Photographing Sockupied

She Shoots Sock Shots

Handknitted socks: a delight to knit, a challenge to photograph.

When you envision a photo shoot, you might imagine a supermodel in a skimpy outfit standing on a remote beach or in a studio with a fan, music playing as a photographer gives prompts like, “You love the camera! Give me sassy! Give me jealous!”

Sockupied shoots are nothing like that. We have models and photographers, but our models don’t make pouty faces—they crack up as we ask them to perch on one foot, bend their toes just so, and pose in strange configurations while giving the impression of effortless grace. We get to skip the hair and makeup, and the stylist can usually just shop for pants and skirts.

When I first began this job, it came as a surprise to me that there are specialists who choose the clothing, accessories, rooms, furniture, and props—everything you see in a book or magazine photo has to be chosen and positioned just so as to create a natural-seeming environment. The job of a stylist is usually to make it look like she was never there, as if the couch and ball and dog were just waiting to be in an ad for carpet cleaner.

I sometimes get funny looks when I mention hiring models for knitted socks. Can’t anyone do it? Somehow a lot of otherwise normal feet take on strange forms when they’re photographed up close and stared at intensely. There’s also some special talent to standing in a way that looks natural. Not everyone has feet expressive enough for the job.

We photographed the Spring and Summer 2013 issues of Sockupied a few weeks ago, but we’re already looking ahead to the Fall 2013 issue. Do you have a great idea for a sock design or an article that will help knitters see socks in a new way? If you do, check out our call for submissions here. Your socks could be on view next fall!


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