How to Shoot a Magazine, Prelude

 

Silkegg

When Jacey first told me that she was starting a spinning magazine, I said something like “Awesome! You’ll do great!” I even meant it. Next she said she wanted me to take the photos, to which I replied something like “Are you crazy?” The thing is, and if you know Jacey you will totally understand, when Jacey wants something, she usually gets it. The obvious next step was for me to figure out how to take pictures that would make Jacey happy. I had a million questions about how to face this project and approximately seven answers. I was painfully aware that I had no idea what I was doing.

My first approach was to do a lot of research. I was hoping to find a book in the library called How to be a Really Great Fiber Photographer in Four Easy Lessons. That book was checked out, so I ended up with some self-help books on coping with anxiety. I read way too many photography blogs, books, and magazines, and ultimately decided that beginners luck has to be a real thing. Six issues later, I am so enthusiastic about the future of my work with PLY, in large part because I can now at least identify what I don’t know. Each shoot is a little more relaxed, the editing workflow less frustrating.

In this series, I plan to explore each issue of PLY, its challenges and successes, and delve into what we learned in each shoot. I’ll share some photography techniques I have found helpful in getting more accurate photos of fiber and finished projects. I’ll also address some post processing work to correct common issues like color casts and blown out highlights. Of course I’ll share favorite photos, embarrassing photos, and behind-the-scenes shots of Jacey eating chocolate and Levi being Levi. I look forward to your questions, comments, and insight!

27 replies
  1. Bridgett
    Bridgett says:

    I find the photography I have seen so far for PLY Magazine AMAZING!!!! It is so inspiring! Thank you so much for contributing your incredible talent to this publication! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Robyn Tanchum
    Robyn Tanchum says:

    Love your spirit, Bernadette! And love your photos especially your macros. I’m a macro fiend! Looking forward to reading your blogs!

    Reply
  3. Joanne
    Joanne says:

    I have a degree in fine art photography, and I LOVE the photos in PLY. Nice job so far! You leave me craving fiber to play with as I read along.

    Reply
    • Bernadette Emerson
      Bernadette Emerson says:

      Wow, thanks! I would love to get a more formal photography education. I went to a couple of workshops this summer and I can’t wait to apply what I learned (some of which was super basic knowledge that was new to me!)

      Reply
  4. Alison
    Alison says:

    Thank you taking the risk and trying something new to you. Many of us are unwilling to step outside our comfort zone (myself included) and that leads to missed opportunities.

    The photos have been great and improve every issue.

    Reply
    • Bernadette Emerson
      Bernadette Emerson says:

      Thank you Alison. I find that as an adult I take less opportunities to learn new things and apply them; PLY has really filled that space for me.

      Reply
  5. Jennifer R
    Jennifer R says:

    The photography is warm and friendly, just like Ply Magazine. I enjoy each one of them, but especially the demonstration photos, and the little girl with the drop spindle.

    Reply
    • Bernadette Emerson
      Bernadette Emerson says:

      That little girl was so cute! We met her parents at Union Station and asked them if we could take her photo with the spindle. I wish I’d had time to do some portraits of her!

      Reply
  6. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    I look forward to your tip and lessons learned. I find photographing my dyed work the most daunting task and the one that I enjoy the least. I love the photography in Ply and I love the content as well.

    Reply
    • Bernadette Emerson
      Bernadette Emerson says:

      Thanks Heidi! Some fibers are really hard to shoot. At first it was 75% of them, now I’m down to about 10%. My least favorite are oranges and blues because the cmyk conversion for printing PLY wrecks those colors! I have to fuss with them a lot to get a decent end result.

      Reply
  7. labcat
    labcat says:

    I’m looking forward to more of your articles, Bernadette. I love photography and I love spinning and knitting, so I am interested to learn some of your techniques to try and home. So far I found that the photos in PLY magazine very much add to the articles.

    Reply
    • Bernadette Emerson
      Bernadette Emerson says:

      Thank you! I’m looking forward to documenting what I’ve learned along the way. I’m betting some readers will have some helpful tips to share as well.

      Reply

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