Monday, March 22, 2010

Amigurumi Craft Series #4 Photographing outside

I happened to get outside this past weekend, and I decided to take some pictures of this little lamb (you may have seen him before!). I really love being able to take pictures of my amigurumi in nature; I think they look more "alive" that way, ha ha! If I could (as in, if I lived in a house with a yard rather than an apartment) I would probably take pictures of all my stuff in nature 24/7!

I've actually been photographing my amigurumi outside for a little bit, and I've learned 10 valuable lessons that I'd love to share with you... this is by no means a comprehensive list (though its still long, phew!), feel free to comment with your own suggestions! Here is Amigurumi Craft Series #4, Photographing Outside!

  • Make sure the exposure/ lighting settings on your camera are adjusted to your preference; there is a significant difference between outside and inside light. I personally always have my exposure settings dialed up... I feel this makes the pictures turn out brighter. When I am outside, however, I make sure to turn my exposure settings down a tiny bit; this is because being outside means there is light coming from many more directions (and in much greater strength than there is indoors). Because all cameras vary, I am hesitant to tell you guys a set number for your settings... don't be afraid to experiment (take lots and lots of photos using different settings to see what you like best... don't forget to take note of what settings you are using when).
  • Speaking of lighting, do NOT take pictures in direct sunlight; this will often cast weird shadows below your item. It can also makes colors different (sometimes more saturated, sometimes more washed out) than they may be face to face. A slightly overcast day will be your best option.
  • I've found that the best time to photograph often varies from season to season (and also depends on the weather, and probably on where you live) but as a rule of thumb I like around 11:00 in the morning or 2:00 in the afternoon. Try not to take pictures in the early morning or late afternoon (too dark) or 12 noon (when the sun is directly overhead). However, I do live kinda near to the equator, so this may differ for you... experiment, experiment, experiment!
  • Make sure you don't put your amigurumi in the dirt... use a leaf or another natural object to keep your ami clean!
  • Use a prop (such as a twig) to help your amigurumi stand up without your help... this way your hand won't be in the frame. I've used wire, clean lollipop sticks, twigs, anything available! Propping your amigurumi up will make it look more alive and like it's interacting with nature!
  • Don't be afraid of incorporating things you find in the picture; some of my best pictures have been of my amigurumi inquisitively looking at a flower, or some berries, or even climbing a tree. Look for interesting leaves, shoots in the ground, bark, sticks, even little puddles.
  • Remember that you'll often have to get on the ground with your amigurumi to get a good shot; keep in mind perspective and scale... try to get close to your amigurumi so they don't get lost in the landscape (although sometimes it's cute to have a huge picture with a tiny amigurumi in the corner) and don't forget that you will most likely crop your photo... keep that in mind as you shoot!
  • Take your pictures from many different angles... you can always select your favorites later! Remember which angles you liked and make sure you always replicate those shots with other amigurumi you're photographing... odds are you'll like them for that ami too!
  • Remember that you should edit your pictures before you post them; this includes lightening shadowed areas, sharpening enhancing color, cropping, etc!
  • Just have fun with your amigurumi, if you think your photo will turn out well and are confident/ happy when you take your shot, it will definitely show up in your picture! And, (just to be safe) take lots and lots of pictures!


  1. it's super cute, i love the photos !

  2. Oh I love the photos, the lamb looks so cute amoung the ferns^^ And the tips are very useful!

  3. Aww the lamb is so cute! Great pictures by the way and I really hope you can get outside somewhere great to take lots of fun pictures!

  4. i am selling my own amigurumi at school. everybody loves them, but i have a hard time telling them the kinds i can make. Im thinking i should take pictures and print out a little catalog i can carry around. How do i take photos indoors? what back grounds should i use, and what type of lighting?

    Also, what is a good price for a 5 inch tall amigurumi doll?

    thanks <3

  5. I was going to post about how to photograph inside, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I think a catalog would be really great... you could also set up an account on a photo sharing site like flickr and just tell people the web address of your photos (if you want to save a bit of $$$) To take photos indoors, I go near to a window or door (where there is a lot of natural, indirect light and I set up posterboards near the light. I never use artificial light (only indirect sunlight)so I must photograph during the day, and I don't use a flash. I use paper sheets (the thick ones people use for scrapbooking) to change the background. I hope this helps!

    The prices of your items are totally up to you... what you feel people will be willing to pay for it/ what you can sell it. I price mine by how many pieces are in it... If it is an apple (only one piece) I sell it in my shop for $10 (+ shipping). My more intricate pieces are usually around $14 or $17 and my really fancy amigurumi are $20-$35 (but they usually include accessories) But honestly, my prices are comparatively low priced... you'll have to figure out what you can afford to sell them as!

  6. thanks for the photo advice! they really helped <3

  7. what type of camera do you use?

  8. I use a point and shoot camera: a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9... it's super old (I got it in 2006). What you really need to photograph amigurumi and other small things is a camera with a good macro setting... I can get as close as 2" (~5 cm) away from an item and it won't be blurry!

  9. Thanks for the help!! :D I really appreciate it! <3


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