In which I find an expert to delegate to..

Several embroideries stacked on top of each other.

Embroidery, as many of us have cause to know, can be extremely difficult to photograph successfully. I’m much better at it than I was when I started this blog, but mostly because the technology has improved enough to make up for my deficiencies! So I decided that it might be a good idea to get a Real Photographer to take photos of the Amarna embroideries for me.

It’s going to happen in two stages, the first covering as much as possible, and the second the finished assembly of the colour block panels, and anything else that needed final details. So the first thing for me to do was to get all the “spots” for the main panels stretched over card so that they could be photographed before I assemble the colour block panels. Then I bundled them up with the Amarna Felts and the two main sandy panels, and went to visit Bernard Rose in his studio.

An easel of sorts is set up at the focus of photographic equipment. The Violets in Stumpwork are on a small pad on that easel.

We’d already met to talk about what I was doing, and so that I could show him what, precisely, the challenge involved (to say that The Colosuss of Akhenaten offered scope for experiment doesn’t really cover it!), so when I arrived, he had already set up lighting and a table with an easel of sorts on it, so that the embroideries on their temporary mounts could be easily set up, and easily interchanged. There were also a whole range of different reflectors to add in as each piece demanded, some of them wielded by me, some by him, some propped or clipped to the table.

Here you can see that the Clump of Violets is in place. I made a separate, sandy-coloured card for the Violets and the String of Beads, because I think these will end up together, but I’ve not got How quite sorted in my head.

View over the photographer's shoulder at Ankhsenspaaten on the easel.

Since Bernard seemed to enjoy himself more every time an embroidery proved particularly difficult, we had a tiring but successful and rather entertaining morning. Here the Head of Ankhsenspaaten is the focus. I’d forgotten how tiny she is, and wasn’t at all surprised when he abandoned his tripod and took the camera in hand!

I’d also rather forgotten how much I’ve done that’s Amarna inspired.

Quite a shock, that was!


  1. Sue Jones says:

    What a very satisfying thing to see, an expert in their own field making your own expertise look extra good!
    Scale is something that frequently gets lost on blogs and webpages. Even if there’s a ruler or a thimble in the shot for comparison, the message doesn’t come across as seeing a human or a hand for scale.
    Mind you, with the vast amount of Armana material you have produced, it’s probably a good thing that they are mainly very small scale. Otherwise you might need to hire the National Exhibition Centre for your exhibition!

  2. Lin says:

    Always good to get a professional involved. xx

  3. It is definitely worth having a professional photographer take pictures of the pieces we have worked a lot on and are pleased with.
    Looking forward to seeing Bernard Rose’s pictures.

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    I agree that having a progessional photographer take the images for you is a great idea. They often see things that we miss and can bring out hidden treasures that you didn’t even know were there. I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

  5. Meredithe says:

    What a great idea! Looking forward to seeing how you both went with the photography

  6. Alex Hall says:

    Really looking forward to seeing how the professional shots turn out. Are you thinking of also using them for cards/postcards/a calendar etc? Just thinking of how Amanda (View From Our Hill) selling some of her work via Ko-fi?

  7. Karen says:

    textiles are always so hard to photograph effectively. It will be great to have these professional pictures of your lovely work.

  8. Jillayne says:

    I struggle with the photography as well so I can well understand the cleverness of sourcing this out to a professional – it must be wonderful to see them portrayed at their best!