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Behind-The-Scenes: The Winter Knits Photoshoot

Nov 17, 2008

Note from Sandi: The Knits team and I are always looking for new goodies to share with you, and this time, Eunny Jang, editor of Interweave Knits, and the whole Interweave Knits team decided to issue you a "backstage pass" to the Winter Knits photoshoot: a behind-the-scenes video! Here's Eunny to introduce you to the cast of characters and to give you a guided tour of what it's really like on photoshoot day. Heeeerrrrreee's Eunny!

Come backstage with us to see our behind the scenes video!


(problems viewing this youtube video? View it here)


Have you seen the Winter Knits preview yet (if you haven’t, take a minute to click over here)? We’re excited about the range of projects we’re presenting with this issue – light, cozy, rugged, refined, work-appropriate, weekendy – there’s something for every knitter. And we’re excited about the presentation – as always, we hope the photography is lovely but accessible, grounded in Real Life, inspirational but intimately familiar to every knitter. Our models tend to be friends and family of the editors and the crew. The clothes used to style the sweaters are off-the-rack and vintage items, and occasionally well-loved pieces from our own closets. The locations are usually spaces in which people live and work. Every shoot is a vision of the knitting good life – an idealized version of the real world we (and our handknits!) inhabit.

Even real life, though, takes some work to photograph. Come with us behind the scenes on the Winter shoot, and check out how we captured some of the shots you’ll see in the magazine.

The cast of characters:

  • There’s Beth, the stylist, who pulls together outfits for each knit and stands by during shooting to keep things tucked in or hanging right, as the case may be. Beth takes my ideas on outfits for each piece and overall aesthetic for each story, and assembles textures and colors that showcase the knits and set a mood.

  • Katie, the makeup artist, provides a little finishing polish. We like a very natural, fresh look, but a little bit here and there can go a long way towards making the camera see the world as vibrantly as we do.

  • The photographer’s assistant, Nelson (you may have seen him modeling mittens in our Fall issue, too!), works some kind of magic by which he simultaneously moves equipment, holds reflectors, tests light rigs, does a thousand other things, and still keeps all of us loose and laughing.

  • Kate and Crystal, our lovely models, are infinitely patient and very good-humored about the strange spotlight we put them in. Kate’s a painter, and Crystal owns a music shop on Philadelphia’s South Street – they’re everyday people we know from real life, very down to earth, and they’re secretly (I think) amused by the whole thing.

  • Lisa, Senior Editor on Knits and Editor of knitscene, keeps everything moving. She manages the shot list, makes sure people are getting dressed or undressed on schedule, handles all the logistics of model releases and so forth, and keeps us on time.

  • Amanda, our photographer, and I are practically one person during the twenty hours of shooting that go into each issue. We start with the overall look and feel for each story, and eventually work our way down to specifics like the lighting, the spots for each shot, props, poses, and actions. We work together to make sure each shot showcases the interesting knitting stuff, but is visually compelling as well – we’re rarely more than a couple feet apart while we’re shooting, and while we sometimes play tug-of-war, we push each other and work hard to capture a picture of the knitting life - a look, a feel, a mood, that we think you, the readers, will be drawn into. 


-- Eunny Jang
Editor, Interweave Knits

View the Interweave Knits Winter 2008 preview!

What's on Sandi's needles? I really did not intend to get so caught up in Nancy Bush's Leaf and Nupp Shawl (from our new book Knitted Lace of Estonia) that it would push everything else out of the way--but that's what happened. I was travelling this week, and somehow I managed to get six of the fourteen center repeats done in only a week's time. It's so much fun to see the lace pattern growing so quickly...however, now I am in a bit of a pickle. All the women members of my family whom I am visiting are pointedly discussing what color they would like their shawl to be... 

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mbrody wrote
on Dec 6, 2008 6:46 AM
I've been looking at some issues of IK that are a few years old, and I noticed that you used a wider range of models back then in terms of age and body type. The newest issue seems full of women who all appear to be in their 20s or possibly early 30s. It's disappointing to see IK following the cult of youth that the ordinary fashion magazines display. Those of us who are strong, healthy and 50 never see ourselves ANYWHERE - which is astonishing, given the size and buying power of the baby-boomer generation. We wear jeans, t-shirts and sweaters too - not to mention hats and scarves. It would be great to see ourselves in your magazine, especially since so many of us read, use, and love it. Since Interweave Press now has other knitting magazines that are more youth-directed, couldn't you put some great-looking middle-aged and elderly women in the IK photo shoots?? I'm sure you all have beautiful mothers, grandmothers, and aunts who would jump at the chance. And your readers would benefit from seeing a wide range of real people like themselves. You might benefit as well, from more sales to women who could see themselves in those great patterns.
KateG wrote
on Nov 19, 2008 9:49 AM
Wonderful. Nice job, LuckyinKy. Your edit was charming. Interweave, please make the behind-the-scenes video a per-issue event.
JaimeG wrote
on Nov 18, 2008 11:53 AM
I used Pinnacle Studio 9 software to edit the video and the music was just a standard "Cool Jazz" background available for free with the program. I'm an amateur videographer. I learned basic editing in school but haven't used my skills since; I had a lot of fun making it and I hope to bring you more Interweave Knits videos in the future. Thanks for all the positive feedback!
NicoleZ wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 9:47 PM
Wow! I think this video is a great idea. We can really see how the various garments work on an actual moving person. The models are lovely, and the location is perfect. Does anyone know who did the music? Like others, I really liked it. I am itching to get my hands on this issue and start knitting. I hope you will continue to do this for future issues.
CarolynI wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 7:39 PM
I agree with the others who said that it makes a big difference to see the knitted items on a moving body; it shows how the fabric drapes and hangs. Please continue to do this for your upcoming issues. I'm so excited to get my hands on the magazine now! Also, I had no idea that the magazine is created so close to me in Philadelphia.
DianeD wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 5:40 PM
I think you guys are awesome - you really know how to motivate and inspire -- hands down on always finding new ways to keep us wanting more and more and more. I won't live long enough to do all the projects I want to do. Keep them coming. It was fun to watch the video - you make it look easy and fun. I know it's fun, but I also know you all work hard to make it look easy. Thank you. Thank you to all. Di
CindaM wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 4:17 PM
Wow...I like the video and hope that Interweave Knits will do another one! Am anxious to see the magazine!
PamA wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 4:02 PM
Yes - This was wonderful! More of these please! Real projects, real people, real ideas. I now NEED all those makeup brushes and more yarn! Pam
KateS@2 wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 2:58 PM
I can really look forward to this issue. I like so many of the things, and I don't recognize the names of any of the designers. There must be a whole crowd of people launching into designing thanks to the upsurge in knitting over the last few years - I think it's GREAT!
Cfanning wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 12:16 PM
Sandi - Do I ever know how you feel about your shawl! I made the mistate of taking mine to show some friends and they are asking the exact same thing of me!! I want to re-do it but use green for the actual shawl and white for the 'bumps'. Can't wait to see pictures of your!
CarolS@5 wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 11:12 AM
Very nice. Can't wait to get my issue!
ValC wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 11:04 AM
ValenciaC re: Behind-The-Senes: The Winter Knits Photoshoot Great idea on the video preview. But that's just added a few items on the ever growing pending project list. I can't wait to get my issue in the mail and start knittng. Thank you for the sneak peek!
StinaS wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 11:03 AM
Thank you, that was so much fun to watch. Nice framing and editing.The camera looked at all the thing I wanted to see. I hope you will take time to that again.
ElkeF wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 10:39 AM
Toll! Einfach Klasse. Die Modelle einmal in Bewegung zu sehen ist viel aufschlussreicher, als nur ein Bild. Es ist eine ganz hervorragende Idee und ich wünsche es mir auch für die nächsten Ausgaben Eurer Interweave Knits. Danke Elke
AmyP wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 10:04 AM
it would be SOOOO fun to be part of a photo shoot - hey! Anything to do with the magazine would be fun.
Anne-MarieM wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 9:55 AM
What a wonderful video!!!. The music was great too. I can see a lot of activity in the stash room to get ready to knit those patterns! The hooded scarf is a beauty, I know that I have 2 granddaughters and a daughter that live in Faro Yukon Terr. that would love to have those!!! All the best and thank you for every thing that you do to make our knotting so much fun! Anne-Marie
DonnaW wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 9:53 AM
Yes! What ElizabethE said!!! It is a revelation to see the projects "in action" and I hope you will do this with every issues, maybe giving us a back view of the garments as well. Thanks to all of you who made this happen!
Anna@2 wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 9:48 AM
What a great video, and a fun look at your hard work. I'll hve to get my current project off my needles before the magazine arrives! Anna L
ElizabethE wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 9:38 AM
It really adds something to see the projects "live" and in motion. A static picture just isn't the same. Please do it again with future issues.
KathleenI wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 9:22 AM
Very Awesome! Very motivating to get ready for some new projects. Ditto on the hooded scarf - fabulous! The upbeat music definitely was a plus and kept me "into" the spirit of the presentation flow. Thanks for all the work that went into making this available to us!
TurquoizBlue wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 9:21 AM
You say the models are friends and family? You all sure know and are related to some good-looking people.
TammyT wrote
on Nov 17, 2008 8:07 AM
Wow! That was fun to watch. Great music, too. I can't wait for this issue. I already see a couple of things that I like. I wish I had that hooded scarf right now! BRRR