A Serious Garment Backlog

Grainline Studio | A Garment Backlog

I have a problem. I’m 9 months out from my old apartment and I still haven’t figured out my garment photography situation. The self timer thing isn’t working well, both in facial expression (soooo bored) and locations, and now that there’s no photographer living with me I don’t have that many other options. Of course, I have a ton of photographer friends but I make so many garments I don’t like to constantly harass when they’re all busy with paying jobs. That means I have a TON of garments sitting around waiting to be photographed. The pile above is 13 garments that have not found their way onto the blog and there are a few more in my laundry basket. I am wearing them all a lot but I have no photographic evidence. It’s like a tree falling in a forest…if I don’t photograph them for the blog, did they really happen? Hahaha. Do you guys blog every garment you make or do you have some that for one reason or another never make it up?

42 replies on “A Serious Garment Backlog

  • cmcalero

    I usually photograph the garments I make.. but they have not been much lately. I was planning on buying a remote control for my camera because the self timer thing is getting kind of old and I think the last thing my boyfriend wants is to shoot some more after leaving work.

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  • Hanne

    It happens. I force myself to take pictures when I am wearing it. If I have to ‘do an outfit’ in order to take pictures, it does not happen. Sad but true, I am lazy 🙂

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  • Stephanie (@StephanieKCR)

    I try to blog everything I make except the occasional “this was boring” kinda sewing. My biggest problem is that while I have someone around who could take my photographs, he hates doing it. He doesn’t want to go any further than the backyard and he always laughs at me which makes me feel very self conscious and makes me want to stop after only two photos. And those are never the greatest. I’m saving up to buy a remote and a bigger tripod so I can do it myself 🙂

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  • Shannon

    I use an IR remote that I got for $5 on Amazon, and it’s great!

    I use a setup of a garment rack with curtain rings, the kind with hooks, and I clip a wide roll of paper to it. I just stand in front of that, and it works nicely. I use clamp lights with a 150 watt-equiv CFL bulbs to light the background and me, and, viola! Instant photo studio in my apartment. Cost like $40. (Aside from the DSLR, (cheapo) tripod, and (cheapo) remote I already had, anyway.) I’m actually going to do a post on my photo setup in the next day or two…

    I’m pretty good about photographing stuff that I make, but I hate having my photo taken…

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  • Gjeometry

    I know exactly what you mean. The self timer on camera just does not take as good quality pic I don’ t know why. And then there’s lighting if an indoor shot. Andof course the write up. I am a slow sewist so don’ t necessarily have a backlog but do tend to only blog things that are interesting to me either for good or bad.

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  • Amy

    Like many of those above, I often use a tripod and remote. But, I imagine that will feel much the same as the self timer. What about photographing them on a hanger or a dress form?

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  • Clover

    I know you want a perfect picture for your blog but I just want to see the garment. Get a remote and just do the best you can! But I want to see what you make.

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  • BMGM

    I mainly use a dress dummy in a sunny indoor room of my house. My husband and daughter are impatient picture takers and the outdoor photos of me wearing me-mades come out terribly. Details are much clearer when I take the pictures at home on the dummy.

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  • June

    What Clover said! A remote is much better than a self-timer, too. I run home during lunch breaks – takes an hour to set up the camera, take the requisite 50 pics (of which 46 are terrible), dismantle the set up, and get back to work. It can be done!

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  • Julianne

    There’s always a backlog of unphotographed garments. I’ve seen some sewers get together for a photography day, so that y’all take pictures of each other’s garments without the guilt of roping an unsuspecting friend into a 2-hour photography session.

    If my husband is unavailable, I set up my iPhone onto a mini tripod, and then balance that on top of a real tripod (because we lost the base plate adapter, and this works) and set up the camera to take a picture every second. I stand in my alley and pose for myself, and the neighbors don’t really pay attention. A remote sounds good, but now that my husband is working from home I have my 24/7 photographer back!

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  • Grace

    This is my problem exactly. I studied photography in undergrad so I am super picky and can’t be satisfied with a few quick snaps. I barely blog my FOs and this is the reason. I would love a local sewing meet up where we just take a ton of photos of everything we’ve made lately.

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  • joellestlaurent

    i find it so hard to photograph garments! i am dreaming of a tripod/remote thing, but i’m quite sure that would require me to invest in a proper DLSR (i use a point and shoot). eh. i force my boyfriend to take pics of me, but he is as clueless as i am about photography so the results are mixed… i’ve been thinking about dressform pictures, but it’d feel a bit like cheating. i know i like real person pics much better on other peoples blog. but if yyou have so many garments, maybe a dressform pics marathon would work well!

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  • Erin

    Half of the stuff I sew isn’t documented. Some have less than stellar pics already taken on my computer that will never make it on my blog. After sitting at my computer at work, it’s all I can do to motivate myself to occasionally continue with that activity at home. It’s a catch-22: I leave it so long that I’m left to write epically long blog posts, where if I just actually got to it regularly it wouldn’t be such a chore.

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  • mokosha

    even though i love to take photos, i find it to be pain in the ass sometimes.. and i kind of always end up looking grumpy.. it’s like some silly workout too, as i don’t even have a remote for my camera, so i walk a lot 🙂 but, when i’m really excited about the garment, i don’t mind finding a locations and taking the photos myself.. also, there is a lot of stuff i never blog about, as undergarments, slips and swimwear for example (i just would not be comfortable to be photographed in them), and stuff i make for other people

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  • sewlittletime

    I have a terrible backlog. and now we are getting to winter it gets even harder when it’s mainly dark when I am at home. I bully hubby into it and try to fit photo taking into our weekend plans, so wear the outfit to do what we planned and find a point to photograph it. Our 5 year old means we don’t have a lot of time to retake before she gets bored but at least it’s a change from the back garden!

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  • Ping

    I’m going to second the remote control suggestion. If your camera is compatible Amazon has them for dirt cheap and they make everything so much simpler!

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  • meagangracie

    I find I don’t blog the “normal” stuff. Like another a-line skirt, or a t-shirt or basic. If it’s a new pattern that I haven’t seen many people blogging about yet I try to make sure and cover it.

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  • Ripleygirl

    If it helps, and from a non-blogger – I don’t care about the quality of your photo’s (or the bored expressions). I’m here because I like your style, and so more is definitely better 🙂

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  • Mary Beth

    Wow…some good ideas here…I like the idea of bloggers helping each other with pics…could be fun. Me? I just pose my FOs on a dress form painted black against a wicker folding screen.

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  • Kirsty

    A remote (just a cheapie) and tripod revolutionised my photo taking as I never had anyone to take the photos and the self timer is hopeless. I blog everything, because I don’t make that much usually every one of them feels like an achievement of sorts. Good luck getting into your photographing groove. There looks to be so many cool things in that pile – I hope we see them soon.

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  • suzy

    I bought a cheap remote too, which is much better for focusing self-taken pictures for the blog. And sometimes I take photos on the hanger, if fit isn’t so important. I do like to document all the things I make on the blog, except the complete disasters.
    I hope you can find a solution, I really enjoy reading about the things you make, and that pile of clothes looks very interesting.

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  • sallie

    Oof. It happens! Taking blog photos is definitely more of a production than the actual MAKING of the garments! I do enjoy some aspects of it though (but not the parts where I get completely DESTROYED by mosquitos – which happens literally every. single. time.) There have been a few things I’ve made that never made it to the blog – like some pretty rad yoga clothes – because, really… do you need to see me in 5 different pairs of leggings saying the exact same thing? I have to admit though, I’m pretty intrigued by your pile… is that a plaid Archer I spy? Totally adding that to my fall sewing list!

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  • anto

    I have a similar situation. I have a few garments dating back to last year that have yet to be photographed. My two biggest problems would be solved with a tripod and a remote so I should start the hunt for those soon.

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  • thornberry

    I really try to get them photographed asap after making, and don’t worry much about background or getting a good photographer – I just grab any opportunity! Which means that often my blog garment photos are taken by my ten year old with me standing on our back deck. Otherwise I find that exactly the same thing happens to me as it has to you – I get a huge backlog and it is hard to catch up. I am thinking of getting a tripod and timer so that I can do them myself – dopey expressions are fine, at least they are done!

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  • Sally {thequirkypeach}

    I definitely have a few things I haven’t blogged, but mostly just because I’m not super excited about them, or they are out of season and I would feel silly blogging them now anyhow! I use a cheap-o tripod and point and shoot camera with the self timer. I find that when I get pics at the right time of day, they always turn out good – at least, good enough for me! 😉 Occasionally the man-friend helps out, but I kind of like doing it myself better!

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  • Rachel

    I have been trying really hard to photograph everything, but in reality I’m more like you. I either find it hard to get them photographed, or I just can’t be bothered, especially if it is a repeat of a pattern I’ve already blogged about. Some of the ‘hardness’ is lifestyle – my 2yo daughter doesn’t particularly want to wait around for me to pose for photos. When we’re dressed for the day, it’s go time!

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  • sb

    none of us will be offended by instagram-style photography for the time being or when you can’t snag a photographer!! Don’t be so hard on yourself!! we just want to see all the beautiful things you make!!

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  • Carolyn

    I reckon when you have a backlog that large- you should cut yourself a break! You’ve been doing a ton of sewing and made some wonderful looking clothes- from what I can tell. Maybe just do quick shots of them on coat hangers to clear the backlog and start fresh. Even though you’ve had some really amazing shots of your clothes on your blog in the past- its totally ok for them not to be amazing every time- or even ever!
    Also- I spy a morris blazer in your instagram! I am excited already. Go Jen.

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  • Andrea

    I blog about 75% of what I make, so there are some definite stragglers that likely will never grace the Internet unless I make something else that complements it well. I never used to understand when people would get a backlog of projects for their blog, because I was always so excited to share my stuff that I would take photos immediately. Now that I have a better camera and a better backdrop and better sewing skills, I blog LESS. Go figure. I partly blame Instagram for giving me lazy ways to photograph my projects on the dressform at night with my iPhone, so that often seems sufficient.

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  • Kelly

    I photograph most things I make, with a tripod and a remote…girl, you’ve got to learn to work it for that camera with no one behind it, haha. It is a great exercise in burying all humiliation/embarrassment feelings….I totally accept that I am that crazy lady taking pictures of herself in random public places 🙂 I really want to see your stuff!

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  • kristin

    I’m with Kelly and others here, and should probably take that advice myself. My husband usually takes them but it’s still awkward and I always feel like I’m asking him a big favor to do it. I think remote (and a big glass of wine) is really the solution here. 😉

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  • The Nerdy Seamstress

    I bought myself a remote for my camera and I love it. I just need to set up the tripod and I’m set! Even though the mister doesn’t mind taking pictures of myself, I get goofy embarrassed. It’s easier using a tripod and a remote.

    I don’t necessarily blog every single garment I make because I’m critical about the fit. If it doesn’t fit right or isn’t my style, I don’t usually blog about it.

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  • Pootle and Make

    I sympathise with your garment backlog. I find taking pictures for my blog such a chore. I bought a tripod but can’t seem to get the angle right so rely on badgering my sister. Can’t wait to see what you’ve made with the Ikat and plaid fabrics. And I love your colour scheme.

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  • Jane D

    I definitely end up with trouble photographing garments – anything that requires a photo of my full body. There’s something about those extra steps of picking a proper outfit and finding the camera timer.

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  • Lee

    I don’t have a backlog because I settle for fair to crap photos taken with my phone by my six-year-old. I just sew/blog for fun. With higher standards I can understand the problem. Maybe you could barter a monthly photo session with one of your friends?

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  • Amy

    I love reading others’ comments here… recently I was thinking about this subject, too. I blog about one out of every four projects. If I were to stop and photograph everything, I just wouldn’t be happy, nor would I have as much time to sew! I don’t blog just to document everything. When I blog I really like to have some kind of story, and good photos are important to me, not just factual photos. Add to this that I am such an introvert, and so part of my process includes keeping some things to myself. So I totally assume that you and many other sewing bloggers have lots of quiet trees in that forest. And as an introvert I really prefer it when others photograph me because they get me to come out of my shell! When I do it myself I look bored. But alas, wrangling a photoshoot from a friend or husband takes time, so I am learning to take better photos of myself. A remote (I use Canon) is only like $12. It makes the self-photos easier! (And I’m also the sort who is perfectly okay with seeing clothes on a dress form on blogs… I like details and sometimes it’s easier to capture details when the garment is static.)

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  • gingermakes

    So, I’m thinking you should send half the garments to me, and I’ll photograph and blog them and wear them everyday… PERFECT PLAN, RIGHT?! 😉

    I blog everything interesting that I make, but things like multiples of a knit top pattern or something don’t usually make the cut. But, I’m also sewing at a really slow pace right now because I’m working so much, so I only have one or two garments done in a month’s time, so I don’t feel like I’m constantly needing to photograph stuff.

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