An old 'issue' of mine has raised it's head, and it's all about the way I model my Hats for photos & patterns. Not the collections, but the single patterns.
Many indie designers use themselves as models for photos, or a close friend or relative, which is a great way to save on budget and time but it isn't possible for everyone. I've blahhed on before about the reasons why I won't model myself... besides the fact that I can't stand seeing photos of myself, my dreads just don't look good in most of my Hats. And I don't want to stick a photo of my messy hair in a pattern - I'd sooner use the head display models.
Another reason why I'm not the best model is that I don't design for myself - well, I don't design them for myself to wear. My reasons are to explore shape, form and texture.. to experiment with techniques and create mini sculptures. I may wear a couple of them but most are never intended for me, and so many of them simply won't suit me.
Setting up a modelling shoot is a nightmare. You have to have the right person, the right light and surroundings, and the right time. I don't have anyone around me who I can use for most of my single Hats - I have Tom for men's Hats and Aran for babas, but no-one for the women's Hats.
For instance, I felt brave today and tried to model a couple of the Hats that I have here. The only one that fitted and that looked half decent on me was Traversa.
Here's how they are modelled in the pattern photos:-
And here's the result of today's experiment:-
Admittedly, these ones aren't too bad but they are the best of a bunch, and in my mind, there's too much distracting from the Hat. The photos above are simple and to the point - that's what the Hat looks like with no frills.
However, general consensus says that folk like to see knitted garments for patterns modelled on real people. And if they get a good photo on a good model I tend to agree - there is a fine balance though.
So rather than feel as if my presentation is inadequate (something, strangely, that I've been feeling about a lot of things lately but that's my head for you ;) I've been conjuring plans to get me some nice photos and get those patterns looking crisp.
As I say, the collections aren't a problem - getting together friends for shooting 20 Hats takes only a bit more effort than one Hat. It's the singles that need attention. So here's my plan....:D
I'm prepared to pay for a licence to use photos that other people have taken, photos that knitters have taken of their Hats made from my patterns. I will be selective, I know the kind of photos I'm after. And I'm also prepared for people to say "no" to the offer. I've bounced this idea around in the Ravelry group a bit yet I'd like some more feedback on how to go about it!
The offer of $10 per photo has been suggested for paid-for patterns - it isn't much yet it is only for a licence - the copyright remains with it's owner, I only ask permission to use the photo in the pattern and on my website, and the knitter/photographer will be credited. Does this seem reasonable? For the free patterns I'm happy to offer 2 paid-for patterns of their choice. Given the amount of patterns and potential photos, I can't afford to offer more, but I am also prepared to trade or offer copies of patterns, or of the books (in PDF form) if someone can offer more than one photo.
Today the idea of a competition popped into my head but I need to think about that some more.
In conclusion, can I ask for some honest feedback? Would you rather see the Hats on real people, and do the display models put you off? I know I'm worrying about this but would much rather have honest opinions. And what do you think about the licensing idea and compensation?
Thanks in advance!