Almost exactly one year ago, I got into a car wtih Jared Flood and Karen Schaupeter, both of whom I had brought on board to photograph and style Simon Leach’s Pottery Handbook. We were headed to Simon Leach’s house in rural Pennsylvania, and I must admit, we didn’t have much of a plan. Many people know Jared Flood as the creator of the yarn line Brooklyn Tweed, but what many don’t know is that he is also an amazing painter and a fantastic photographer–a true lover of art and master of light. And for the styling, Karen Schaupeter is our go-to girl, always adaptable, versatile, and loads of fun to have on set. Basically, I had my pottery photoshoot dream team, and we were headed to the countryside to shoot on the fly. We had a one-page shoot list that broke down the book by chapter, and we had a pretty good idea of what we hoped to photograph when we arrived, though we had no idea what would actually be waiting for us when we got there.
There are many things that author Heather Ross does well, and one of them is throwing a great party. To celebrate the release of her latest book, Heather Ross Prints, she decorated the rooftop of her apartment building to the nines, put out fabulous food and endless proseco, and managed to assemble the most wonderful and interesting people in the sewing and craft community in one little space (including Amy Sedaris!!). Head over to the STC Craft Blog for more photos and the full story!
It’s awfully exciting to come to work in the morning and find a box on your desk containing a knitted dinosaur. It’s even more exciting (and, okay, a little strange) when that happens every day for a week! But alas, there was a reason I came to work each day last week to find a new knitted dinosaur waiting for me: We had hired knitters all over the country to make samples of all shapes and sizes from our new book, Knitted Dinosaurs, for display at Vogue Knitting Live (last week) and for TNNA (this coming weekend).
While the end of summer may be approaching (and it is, believe me, since the weather forecast calls for a cool front starting the end of the week!), we still thought we could share the handiwork of our handy STC Craft editor Liana Allday. She has repurposed the ubiquitous T-shirt in a fun and unique way.
Two years ago, Amulet Books released the fourth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series—Dog Days—and our marketing department went all out promoting the book, even organizing a cross-country ice cream truck tour to get kids excited about the book. One day that summer, all Abrams employees walked into their offices to find a bright yellow Dog Days t-shirt on their desk. Just a little gift to get the whole company excited about the book. And truly, I thought it was a very sweet gift. But deep down, I felt a little bit guilty because, well…I don’t wear t-shirts. Pretty much ever…
Over the years I have worked at STC Craft, many photos for many of our books have been photographed at Melanie’s house. (When I’ve seen these photos after the shoot is finished, I’ve actually found myself thinking “and now it’s really a Melanie Falick Book.”) From Sewing Green to Knitalong to Weekend Sewing, Melanie’s home makes numerous appearances. And if you look closely, in almost all of these books, you’ll even see the infamous grass-green cabinet. (It’s shown above on the lefthand side, though the cover of Sewing Green is where the cabinet makes its most prominent appearance.)
What you see when you look at a knitting book is the finished product: patterns that have been exhaustively reviewed; graphic design that has been overhauled nine times until every detail—from fonts and palettes to captions and dingbats—is exactly right; and beautiful photography, which is one of the most challenging (and important) aspects of the book-making process. Photography makes the first impression and sets the tone for the whole presentation. And that, of course, is why photo shoots can be so stressful—for the author, for the photographer and stylist, for the editor, for everyone. Everything you’ve been working on has built up to this moment, when every participant must tap into his or her most creative and fashionable resources, work together as a team, and record the garments in a matter of just a few days. And if you don’t get it right? Well, you either decide you can live with it or you find the time and resources to shoot it again. But the underlying tone of every photo shoot is this: Get it right.