Book Review: The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos

My mom was kind enough to give me several great books for my birthday.  I’ll be reviewing them here over the next few weeks.

First up: the crafter’s guide to taking great photos: the best techniques for showcasing your handmade creations by Heidi Adnum

The only thing cumbersome about this book is the extra-long title.  Once inside, this slim volume packs tons of useful information and tips into short, readable chapters. I felt confidant skipping the bits I was familiar with already, because each section is clearly labelled.  Throughout the book, I found the photos beautiful and inspiring.  In addition general tips on photographing handmade work, the author devoted nine chapters to specific categories of the handmade, including pottery, jewelry, and (hooray!) knitting and needlecraft.

Each topical chapter gives specific tips for camera settings and tools, solutions to typical challenges in that category, and (my favorite) interviews a crafter from that category. I learned a lot from these “practitioner spotlights,” even those for crafts I’m not currently pursuing.

For me, the biggest gift from this book is the detailed instructions for DIY lightboxes and diffusers.  I’m pretty happy with my camera right now (a Canon Powershot A710, a few years old at least), but every once in a while I wish I didn’t have to wait for good weather to take my knitwear photos.  I’ve also struggled a bit when photographing smaller knit items. The lightbox and diffuser solve both these problems — can’t wait to try them out.

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