Nowadays, more and more individuals are choosing turn their passions into extra sources of income, or in some cases, full-time jobs. In a growing digital world with platforms like Etsy, ArtFire, and Ebay, it's easier now more than ever to make your hobby your dream career!
Since I enjoy crocheting, this post is really geared towards yarn-lovers and crafters alike. However, I am sure that some of these concepts could be applied to various different creators--whatever your passion might be!
I have been selling my crochet patterns and finished pieces for several years now, and have learned a great deal about when its best to use specific platforms, how to start from scratch, and where to turn when a goal falls short of success. I hope that from these 5 concepts that you can dive into the world of career-crafting, and enjoy the feeling of having your ideas shared with people all over the world!
1. Showcasing Your Project
How you are displaying your work might be the most important factor in selling your crochet pieces. No matter what website or venue you are using to reach customers, it is crucial to show your project in the best way possible so people can connect with your work!
For example, here are two photographs of the EXACT same project. Notice how on the left, the background is a dingy grey shade that detracts from the owl's otherwise vibrant blue. Also, the camera angle hovers directly over the owl, flattening it and making the amigurumi appear two-dimensional. When I re-shot the owl images on the right, you can see the natural light and exciting background (owl perched in a tree) help to bring this little guy to life!
When photographing your crochet work (or really any product you want to sell) taking the time to set up a space and using the right tools is essential to put your crochet project's best foot forward and engage with your audience.
Concepts you MUST consider when photographing:
Natural light: the best lighting will produce the best images! Bad lighting can ruin a photo even if you have everything else set up perfectly, so you should definitely consider where you shoot your photos before starting. If you tend to photograph indoors or in locations with artificial/dim lighting, try moving your photography outdoors during the middle of the day when the lighting is best. If you don't have the ability to find an outdoor location, try photographing directly in front of a window, where the room will have the most natural light.
Background: One popular background idea is setting your photo in a location specific to your project, or where it would be used in real life (i.e. a woman walking outside wearing a crochet shawl, or a crab amigurumi hanging out on a sandy beach). This concept allows your audience to picture what that item would look like in their own lives, which is important if they are thinking of buying your work for themselves to enjoy.
Another great background is a classic white setting. While some backgrounds feel too busy and can take attention away from your project, having a white background let's your project's beauty and detailing shine, while also giving a clean and professional feel. You can use a white wall, purchase a photography-shoot box or make your own with white foam boards and some glue!
Camera: I feel that I have to debunk the myth that you need a professional photography camera to achieve the best pictures. Today's cellphones have cameras built-in with outstanding quality and precision! All of my pictures are shot with my iPhone 7+, but nearly all other phones have cameras that are great for photography. If you already have a professional camera, then of course that would be a great choice, as well. However, I wouldn't advise spending more of your hard-earned money on one if you have a perfectly good phone camera with you! If you are taking photos with your phone and still are not happy with the results, you can purchase a lens for your iPhone that is much cheaper than a new camera, and can deliver even better results!
I hope these tips help you to capture your crochet designs in the best light, stay tuned for part 2 on how to jump into a career in crocheting!