February: Having fun in pictures with Seamstress Erin!

Better late than never, right? I got so excited about Lingerie month over on the Curvy Sewing Collective that the first week of February just flew by, and now I’m late introducing this month’s muse: Seamstress Erin! But what’s a week between friends, right? Let’s dig right in!

Seamstress Erin

Erin is one of the growing number of bloggers who have shifted into releasing their own patterns – currently including a skirt, swimsuit and two bags! She’s also one of many sewists with a science background and PhD. What I love about her blog is that she seems like someone I’d genuinely want to hang out with – funny, boisterous, and easy to get along with. (And then we’d both go home early to hang with our cats.)
In her photos, Erin manages to look relaxed, excited, and never stiff. She’s the queen of dynamic poses and candid shots. If you are one of those people who struggles to do more than stand stiffly in front of a camera, then read on!

Seamstress Erin

1. You always look relaxed and like you are having fun in your photos. Do you feel that way when you take them? 
I am pretty relaxed in my photos because I’ve found that it’s super obvious when I’m not – obvious enough that I have to delete the whole photoshoot and try again.
2. What are your tips for taking happy, relaxed pictures? 
To take relaxed photos, find a way to relax. I know, I know, that sounds super lame. But let me explain. It’s hard to fake being comfortable and discomfort is one of those things that really shows in photos. So find a routine that works for you to help you relax. I give myself a little talking-to before hand and remind myself to relax. Then I usually start by making faces at the camera or jumping around and dancing all weird. Seeing the ridiculous photos of myself in the camera breaks the ice and then I can just relax and laugh at myself and have fun taking the photos. “Fake it ’til you make it” and “Don’t take yourself too seriously” are pretty good adages for this situation.

Seamstress Erin

Some of Erin’s warm-up out-takes while she gets in the mood for photos!

3. What’s your photography process like? Photographer or tripod and remote?
I rarely have a photographer. I’ve found that asking my husband to take my photos ends in disaster – I think he’s being grumpy, he thinks I’m being neurotic, it always ends in miscommunication and disaster (I don’t know why because we make a pretty great team the rest of the time!). Occasionally my mom takes photos for me and those are fun because we get the giggles together. She has an artist’s eye and frames the photos really nicely. Most of the time it’s me, a tripod, and remote.
4. When you take pictures, to you think consciously about trying different poses and angles?
I try and explore different poses and angles with each photoshoot. I’ve reviewed a CreativeLive class that helped me learn about posing for the camera and that was really helpful to put words to why, in a single photoshoot, there can be photos of me that look great and photos that really don’t. I usually set only one or two camera angles per shoot but I’ll get closer to and farther away from the camera or step into different parts of the frame to mix it up.

Seamstress Erin

Looking through Erin’s photos, I notice a lot of these cropped torso shots, leaning into the camera – something I for often for head-and-shoulders pics, but I’ve never tried for shoulders-to-hips. Time to experiment! I like the angles and shapes it creates. 
5. It seems to me there are two schools to posing: comfortable this-is-what-my-body-does posing, or suck-in/contort/make angles posing! Where do you fall on the spectrum? 
I’m a lot closer to the “this is what my body does” school. I feel awkward and not true to myself if I try to pose. I certainly do go through my photos and pick the ones that are most flattering, that don’t emphasize my lumps and bumps.
6. Any other photography tips or tricks? 
Keep learning. I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve made it a goal to take better photos so I’m always on the lookout for new information or resources that will up my photo game. And don’t beat yourself up! Some of my photoshoots are certainly better than others. But I know I can’t be perfect all the time and I think it’s important to learn to draw the line of “good enough” so you aren’t inhibiting yourself from getting photos taken and blog posts written with a fear of imperfection.

Seamstress Erin

I really appreciate Erin’s overall message: Fake it ’til you make it, and don’t stress about perfection. I like her idea of having a warm-up routine to get in the right headspace for photos shoots – I bet a lot of us could benefit from that! Maybe some Rocky playing in the background, a few jabs and punches in the air… or even the comforting routine of going through some TNT poses before starting to experiment?

I’d love to know how you get comfortable during a photoshoot… and if it’s something you struggle with, which part of Erin’s advice might you try out? And in the mean time, head over to her blog and send Erin lots of love and good wishes – she’s preggers and sounds like it’s been a bit rough!

PS. Thanks to Ebi for the shoutout at the end of her post  here – I loved reading about how the Better Picture Project posts are helping her feel more confident while taking pics! 


10 thoughts on “February: Having fun in pictures with Seamstress Erin!

  1. It’s true that the more relaxed and natural the subject is in the pic the better sense you have of what the garment really does look like on a person – especially in movement. Really enjoyed reading this post and seeing the pics!

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    1. I”m glad you enjoyed it! I think ultimately it’s personality that brings us back to bloggers again and again, and I love how Erin’s picture showcase her personality!

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  2. Really insightful post. There’s definitely something in relaxing into a shoot. My blogging has ground to a halt and I think it’s down to the stress around getting a good photo without children playing up or the photographer getting the grumps!

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    1. It’s hard to take a good picture while worrying about other people! How old are your kids? I know that A better Sewing Scientist and Three Dresses both have their 8+ year old children take the pics for them… but clearly that wouldn’t work with wee ones! Maybe it’s time for some mirror selfies or on the hanger shots, if it’s holding you back from blogging?🙂

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      1. They are cute indeed but also very destructive, and require more attention than what people think. They need plenty out of the cage time, which is easy for me since I work from home, but also a balanced diet (a mix of veggies and fruit every morning plus their special pellets). Something more complicated is controlling hormonal behavior, through food management, and helping them to get between 12 and 14 hours of sleep every night. For the rest they are quite nice, even though they bite every single thing they find, and most of the time they make me laugh real hard.

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  3. Loosening up in front of the camera can be so hard! Many of us have body hangups that only make themselves known when a camera is around. It’s great to see someone being free spirited in their shots.🙂 (And thanks for the shout-out, wow!)

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    1. You are so right – we’ve all got hangups that the camera brings out! I was taking some pictures of a gorgeous friend this weekend, and it seemed so odd to me that she was worried about how she looked! It did remind me though how great it is to be able to take a million pics, and trash anything we don’t like. I love digital photography for that!

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