Tips for photographing your makes

As a visual platform, Instagram has given us the means to share our projects, learn new skills, and be inspired by sewists across the world.

We put hours (if not days) of effort into our homemade garments, and sharing photos of our makes is part of the fun. But sometimes, getting a photo can prove to be a challenge.

The skill, time and dedication you put into your handmade clothes deserves to be documented to show off your me-mades, so we’ve put together this guide to give you some ideas for photographing your makes.


Give it a good press

We will repeat it as long as it’s needed, the key to a professional looking garment is pressing it as you go. And that’s true for shooting your makes too.

Have you ever seen a behind the scenes shot of a photoshoot? There’s always someone steaming the clothes to ensure they are smooth and crease-free.

This is just as important for taking your own photos, so make sure to give your clothes a good press.

Sometimes a car journey or a bit of wear is unavoidable, but try to avoid getting your clothes creased before photographing them.


Plan your whole outfit, right down to shoes and accessories. How you style your garment is as much of a personal statement as your fabric and pattern choice. Have fun and be yourself!

Location spotting

A good location, particularly one that is on your doorstep, is like gold dust! When you’re out and about, try a bit of location spotting. Look for any plain walls, bright doors or open spaces that would create a good background.

This may take a bit of imagination, sometimes a spot can look completely unappealing, but a bit of creative cropping can do wonders.

It’s also worth finding a spot in your home that can be your go-to for quick and easy photos. It’s absolutely fine if all your photos are taken from the same spot – you need to work with your schedule and what you can manage.

It may be that you have a plain wall, a nice door or an interesting spot in your home that you could use as a background in your photos.

And if it’s a really nice spot, why not use the same spot for all your makes?

I AM Irma, I AM Full Moon and I AM Shérazade by @sur_le_portant

Self photography vs asking a friend

Asking a friend or partner to take a quick snap is often the only way to get a photo. However, this can be a dangerous path to tread! Even the most patient of partners can get fed up with an impromptu photo shoot.

A tripod with a bluetooth remote can give you the independence to take your own images, frame them how you want, and take as many as you need.

It may be that you enjoy taking photos with someone else, sometimes that can be part of the fun.

If however, you cringe at the thought of someone else holding a camera or phone up to you, or you get frustrated with the photos not being how you envisioned, a tripod might be the way forward.

It’s all down to personal preference and going with whichever option makes you feel most comfortable.


The bane of our lives! Posing for photos can be cringe-inducing, so having some tried and tested poses at the ready can save you from feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera.

When you’re flicking through a magazine or looking online, try to take note of poses and photos that interest you. On Instagram, you could create a folder in your ‘Saved’ images for inspiration, as quite often a pose is simple to recreate (in your own way, a direct copy is a no go).

If you’re never quite sure how to stand, creating some movement can help you to relax. By walking across the frame, you have something to ‘do’, plus it creates a dynamic photo.


If you want to be on the picture

You don’t have to be a pro to frame your photo well. This can take a bit of back-and-forth to the camera or phone, but try out some different shots in the same location to see what works for you.

These makers have all creatively shown how framing and positioning yourself to compliment your background can be truly magical:

I AM Apollon @Magiicmag
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I AM Apollon by magiicmag

If you don’t want to be on the picture

Not everybody wants their face to be in a photo, and there are brilliant ways to share your makes without being in the image yourself.

These makers have shared fantastic photos of their clothes on the hanger, simply styled in a bright spot with some homeware or accessories for added interest:

Batch prepping

If you’re planning an outing specifically to take photos, make the most of it by taking a range of imagery. Capture the whole outfit, close ups, detail shots and photos from different angles, such as the front, back and side view.

Batch prepping is a great time saver, so when you take photos, try to get a lot!

You could also try switching your accessories, jewellery and/or shoes. Changing these will mean that you can create different styles, take more photos, and have more images to use in future.

Even if the photos aren’t shared straight away, having a bank of images at the ready can be really useful.

Don’t forget that not all pictures you will take will be to your taste. You have to shoot quite a bit to be able to choose the ones you’d like to share with the rest of the sewing community.

Trench coat hack of I AM Barbara  by @ten_years_apart

Join the fun!

There are some great challenges on Instagram that further bring together the sewing community. We are so excited to be one of the sponsors of the #defisewingoncolouredwall challenge.

Whether you’ve been following us for a long time or not, you’ll have noticed that we’re big fans of taking pictures on coloured backgrounds.

Hosted by @la_grande_fabrique, @blooming_sewing, @metaphore_filee and @cousu_de_fil_vert, the challenge encourages us to look at our environments through fresh eyes and take some creative photos of our sewing projects.

There are three categories with a fantastic prize for each:

– Best picture

– The make that we would love to have

– The best wall/fabric association

You have until 4th December to take part (the rules are in French but it should be easy to understand them).

In this article we have shown a few pictures that are great examples for this challenge. Here are two more:

To sum up…

It’s worth bearing in mind that we all have different responsibilities, abilities and time constraints. Some people may have a partner who is a keen photographer, and together they plan all-day photo shoots. Others may need to take a quick snap on their lunch break at work.

The ideas above are exactly that: ideas. Sewing is a fun, creative outlet, and photographing our sewing projects should be too. Work with what’s best for you, try not to put pressure on yourself, and enjoy sharing photos of your wonderful handmade clothes.

Get inspired on our Instagram account

Our Instagram account has even more great pictures of makes from sewists around the world. Follow us and get inspired.

Credit: all pictures used in this article belong to each sewist who posted it on Instagram. A link to their Instgram account has been added underneath each picture so you can discover their account.

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