knitting, Photography

#Beautifying March #Instagram

One of my ‘things to do in 2016’ is to learn more about photography and back in January I signed up to do a ‘Photography for Knitting & Crochet Course’ with Emily Quinton at Makelight. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the course was rescheduled to March and I couldn’t attend as it clashed with the  C&G knitting weekend.

So instead I signed up to take one of the Makelight online courses Beautify your Instagram.

I’ve had an Instagram account for a while but only really used it for taking pictures of the cats or pretty sunsets. But spending time looking through other people’s pictures made me realise that it is actually a great platform to engage with other like-minded knitters and crafters.

The course encourages you to use your iphone or smartphone for taking and editing pictures (this appealed to me very much as my DSLR scares me bit!) And each day for 5 days a video from Emily would drop into my inbox offering lot’s of inspiration and handy tips on how to take beautiful flatlay photographs.

Some of the many topics covered included: using natural light, composition and styling, using hashtags, creating a beautiful gallery and forward planning. There was also a Facebook Group set up for all students on this course so we could discuss the lessons and share ideas.

I couldn’t wait to get started! One of the first things Emily asks you to do is think about what you want to use Instagram for and the audience that you want to attract and engage in. That was easy for me – it’s all about the knitting!

I started by gathering a selection of different backgrounds that I could use in the pictures.

Photograph backgrounds.JPG

I already had a selection of 12″ x 12″ scrapbooking papers, a neutral colour cotton table mat, and peeking through top left is a dark grey slate tile which I bought for a couple of pounds at Homebase, which works surprisingly well as a background. Next time I go I’m going to look out for a marble tile too.

Then I put together a prop box of things that could be used in the photographs such as buttons, stitch markers, pretty little boxes, beads, notebooks etc

Prop Box.JPG

It’s been rather fun to look at things with fresh eyes and think how it could work in a photograph – I’ve dusted off many trinkets and keepsakes hidden in the back of a cupboard that I could include in future photo’s 🙂

Here is the first lot of photo’s taken at the start of the course, playing around with content and composition.


One of the tip’s Emily gives is to make sure you post regular content on Instagram and to that effect I have been posting up 1 photo a day. For me this requires a bit of forward planning as I work during the week so I have to set up my photo’s at the weekends. I am hoping that the more practiced I get the quicker I will become, but at the moment I am spending quite a bit of time thinking about each image – for every one I post there are at least 10 more that didn’t make the cut!

Here are a few that I am really happy with:

Vintage purse

The starting point for this photo was the gorgeous vintage evening bag given to me by my mother-in-law, so I went for a silver theme.

Starting a shawl

This one is of the start of a new project, I noticed that tea features quite a bit in styled Instagram pics so I thought I would give it a go too.

Stitch samples

Knitting and flowers seem to be a winning combination 🙂 (The stitch samples here are the Roman Stripe stitch and the Eiffel Tower Stitch).

And finally….introducing the cat lay!

Cat lay

Er, Mr. Pea!!!

Mr Pea

He does like to ‘help’ with things 🙂

The course has given me so much to think about and I have very much enjoyed the new channel of creativity it has inspired. If you are interested in learning more about the course details can be found on the Makelight Website.

And if you are on Instagram do come and say hello, I am on there as @jemarrowsmithknits


14 thoughts on “#Beautifying March #Instagram”

  1. Wow, I love what you are doing. The pictures are just stunning and really do showcase the knitting.
    What a fabulously inspiring post…. I’m heading off soon to this Instagram place…..

  2. This is fantastic!! Your photos really are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing a few tips, these will help me until I can manage to check out the course. I especially loved the idea of using the scrapbooking paper. I have tons of that from my scrapbooking days and never thought about using it for a backdrop. Brilliant! Now I want to poke through my house to find little bits and bobs for accents. Do you have to stand on a chair or anything to get the angle right?

    1. Thank you! It’s amazing what you can find around the house that you could use. I just lay it all out on a board on the patio table and hold the phone above it. I’ve seen some shots with hands in where people must rig up the phones higher and use a timer, I’ve yet to try that though!

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