Disclaimer: I AM NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER. I’ll be the first to admit this.
I’ll also admit that I typically spend way too much time working on a garment. By the time it is done, I am so excited it’s finished! So much detail work! I want to show everyone! Normally, this is when I’d call up my people and try to coordinate the busy schedules of photographers, models, hair stylists, and makeup artists with my own crazy schedule. It’s not impossible, but I find the process of coordinating everything kind of stressful and sometimes it dampens my excitement. When schedules don’t line up great, I’m stuck with a pile of cool clothes and no way to show my online customers what they could be buying. I kept thinking, “I wish I could skip all that and just have the photo.”
I finally got tired of wishing this thought over and over and decided to try something new. Maybe if I could just take the photo myself? I’m DIY all the way anyways, so I’m surprised I waited this long. I figured out a place in my home studio where I could put a little photo spot. My parents recently gifted me with a new digital camera. I gathered a bunch of lights. Time to start practicing! (aka: taking a gazillion shots of the same thing while clicking one button at a time on my new camera.)
My new photo setup in The Coalmine.
While it’s not exactly an ideal photography setup, it’s what I’m working with for now. This little space has been lovingly nicknamed The Coalmine. I like that it looks grungy and rough, but when I started I kind of forgot that it really was ACTUALLY grungy and rough. I had to spend a whole week cleaning this little nook out. It was previously being used for storage, so I emptied it out and then swept about sixteen million dustpans of dirt out. It was a lot of work. (Whine, whine.) Also, it’s COLD in there during the winter. I have to wear some winter gear when I take photos. I’m a total wimp about being cold. (Whine, whine.)
Manny the Mannequin: Ready for his closeup.
Prepping a pair of coveralls.
I know that my new photo space isn’t perfect, and neither are the photos that are taken there. For one, I’m definitely still working on learning about my new camera and getting a better light arrangement. I prefer to show my clothes on live humans as opposed to dressforms or hangers, since it gives the clothes more energy. Even with the inanimate models and the rookie photography skills, I’m pretty pleased with the setup and the ease of the process. Anything that helps me get garments from my sewing machine to my customers in a more efficient way is awesome. Have I mentioned how much I’m really focused on becoming more efficient? I also like that the photos I take are MINE. I can do whatever I want with them. I can edit them. I can put watermarks in. I can take the watermarks out. I can use them for print, for online and for profit. They aren’t perfect, but they are all mine.
One cool thing about working in a space that is nicknamed The Coalmine: You can say “Yeah, I’ve been working down in the coalmine all day.”