I believe that photographs can be the most valuable asset in your marketing strategy for your knitting patterns. I know lots of designers say they wish they could spend time designing and less time having to market their designs, and having stunning photographs that draw people in is one way to cut down on that time.
Think about it: Pictures allow a knitter to see what the item they’re knitting will look like when completed. When someone is browsing through the seemingly infinite patterns available on Ravelry, the only thing that what will make them stop and click on your pattern is the photograph. As knitters, that’s all we see at first.
Sure, once we actually click on the listing and read the pattern details, we can also get hooked that way, but you have to actually get us to that point!
So make sure you’re taking great photos that showcase what the pattern looks like worn, shots from multiple angles, and close-ups of any stitch detailing you want to highlight. Flat lay photos are pretty on Instagram, but when people are picking out patterns to knit, they want to know how it’s going to look and fit when worn.
I also really encourage you, especially for garment patterns, to showcase photos across your size range. One way we can be good stewards of size inclusivity is to actually showcase what the pattern looks like in different body types, especially fat bodies. Jen Parroccini recently put together a list of 45 actions we can do to be size inclusive, and this was one of the recommendations, but I’d also urge you to go check out the rest of her list here.
Beyond marketing, photographs can also be so important within the pattern itself. A knitter can compare their item to the photo if they’re worried they’re not doing something right. If there’s a particularly complicated lace pattern, a close up shot of the detailing can really help reassure a knitter they’re doing everything right.
It’s really important that your photos accurately reflect your pattern, too. If you altered things in the written pattern after knitting your sample, but your photos don’t reflect those changes, that could cause issues. For example, if your beanie pattern shows a k1, p1 ribbing, but the photo shows a k3, p1 ribbing, that might cause a knitter to wonder which is correct. Plus, it’s misleading. What if a certain element is what makes a knitter buy your pattern but then that element isn’t actuallly even in your pattern because you removed it from the instructions after knitting your sample? If I was that knitter, I’d be pretty pissed off.
Also, if you’re offering an item in multiple sizes / different yarn weights, indicate which one the photo shows. I was going to knit up a beanie pattern recently that was offered in a bunch of different weights but there was no note on what weight was pictured, and it was a stitch pattern that definitely would look different depending on which weight of yarn it was knit up with. So I never knit it.
Another thing I’d like to mention because I love to save paper/ink – I think it’s nice when the photos are all on one page rather than spread out throughout the pattern. That way people don’t have to waste ink printing photos on pattern pages. If they don’t want to print the photos, they can just not print certain pages. Obviously this is totally up to designer preference and it’s not something I’ve ever pointed out in an edit, but I just figured it’s something to think about.
As for tips about taking photos… I’ve got nothing….