Photographing Scarves: Happy at Last!


I’ve talked about photography here before – and if you’re a blogger (or not!) you know how hard it is to take a good photograph to accurately show people you’re talking to through the computer what exactly you want to show them! But I really wanted to get more of my scarves up in my Etsy shop, so I’ve been plugging away at how to photograph them!

Back in June I did a guest post on Simply Robin’s Blog about my very simple light box I rigged up to take photos of my Going Green Journals. Well, I needed something larger for my scarves, so my hubby had time to rig up something for my from PVC (Bill Huber has a nice tutorial here, we did something quite similar). So here’s my setup (note: the good camera is in the shot, so this is my cell phone!)

It’s a frame made from PVC. Draped down the back, across the table and then down the table front is a large piece of white polyester fleece for a smooth, white backdrop.  A piece of white, quit weight white fabric is draped up the sides and over the top, this diffuses the light. I’ve got 4 clamp on lights – 2 are huge, “trumpet top” CFLs. I learned about them here: (this is a GREAT resource about photographing quilts!) I needed more light so I added 2 more regular CFL’s, 2 more of the trumpet tops are on their way to me as we speak! This creates a white glowing box with very little shadow.

I then turned off the flash, set my white balance and started clicking. I still had to tweak a little in Photoshop, but much less than I had before. Mostly I just played with the levels to get the whites whiter. Kathy Mack has some awesome tips about tweaking digital photos on her blog, this is the one that talks about levels, but they all are worth a read, and written by a sewist, not a photographer, in language we quilters can understand!!!!!

Now that I’m happy with my picture taking process, I can start doing a better job of trying to sell my scarves online. One issue there is that I sell so many scarves locally, I would sell a scarf listed in Etsy. BUT I’ve now changed my listing to read:

Each scarf is uniquely hand-dyed, using a specific set of mixed colors. Description of the particular palette here.  Although I may have one in stock, I also may need to dye one just for you, so it may take as long as 7 days for me to ship it. Patterns & distribution of colors varies from scarf to scarf, convo me if you’d like a picture of your exact scarf or the exact timing on your own piece of “Candied Fabric”.

I’ve also started creating palette shots (inspired by Vickie Welsh and Daisy Janie) to help me describe the colors in the scarves.


Daffodil Sky is a combination of a yellow-gold, 2 shades of blue and teeny bits of a leafy green.

Charmeuse-Daffodil-Sky-11Wild-Rice-PalletteWild Rice is a delicate mix of gray, tan, light pink with a hint of gold.Charmeuse-Wild-Rice-03 Earth-Wind-Fire-Pallette Earth, Wind & Fire combines an earthy brown, with an ethereal blue and a vibrant red & gold.


So, what do you think? Is this a good way for me to showcase my scarves online?

21 Responses

  1. I think the palettes are brilliant and definitely the way to go. I don’t personally think you have to show the exact scarf on the listing.

  2. Oh. Oh. Oh. I am speechless. Those are beyond stunning. The photos are wonderful, and I love that you use the palette – and the names are so perfect! This is SO professional!

  3. Yes, this is absolutely perfect! The palettes really do help define the colors in the scarf better, I think, than the larger photo of the scarf. Together they are ideal!

  4. Hi Candy,

    Talk about eye candy! What a treat! I think what you have done photographically as well as color choices and dyeing looks very elegant. Thank you for showing pictures of your photo studio.

  5. Candy, I cannot get enough of your pictures! I love the photos, and it is such a great idea to make the palettes.

  6. Fantastic! The photos turned out great. I need to make a larger light “box” for my handbags. I struggle with the pictures constantly.

    I LOVE the color palette shots! They are the perfect marketing piece!

  7. These are fabulous! You have figured out a way to make your merchandise look beautiful online and I hope it translates into lots of sales for you! Thanks so much for educating us all on how to take photos of your work! Robin

  8. Stunning photos. Looks like you’ve got the lighting science down pat.

    I think adding the color palette to your item description is a huge plus especially for wearables.

    When you look at the whole scarf (especially on line) you don’t always see the individual colors.

    Great job!