February 29th, 2012

Guest Teacher Spotlight: Caro Sheridan

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When Caro Sheridan offered to teach a class at the store, we jumped at the chance!  Not only did we know that our customers would enjoy spending time with her because she is so lovely, but she also offered great ideas for how to bring crafts to life through styling and photography.  Between blogs, Ravelry, other social networks and physical craft journals, we find ourselves taking pictures of our finished objects all the time.  It is great when the photo shows just how wonderful the handmade item is! But it can be disappointing when the image doesn’t do the object justice.   Photos can be even more important for anyone designing a pattern – the image is the first impression a person gets of what the pattern holds. 

If you want to learn the tips for capturing a photo that is just right, you’ll want to check out Caro’s workshop on Saturday, March 17th from 1:00pm – 3:00pm!  This is all about staging – no camera needed!

We recently chatted with Caro about her class:

What do you enjoy most about styling and photographing knit and crochet projects? 

Caro: I love highlighting the hard work and technical details that go into handmade items. Every centimeter of fibre has passed through a maker’s hands to build an everyday object like a sweater. I’m a knitter, so I know how just how much time is in each of the objects I photograph. To me, getting to photograph that FO is so much more than just documenting something you made. If I do my job well, it’s honouring the knowledge and experience surrounding that object by showing the beauty in the details.

Photos by Caro Sheridan

(Photos by Caro Sheridan)

Why is styling important?

Caro: Styling helps set a mood and ultimately will help you sell more patterns. Be it inspirational or aspirational, if you can help people see the finished item in their own closet (or their own dream closet) you’ll be more likely to reach them. I liken it to selling a house. Some people can walk into an empty house and picture their own furniture and paint colours on the wall and know whether it would fit their lifestyle. Other people need a sprinkling of furniture here and there to spark their inspiration and imagine themselves living there. Styling your pattern photographs works the same magic as staging a house to sell.

What can students expect to learn in your class?

Caro: There will be a little colour theory, some composition recommendations, tips on posing, choosing backgrounds. They’ll learn to look at a scene and see it from the camera’s eye.

If someone isn’t a designer, what will they take away from this workshop?

Caro: They will come away with plenty of ideas on how to improve their everyday photography and improve even snapshots that they take with their camera phones. A lot of the methods we discuss are applicable to photos of family life, so they’ll improve not only their finished object shots for Ravelry, but also their photos of friends and family for Facebook.

Can you give us one quick tip for improving the styling of our finished objects?

Caro: I can do better! I can give you ten!  The one biggest thing I would recommend is to tidy up. Not your whole house, not even a whole room; just the two feet around where you’re shooting. Nothing spoils the mood you’re trying to create faster than a pile of junk mail or dirty dishes in the background.

For more information about Caro Sheridan’s class, visit our website.

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