Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Every Picture Tells a Story, Don’t It?

When I was finished this Snug I decided I would try something a little different when taking photographs of her. As you have seen with a lot of my work, I have taken photographs with a plain, neutral background. I was taught in college to use as much natural light as possible (not an easy task in a perpetually over cast country like Ireland) and a white or plain background to put the emphasis on your work rather than anything else. I think these rules or guidelines were advised to help our work to look professional and also, so as not to cause any confusion about what is being shown.

This all makes absolute sense to me and I am really happy with that style of photograph that I have taken. There are great “how-to’s” on the internet these days to show you how to make DIY lighting set-ups for taking pictures of your work. I am absolutely going to take advantage of such resources in the future for documenting my art.

But as I was saying, with this Snug I felt like trying something a bit different to capture her. I decided I would try to photograph her in my work space surrounded by all the tools and materials that went into making her.

My work area, at this time, was in what was supposed to be the dining part of our house. We were living in a townhouse. It had a separate compact kitchen but the living room and dining room were all part of one long space at the back of the house.  I used the dining room table as my work station. I had one of those long fabric storage shelves for storing my wool and an end table was choc-a-bloc with boxes of beads, threads, sewing kits, drawing materials and old odds and ends from my art tool box.

There was also a computer in this area and a whole wall of photographs, postcards and inspirational images to help with the creative process. I liked working in that space I have to say. It was part of the house and you could be always in the thick of things even if you were working. The double doors in the back were also facing full south so if the sun was shining the room was always bright and warm.


I have mixed feelings about how these photographs turned out. I don’t think they are bright enough or clear enough to use in a professional way, for example, for postcards or prints of my work. But I do think they have some personality. She sits in the environment in which she was created and so, looks comfortable and part of the whole scene.

I did go back to shooting my photographs in a more neutral background after that but later on, I think it helped me to loosen up and create some set-ups that were not only about show-casing my work but were also about setting a scene. 

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