Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Photo Is Worth...

I've been musing about cameras lately. This is an inevitability, when writing any sort of blog that requires photographic support. Sewists (sewers, seamstresses, sew nerds, or what have you), in particular, take a lot of pictures. It can't be avoided.

Unless your name is Mary, of course. I've been avoiding the hell out of it lately, y'all. There are seven projects hanging undocumented in my closet. SEVEN! Every time I wear one, I feel a bit like I'm cheating on the blog. Shouldn't I be reviewing these patterns? Don't they deserve love too? They do. It's just...that would require me to take pictures. Though I normally cite primping as why I'm photographically lazy, it's simpler than that. I hate my camera. Despite great reviews and all the bells-and-whistles, the resulting pictures are never of the quality I desire. They look terribly unprofessional compared to some of my favorite bloggers' shots. Despite the ridiculous amount of snaps I take, I only end up with a handful of useable photos. Useable, not perfect.

So, here's my dilemma - what do I do about it? I need a new camera. That is painfully obvious. It's not so easy, however. Do I get another, better point-and-shoot? Do I splurge on a DSLR? If I do get a DSLR, how do I learn to use the blasted thing? Do I wait for this fancy Lytro camera everyone keeps talking about? The possibilities are distressingly endless. In the end, I just want to be sure of two things:
  • Is this camera relatively easy to use?
  • Will I look better in photos than I currently do?

That's it. Sadly, most reviewers don't include a Photos for Sewing Blogs rating. I will have to do gobs of research and comparisons instead. Like all good studies, I'm starting with a poll. What kind of camera do you use? How do you feel about it, quality of picture wise? In a different vein, are there any bloggers whose photos you particularly enjoy? I am desperately seeking guidance, friends - anything to make the photo process less harrowing.


  1. I use a DSLR (canon 500d) for my usual blog photos. It's easy to use and you can set it on automatic if you don't know how to use it. I ended up doing a photography course for 5 lessons as it seemed silly to have a $$$$ camera and not be able to use it as well as I could. Best money spent on a course ever. And now I love photography as much as I love sewing.

    We were traveling to the US recently and didn't want to haul a big SLR arounnd with us so purchased a canon S95. Fantastic camera, very portable and less than a third of the price of a DSLR. I can highly recommend it! Takes a photo just as good as the SLR in my opinion.

    Good luck!

  2. I recently bought a Nikon D5100 (so one of the lower level DSLR) and like it a lot. Granted, I've always been somewhat interested in photography and have wanted a DSLR for a long time, not just for blog photos.

    Up til now I had a Canon point and shoot (Power Shot SD850 IS - Digital Elph) which I trekked all over Europe during a study-abroad a few years ago and LOVED. It's a bit outdated now, and scuffed up, but I still think it takes great pics for a pretty cheap camera.

    I think both cameras have great quality, but if you're not that "in to" photography and the work (and MONEY!) that goes into DSLRs, get a good point and shoot and use a photo editing program to beef up your pics if you get the urge!

  3. Do you read "Handmade by Carolyn"? She recently blogged some awesome tips about photographing your garments.

    My problem with taking pics of my garments is actually that 1. I have no free wall space in my small, not very well-lighted apartment and 2. I live on the 4th floor (no lift), so leaving the apartment with my DSLR and tripod just to snap some pictures is rather a lot of work... ;)

    I have a Canon Rebel TX (EOS 400D in Europe) which wasn't all that expensive since I got it after a newer model came out, and I love it. It makes pretty good pictures in automatic mode, so I could learn the different settings bit by bit. Incidentally, I don't think you need a DSLR to make decent pictures, though. With a lot of compact cams, you get automatic mode as well as being able to set shutter speed or aperture (look for Tv, Av or M mode). I think Canon really makes very good (and non too expensive) compact cams. You might want to have a look at, they have a camera search and really good reviews of the more popular cameras, including picture examples. :)

  4. I actually don't think you need a fancy camera. Just a self-timer and lots of patience. Charge the battery and be prepared to take a LOT of shots til you get a good one. Good lighting is probably the key. Daylight always trumps the flash!

  5. Mary! Sorry I haven't commented in so long. I've got exams at the moment and it's horrendous and I'm having serious sewing withdrawals.

    Photos are an endless source of frustration for me and most of my extended blogging absences are due to my lack of camera. It's so horrible taking 200 photos and all of them are disgusting.

    Recently I've been using my boyfriend's fandangled DSLR Canon EOS 550D and it's amazing. I take 10 photos and probably 4 of them are useable. Makes all the difference. I have no idea how expensive it was, but it's great. Unfortunately he's rubbish at taking photos so I still have to do all that self-timer nonsense...

  6. If you're intimidated by the price or complexity of a DSLR, then I'd recommend a megazoom digital point-and-shoot. I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 with 18x zoom. It has some wonderful features and settings, and allows you to play around with manual functions if you choose. It even kinda looks like a DSLR.

    A good photo editing program can be nearly as effective as a good camera, too!

    On another note, I featured your blog address on my site for the Liebster Award. Check it out: