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Tips for Photographing Quilts

cameraFor the longest time I struggled to take decent photos of my quilts. I really tried everything: hanging them on the wall, spreading them over a bed, adding bright lighting, etc. and nothing seemed to work.

Finally I came to the realization that I’m a quilter, and just not going to get the professional quality photographs I want. I needed a photographer to take care of this job for me.

Now, I know this sounds like sacrilege. For some reason we believe that just because we can hem pants, sew quilts, and mend jackets that we should also be able to photograph our quilts, knit, and god knows what else.

Sometimes it’s better to just admit that someone can do a better job!

So I went to my local camera and video store and spoke with the man that owned the store. He happened to do in store photographs of artwork and quilts for just $5!

Another reason why we’re probably resistant to getting photos made by someone else: price. I don’t think anyone can argue that $5 a quilt is definitely worth it!

It also made me a little miffed at my own prejudging. We naturally assume that a photographer will charge $50 or more for a photograph, when we have a hard time asking $10 for a decent blind hem. Talk about unfair!

I had a really good experience with my local photographer though. I would advise bringing long, 2″ straight pins so you can pin your quilt to the backdrop. Otherwise the photographer might use clips that will eventually show up in the photo.

Also understand that quilts are made from fabric and are never going to hang in a perfect square. Crop your photos so they include some backdrop and it won’t matter if your quilt doesn’t hang perfectly (for real quilt hanging problems, check out the article: “How to Block Your Quilt).

Also make sure that the entire quilt is photographed from edge to edge. If you plan to submit the photograph to a juried quilt show it will need to show the whole quilt, binding included.

Check out the following professional photos of The Food Quilt and The Rainbow Quilt, two new pattern available at Day Style Designs Online.

The Food Quilt

The Food Quilt

The Rainbow Quilt

The Rainbow Quilt

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