking skills.  I’ve got to say it has been one of the hardest things to master.  I've learnt by trial-and-error and I thought I'd share some of my top tips for taking good photographs:

1.         Use natural light –not direct sunlight just good daylight.
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 82 - Pharlemia

2.         Use a good camera.  Many phones now have excellent cameras but I prefer to use a simple point-and-shoot camera.  You don't need anything fancy - in fact the less gadgets and gizmos then the less there is to go wrong. (I am currently using a Nikon Coolpix camera which is three years old.)

3.         For small items use a soft white backdrop so that it doesn’t distract from the item.  I have a piece of board (3’ x 3’) which I painted white but any whiteboard will do.  The good thing about using a board is you can move it around depending on where the best light is.
Heart Banner Mug Rug Pattern

4.  For bigger quilts and runners you may need to go outside if you want to photo the whole quilt.  Pick a nice day - not a sunny day and take lots of photos so you can pick the best. If you need to take the photo inside try folding the quilt and taking a photo of a section of it.  
Farm Girl Vintage quilt laid on the grass.

4.       Try to keep your presentation the same or very similar.  Use the same background for blocks and small items and present the items in a similar manner.  People will then be able to recognise your photos before they read your blurb.  I normally take a picture at an angle with a little something to add interest in the top left-hand corner.
Courthouse Steps Block from One Block Mug Rugs Pattern Book

5.     My final point is about connection and learning.  Share your photos on-line.  It can seem scary at first but it is a great way of making friends around the world and also of learning photography skills and tips but seeing how others do it.  And you never know where it might lead - for me it led to the creation of The Patchsmith.
Bee Lori's Love Instagram Block

I started taking photos in artificial light on a wooden table - the wooden table soaked up any good light there was and it was often night-time as I was working in the day. Sometimes you have to work with what you've got!   
If you want to see some more of my photos just head on over to my Instagram feed or visit my Pinterest boards.  

Until next time.......


  1. Wonderful tips, Amanda. You have definitely mastered the art of photography. Your Instagram feed is one of my favorites!

  2. Such good pointers for taking your gorgeous photos! I love looking to see what little "extras" you add in the corners!!
    You have the magic touch for beautiful pictures, Amanda!