5 Tips for Taking Awesome Knife Photos

1. SET THE SCENE

Part of taking a good picture is making a good picture. Although it’s not the focus of the photo, a thoughtfully set background is important, too. Luckily, you don’t need to have a photo studio to create a great setting. “If you are having trouble finding cool backgrounds for your shots, check out a ‘scrap book store’,” advises @jansknives, an instagrammer with a large following and one of the best amateur knife photographers out there. “There you will find an enormous selection of sheets of paper, fabrics and metal,” he points out. Being resourceful also helps according to jansknives: ..”Have a look around your house. A lot of everyday objects can work great as a backgrounds for your shots.”


2. STAY FLEXIBLE

According to jansknives, sometimes the best shots are the ones you didn’t necessarily set out to take. “I’m starting out with a rough idea of what I want, but most of the time things change during the shooting session. I can end up with someone completely different than I planned for. Things can look very different in the camera than it did in your head,” he says.


3. FOCUS ON THE GEAR IN FRONT OF THE LENS, NOT BEHIND IT

Jansknives achieves stunning results without expensive gear; in fact, he prefers not to use it. “I do have a professional Nikon DSLR, but find it refreshing to do all of these shots (and all of the editing) only with my iPhone. It’s so fast and easy, and the results you get with the iPhone is surprisingly good!” If you’re just starting out, jansknives suggests a few inexpensive essentials: “You don’t need to invest a lot to get the photo gear you need. I have a couple of LED lights ($30 each) and a small tripod ($10) with an adapter to attach the iPhone.” He appreciates that his lightweight setup allows him to keep his entire operation portable. “Your whole studio gear fits in the pockets of your coat!”


4. SHOOT, SHARE, REPEAT

Part of improving your knife photography is sharing your work with a like-minded community that challenges you to improve. When jansknives found Instagram’s knife community, he was instantly impressed. “I had been a hobby photographer for a long time. In the summer of 2014 I stumbled upon some knife shots on Instagram, and was blown away with the creativity and the high quality photos in the community. I felt I could be able to take some decent shots too, so I ordered a couple of good looking knives and got to it,” he says.


5. STAY INSPIRED

“All knives are mine and part of my collection,” says jansknives. “I find the knife to be an inspiring product to photograph.”  The combination of good industrial design with lots of details and cool materials (titanium and carbon fiber for instance), and the way the light is reflected from those metallic surfaces, can give stunning results,” he says.

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