Alessandra Cave urges readers to make artful photographs out of their crafts in order to capture your projects "soul". It might be a handmade card, a knitted scarf, your own chai blend, a painting, or a meal. Pretty things and thoughtful details are ideal to photograph.
Photograph Like a Pro: How to Add Soul to Your Pictures
Here are a few things to keep in mind. You should put as much thought into styling your shot as you did into creating your crafty masterpiece. So take time to arrange all the elements to create a well-balanced image. For instance, if you have made multiples of something, use an overhead shot to show variations in size, color, and design.
You can also add meaning and context to your handmade items by photographing them in a way that shows its function and scale. Use a model to photograph a scarf or piece of jewelry or place a pillow on a chair to show off its size.
It's also interesting to show your progress. You can set up a tripod and trigger the shot with a timer, or you can ask a friend to model for you. If you're a painter, capture your progress at critical points in your painting.
You can also style your shot with some of the tools, materials, and ingredients you used in your project. They will add interest and enhance the composition of your shot. Take a picture of your knitting needles and wool spools alongside your piece in progress.
Get artsy with your photos. Throw the background out of focus with a prime or macro lens to emphasize the focal point.
This tutorial is excerpted with permission from "Shooting with Soul: 44 Photography Exercises Exploring Life, Beauty and Self-Expression - From film to Smartphones, capture images using cameras from yesterday and today" by Alessandra Cave and published by Quarry Books.