It’s that time of the year when we’re wearing many hand knits and so, a great time to document your finished projects.

I know. Truly I do. I’m not keen on being in front of the camera either.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect I’d be in so many photos – but that’s how it goes, and like it or not, there I am.

That said, modelled shots of your knits are great, and I’d love to see you in more photos because it’s so helpful for everyone to see you modelling them.

We all know how inspiring it is to find someone that looks like you, wearing something you fancy. Whether that person is the same age, height, size, or shape as you … it’s valuable to see how various knits look on multiple bodies, in numerous colours, styled differently.

So, how do we overcome our reluctance to be captured on film? 

After years of playing model myself, I have a few tips for you:

  • You don’t need fancy equipment. The phone/tablet/camera you’ve got is the best one to use.

  • Natural light is best and makes your skin look fantastic. Turn off the flash and head outside, or stand next to a window. Overcast days are brilliant for photos. If it’s super-sunny, find some dappled shade;

  • Think about your background. I love to think about the whole look – set included. Sometimes I choose interesting backdrops, other times something where the colours work with what I’m wearing. Prepare to see your section/town in a whole new light … I’m always on the hunt for fun backdrops.

  • Mr Myrtle is my photographer, and although he’s not a pro and not always in the mood, he does respond well to directions. My kids, less so. Choose a photographer that is willing to take lots of photos and focus solely on you for a moment.

  • If you take your own photos, try using the self-timer on your phone/camera. You can even buy clever buttons that can activate your camera remotely.

  • I put on a full face of makeup. It gets me in the mood, and it looks like a lot less makeup in the photos.

  • If you’re feeling nervous, try pretending to be someone else for a minute. Have fun and act silly. When I’m worried, I purse my lips. It’s not a great look. Laughing (even fake laughing to get me going) and smiling helps make me feel more relaxed. If your photographer tells funny jokes, all the better.

  • Before you take your photo, practice in front of the mirror. How will you arrange your shawl and hold your hands? Which is your “best” side? Remember all this for when you’re doing it for real.

  • An eye-catching photo looks alive. You can create a vibrant look by standing or sitting in a way that might not feel totally natural but introduces movement and angles into the shot. Think about tilting your hip or putting your hand on your hip. Stand sideways and twist at the waist to face the camera. You’ll get a feel of what’s great if you try a whole bunch of poses and then check the camera to see how you look. Do more of what works!

  • When you’re checking your photos mid-shoot, also look to see that you haven’t put your shawl on backwards, folded your collar under, or have your bra strap on display (unless you want it there). Bonus points if your photographer notices. Mine doesn’t.

  • If you’re feeling body-conscious, and nearly all of us do, focus first on holding your shoulders back. Deep breaths and standing up straight fills us with natural chemicals that take the edge off. Next, think good thoughts and banish mean ones. We all do it, and we all know they don’t do us any favours. You are the only you that you’ve got. Love it. When we see you in your new knit, we’ll all think you’re totally awesome.

  • Lastly, take tons of photos. Sometimes we come home with hundreds of pictures on the memory card. Most of them are duds. Don’t panic. You only need one or two good ones!

So, what do you reckon? 

Are you ready to step out in front of the camera?

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