Friday, March 26, 2010

Photobooth at Work

I was told recently by a dear friend that for a blog with the word "knitting" in its title, it sure did talk a lot about plants. Rather than change the name of the blog to "Garden Yourself Pretty," I figured that I'd better get onto the knits. So without further ado...

As you may have gleaned at this point, I am a craft book editor. When making a book--whether it's knitting or sewing or whatever may be the craft du jour--the star of the show is always the project. At the end of the day, it's the knitted dress or sewn bag or screen-printed pillowcase that makes the crafter want to buy the book. So naturally, we put a lot of time and effort into making sure that everything pertaining to the project and its instructions are just right. At some point in almost every book we publish, the sample that the author creates for the photo shoot lives right here in my office, locked up in cabinets for security (you laugh...but there's a reason for this!). And sometimes as the schedule ramps up, these garments need to be in several places at the same time. For instance, the tech editor may need the garment to work out a problem on the pattern, but the stylist needs it so she can start prepping for the shoot. In these instances, I have to do something sort of embarrassing: I have to take a photo of the piece on my computer--oftentimes with me holding or, worse, modelling the garment--and send the photo to the tech editor. Thus, every time I open up Photobooth on my computer, I'm confronted with an array of shots with me awkwardly thrusting a garment from my body whilst trying to hide my head. As a collection, however, I think they're pretty danged amusing.

The pieces in the set shown above are from an upcoming book by Kristy McGowan called Modern Top-Down Knitting. These pieces--a knitted wire bracelet, a keffiyeh style wrap, and a ruffled cowl dyed with kool-aid--were about to be shuttled off to the photo shoot in Brooklyn, but not before they were documented and sent off to the technical editor, Veronik Avery, in Montreal. (Stay tuned for more info on Kristy's gorgeous gorgeous book, which is coming out in the fall. The photos in her book are WAY prettier than the ones shown here. Duh!)

Speaking of Veronik Avery, I had to do the exact same thing for her book, Knitting 24/7, which should be hitting the bookstores any day now. Her book is made mostly of small items to be knit on the go, so unfortunately, I didn't have much to hide behind (except for the mercy of that lovely throw pillow). I like how my expressions for this set range from "annoyed" to "I'm gonna make a funny face now!" For much prettier photographs of the garments in her book taken by the amazing Thayer Allyson Gowdy, visit:

And finally, there are other less "professional" times when it's necessary to take a photo at your desk. Like when you get a proposal for a book of knitted dogs and know that you only have a day or two with the adorable samples before you have to send them back. Or when you make a stuffed animal from the book Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt and are about to give it to your friend at work who's having a baby, but realize you forgot to take a photo at home. Some things, as you can see, just have to be documented. And sometimes they have to be documented at your desk.


  1. Liana, be honest, when you turned off photo-booth you totally sucked on the Kool-Aid cowl, didn't you?

  2. The last stuffed animal is adorable, but WHERE ARE THE PANTS??? (I enjoyed these photos.)