Crocheting is (unsurprisingly) one of my absolute favorite things to do. Feeling the yarn flow through my hands is meditative, and coming up with new designs really lets me maximize my creativity. But in doing this hobby, I’ve found another hobby that I love: knitting & crochet photography! I am no expert, but I know this type of information would’ve helped me immensely when I began my crochet business. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a cell phone camera and great lighting will do! I’m going to go into the basics of taking a GREAT photo and from there, my personal favorite, editing those photos. I primarily do portrait photography, so I’ll focus on that perspective. However, all these tips can be applied to flat-lay photography, as well.
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Crochet Photography: Equipment
It may come as no surprise, but you don’t need any fancy equipment to achieve amazing photos! You can 100% get away with just using your phone. The most important thing is to have GREAT lighting. However, a “real” camera allows you A LOT more versatility in terms collaborating with brands & blogging. I spent about $500 on a Canon Rebel T7 bundle and I made all my money back within a few weeks because my photos were now high-resolution, and I was able to partner with some businesses I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. (Check out this article written by Jessica of the Hook Nook for more information on why photo quality & high-resolution photos are important!). My best recommendation would be to start with your phone for A WHILE and eventually (if you want to), make the jump to a DSLR camera. All the editing tips & tricks below will apply to both “real” cameras and cell phone cameras.
Great Lighting aka The Key to a GREAT Photograph
And by great lighting, I mean even, natural light. My favorite type of lighting to take photos is when it’s super cloudy, because all the lighting tends to be even. The “evenness” of light makes for a great crisp photo and can be important during the editing process. You may be wondering “what the heck is EVEN light?” Well, it’ll be easier to show you! You’ll notice in the photo on the left, there are big portions of brighter spots and darker spots across the image. And most noticeably, there’s a dark spot across her face. Whereas on the right, the image has one “light-level” or has even light! Now you may be going for a more artsy look and uneven light is what you need and I think that can look phenomenal, but for these purposes, let’s stick with our new fave: even, natural light. (Also, the pink sweater is the Elle Cardigan if you want to check it out!)
Abobe Lightroom, I Love You
So now that you took your photos, it’s time for the BEST part of photography! PHOTO EDITING! In a way, it’s similar to knitting & crochet in the sense that it can be relaxing, meditative, and repetitive. You may be thinking “isn’t editing a photo sort of lying a little bit?” and my answer to that is ABSOLUTELY NOT. Photo editing is simply a way for you to brighten your images & show off your fabulous makes. The core of the product is still the amazing knitting or crochet project you created, editing the photos helps to show it off and remove any unwanted background issues (we’ll get to that later).
My absolute FAVORITE photo editing software is Adobe Lightroom Classic (their photo plan starts at $9.99 a month and honestly worth every penny, I even use it for family photos too!). At first, it was quite overwhelming, but with a lot of trial & error, it’s now a breeze. But I’m here to walk you through EVERYTHING so you don’t have to waste any time though. First thing you’re going to want to do is import your photos, and in Lightroom, you’ll do this!
I’ve imported my photos… Now what?
Once you’ve imported your fabulous array of crochet photography into Lightroom, you’re going to click “Develop” at the top right hand of the page. This will be your main photo editing area and where you’ll spend 99% of your time for this project. The very first thing I do for ANY photo is on the right hand panel, I scroll down to the “Lens Corrections” tab and I click “Remove Chromatic Aberration” and “Enable Profile Corrections”. The first is just a way to improve you crochet photo quality by removing an unrealistic edge of color. Basically, it’s something a newbie wouldn’t notice but an expert would. And we want the best for our crochet photography, so let’s just do it. The second has a bit more to it. All camera lenses are different and all camera lenses have their own characteristics. By enabling profile corrections, you’re allowing the software to remove any distortions to your photo that the camera lens (even an iPhone lens!) is causing. (Here’s a more in-depth article on lens distortion if you want more info!)
Exposure + Presets = your new best friend
The thing that REALLY takes your photos to the next level are presets, which are photo-editing settings that are designed to transform your photos into a finished product with a few buttons. It speeds up the editing process IMMENSELY. The ones I recommend (and use!) are from Etsy, found here. This shop has a ton of different presets so definitely browse around and find one that fits your aesthetic and branding, but the one I use for literally everything is “Brighter Whites”. And at a flat price of only $3.99, you can’t really beat it. In the photos below, you can see a raw photo of the Wildflower Cardigan on the left and then on the right, you can see the same photo after I applied my preset. Same fabulous crochet cardigan, just cleaned up a bit!
I do want to add a caveat to presets though. A preset will not be the end of your editing process. It’ll get you 90% of the way there, but to really get that quality image you’re looking for, you’re going to have to play around with your exposure setting. The Exposure slider can be found on the right hand panel under “Basic”. You’re going to want to slide that until you like the look of your photo. Sometimes when you add a preset to a photo, it’ll be massively overexposed and look terrible. BUT you just have to slide the exposure slider wayyyyyy down and VOILA, a great photo!
The Greatest Crochet Photography Tip of All: The Sync Button!
So when I first starting editing photos in Lightroom, it took FOREVER! Because on each and every photo, I had to go in and apply my preset, enable lens correction, etc. But are you ready for the biggest time saver of all time???? The Sync button can apply all those things to EVERY. SINGLE. PHOTO. in an album so you don’t have to.
To do this, you are going to begin editing the 1st photo in your album with all the things we’ve gone over up until now. Once you’ve gotten your preset the way you like it, enabled your lens correction, & removed chromatic aberrations, with your first photo selected, hold in the SHIFT key and then click the last photo in your album. This will select every photo in the album. When you do this, the “Sync…”button in the bottom of the right hand panel will appear. Click this and a box will appear, click “Synchronize” and then ALLLLLLLLL the fabulous settings you have applied to the 1st photo will be applied to all the photos in the album.
I hope you LOVED learning a little more about knitting & crochet photography!
- If you have any knitting & crochet photography questions, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I’m going to make this crochet photography information a monthly series, if that’s something you’re interested in, I would LOVE to know. Just shoot me a DM on Instagram!
- In the next series, we’ll cover removing unwanted background elements, whitening teeth, adding clarity to your image, brightening eyes, and so much more!
- If you want to learn something specific, let me know through email or Instagram! Let’s learn something together! I would LOVE to hear from you!
- Check out my crochet patterns here.
P.S. I absolutely LOVE seeing your makes! If you make any Herr Stitches patterns, then tag me and then I’ll share them!
P.P.S. If you love this design, don’t forget to Pin It to save for later!