Photography Tips for Pattern Testers

You've just sewn up your final garment for a pattern release and you want to show it off with the best photos you possibly can. I'm going to give you some basic tips to really highlight your garment! Here are some of my favorite photos of the Nicolette using the tips I will go over below!

Tip #1 - It's all about the light!

Light is the most important thing about photography and it can really take years to master. The tips below are tailored to be basic suggestions for people who are unsure about how to get the best light:

A) Don't shoot in direct midday light. It's harsh, unflattering, creates yucky shadows, and is just generally not ideal light. (This is the first picture in my collage below.)

B) Beware of "dappled" light. It's not ideal either. Dappled light is where there are areas of shade with bright light peeking through. The goal is to have nice even light, and the contrast of light and dark is not ideal. (This is the middle picture in my collage below.)

C) If you have to shoot midday and it's bright outside, try to find shade. When the sun is high in the sky, shade can be difficult to find, but usually you can get nice shade along a line of trees. (This is the last picture in the collage below.)

The absolute best light if you want something easy to work with is early morning or late evening light. When the sun is lower in the sky its not as harsh and shade is more plentiful. Example - the sun is over the trees that are behind me, but it's low enough that the area I'm standing in is fully shaded:

Tip #2 - ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!!!

Many people think that zooming is only to help you get closer or farther away. While that is it's most obvious use (and super convenient when you can't physically move the camera) - zooming has another amazing capability - it makes more flattering portraits!

Let me show you what I mean. The following images are how my camera was set up to shoot at 35mm, 70mm, and 140mm:

Look at the resulting photos below. Notice how much more flattering the focal length is on the subject and how much less distracting the background is as the focal length gets longer. Also, you don't have to have 100mm+ lenses - just use the longest length you can!

Tip #3 - Be mindful of your backgrounds!

This is pretty simple and straight forward, but often overlooked. Simply look through your camera before you take the photo and notice if anything in the background is too busy or too distracting. Often, it's easy to shift either the camera or your body just a few feet in either direction and get a better background.

This tip applies to shooting outdoors and indoors! I'm going to give you some distracting background examples below. Don't shoot like this:


Tip #4 - Indoor photos can be great!

Remembering tip #1 ("it's all about the light") and tip #3 ("be mindful of your backgrounds"), there is no reason not to shoot inside if you have good available light. Windows make such a beautiful light source and I bet your home probably has a couple of them! If it's raining or freezing (or if the sun is high and bright), don't be afraid to try some photos indoors.



Leave them in the comments below or feel free to tag me in the Sonia Estep Designs Facebook Group or Tester Pool!
- Jodi

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