When I first started selling and making custom dresses in the early 2000s my entire business was DIY. With the surprise announcement that I was on Blogspots 2018 Best Dressmaker Blogs last winter I knew wanted to have a more professional look. This was simple – I just needed better pictures! Yeah Right!
The Past. Before social media I took pictures of my work and had them printed on real photo paper.
My first digital photos were taken with a camera I borrowed from work and they were not very successful. As soon as social media arrived in my life I knew this was a way to showcase my work. This was when Myspace was popular and you could have a slide show of pictures on your page. I knew, even back then, my garments would look better on a real person and with clean backgrounds. That was my next goal.
In 2009 I asked my sister if she would model. I got lucky and the first set of photos came out amazing. This would not happen very often, if ever, again.
After the release of those photos I wanted to streamline my sewing skills and spent all of my time learning garment construction/sizing. I used so many other wonderful photographers to capture my looks over the years. Thank you to all of them!
I am so glad I did this because I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for these awesome photographers giving me time to learn more about my specific craft.
Now 2018 – I started my photo journey by getting a tripod and a clicker to take photos on my iPhone. The next thing I did was find the best indoor natural lighting in my house and get a back drop.
After still not being able to get good photos I decided to take a class at Rosewood with Crystal Black.
Crystal said I needed a real camera if I wanted better photos. A friend at Rosewood suggested I call Dobb’s Camera and they matched an online price, plus gave me a free lesson and a memory card!
After that I had to learn to use my new the camera. Even getting the photos onto my phone or computer was a struggle at first!
Community support. I shared all of my problems and success on social media and I was overwhelmed by the local love.
Other photographers were stopping by, lending cameras, showing me how to use my camera, showing me their studio set ups and showing me all the best editor sites and apps. One of the arts council members was kind enough to send me a link with some affordable lighting for sale.
My first shoot with a backdrop, test shots and new lighting.
I finally began getting some decent shots!
Editing. This is an entirely different skill and I can’t believe how much I love editing. I have gone overboard, but who cares, its fun.
I’m now on photo shoot number 15 and looking forward to a fall class at Rosewood with Crystal on how to expand the use of my digital camera. I can’t wait to push some buttons with Crystal!
My pictures are never perfect but I do recognize they are getting better.
Behind the scenes~
I was honored to be in Sew News magazine last week.
I am starting to think about winter sewing. Before winter sewing I need to get organized by looking at what summer projects are left and making a priority list. I like to bundle my fabric with their patterns so I already know what I am making and since I also write and photograph everything this all needs more time.
My featured photo is of fellow Designer, Gwen Vo, and taken by me in practice shoot number 12. If you would like to follow another awesome designer I highly recommend her, Lady Tactic.
Thank you for reading,
Dream it, Sew it!
Latest posts by Tracy McElfresh (see all)
- Veil Talk in Sewing Tips in Under a Minute w/ Tracy McElfresh - July 17, 2019
- Get Funky with Fine Fabrics - July 15, 2019
- Pre-patching Jeans in Sewing Tips in Under a Minute w/ Tracy McElfresh - July 10, 2019