Photographing Quilts


Most of today’s contests and exhibits require that you email a photographic image of your quilt. No longer do we pay a professional photographer to create slides of our work — we just coerce a family member to hold our quilt (semi) straight and take aim with our digital camera (or cell phone). How easy is that? Send off a JPEG image and we’re done.

There’s only one problem — and that’s usually that the photo does not show our work to it’s best. According to a recent rejection notice I received from a Ricky Tims’ challenge — poor photography was a big problem in the entries. Here’s a paragraph from his October 12th email to participants in his Improvisational Challenge:

 “I have experienced the ‘standard rejection letter’ in the past. Most often those notices draw attention to poor photography. I must say, it continues to be the case. A poorly photographed quilt will most often not be selected. Selecting quilts for a high profile exhibit requires good design, good workmanship, and good photography. Of course there were many well-photographed quilts that did not make the cut. When there is a large selection of quilts and only a few are selected, it is imperative that you know that there were many very good quilts that did not make the cut.”
Although I try my best to get good images for contests, I admit that I am much less conscientious for my regular blog and social media posts. (On that note, I’d like to apologize for the photo problems in my last two blog entries. I am trying to resolve this and still have no idea what is going wrong.)
Here is a great website with info on photographing quilts. (Thank you to my friend Gillian for sending it to me!)

Also, there will be a book released in January called “The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos.” I have it on my pre-order list and am looking forward to reviewing it.


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