Another Photo Shoot

Last week I spent three days at a shoot for Lisa Shroyer’s upcoming book, tentatively titled Knitting Plus. I’m quite excited about this book. As the edtior of KnitScene and senior editor of Interweave Knits, Lisa knows her way around a ball of yarn. A plus-size knitter herself, Lisa’s aim is to help other plus-size women make sweaters that have a flattering fit. All 18 of the sweaters meet that goal–the models wanted to keep them!

For this book, we decided to shoot the sweaters “on location”, which meant that we took over a large house for three days while the owners (a young couple with the most adorable 18-month-old daughter) made themselves scarce. I don’t think they realized what they were getting themselves into when 10 of us drove up the first day.

A photoshoot like this requires a lot more people than you might think: the photographer (Joe Hancock) and his two assistants (Jon Rose and Scott Wallace) who took care of lighting and camera settings; the hair and make-up artist (Kathy MacKay), the stylist (Carol Beaver) who assembled all the wardrobe and accessories, the art director (Liz Quan), the author (Lisa Shroyer), the editor (yours truly), and of course, the models (Andrea, Carolyn, Jill, and Tia).

To begin, we decide how each sweater will be styled. Here’s Lisa with 9 of the 18 sweaters in the book.

The photographer and his assistants set up the lighting while the model gets dressed and has her hair and make-up done. Then it’s time to get busy.
Here’s Joe taking photos while Carol watches to make sure that every detail is perfect. Joe and Carol never get a break during a shoot. Joe’s eye is glued to the camera while he clicks photos and directs the model to catch the optimum light. Carol jumps in between clicks to straighten a sleeve, adjust a collar, pick off lint, and anything else that might improve the photo. Besides looking beautiful, the model has to act as though they aren’t there.

The rest of us keep pretty busy, too. Here’s Lisa, Liz, photography assistant Jon, and Kathy huddled around the computer screen watching the images pop up and calling out instrucions and encouragement to the photographer, model, and stylist.

After three days, we packed up and left the house looking like we were never there.
Now that the projects have been photographed, the text and projects will be edited, reviewed, and re-edited. Then the pieces will be assembled in a cohesive book design (which involves a whole other team of people). Then everything will be reviewed, re-edited, and proofed before it finally goes to the printer. This particular book is scheduled to go the printer in November, which may seem like a long time off to you, but is just around the corner to the rest of us. Look for Lisa’s book at the beginning of next year. 

6 thoughts on “Another Photo Shoot”

  1. Hi Ann, I was hoping for an email option, but none is available. I have your Sock book, which I’ve learned from. I thing there is an error on page 52 in the heel instructions. I checked Interweave Press’s site for errata, and nothing is listed for this page/part. I’d love to discuss this further with you via email.

  2. Again, that looks like so much fun! I would love to be able to do something along those lines for a living… sigh.

    I miss my magazine days. I don’t miss the insanity of the magazine where I used to work, but I do miss the actual work itself. Sigh.

    Thanks for posting the behind the scenes photos! It is so cool.

  3. I’d love to be a plus sized model for a knitting book! Looks like fun! Oh well… maybe if I ever become a really awesome knitter I can write a knitting book for belly dancers of all sizes….hmmmm.

  4. How interesting to learn about the behind the scenes activities for creating a knitting book. Thank you for sharing! The book looks like it will be very interesting and practical.

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