BOOK REVIEW: The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos by Heidi Adnum

Book cover

Even the cover is amazing…

It’s another one of them book reviews, run for your lives!

First of all, let me say I love this book. I only wish I had come across it sooner, it would have saved me from a few embarrassing photography moments of the past.

This is a great book if you have, or are thinking about getting, an online handmade/craft business in which you need to rely on images alone to sell your wares. In a day and age where it’s not always possible to touch and see the products in person, an image goes a long way; it can, in fact, mean the difference between a lot of sales and none (not to mention looking professional as opposed to amateurish).

This book is divided into three sections: Getting Started, Photo Fundamentals and Finishing Up & Getting it Out There. Instead of taking photos herself, the author got some really talented people with lovely products to share their images and tips with her, making her more of an intermediary of sorts on images (the technical bits at the beginning of each chapter, though, are hers). Image-wise, this book is gorgeous to contemplate, and the explanations are simple and easy to understand, even for an absolute beginner.

There’s a small interview with each artist at the end of each chapter that will allow us to get to know them a little, as well as understand what is important, technique-wise, to them (very useful if you like their product photography and want to know how to get it for yourself). There’s also a Common Problems and FAQs before each interview, where you can browse through (surprise!) common issues one might encounter with specific wares and under certain circumstances.

two inside pages of the book

The only fault I can find with this publication, considering it’s made to be handled a lot (because you will want to refer to it frequently, right?) is it not being a hardcover. I am very careful with my books and I can just imagine this one getting battered in time, despite my best efforts.

Don’t lend it to a crafty friend or you might never see it again! Would make a  wonderful present for someone looking to start an online craft business. Just saying.

So, now I’m going to get to the technicals of the book, so if this doesn’t interest you, just er… look away.

Name: The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photographs – Foolproof techniques to make your handmade creations shine online.
Author: Heidi Adnum
Publisher: Search Press Ltd.
Year: 2011
Number of pages: 192
Type: softcover
ISBN: 978-1-84448-751-6



  • Introduction
  • 1: Camera Basics
    Choosing a Digital Camera
    Getting to Know Your Camera
    Major Digital Camera Modes
  • 2: How To Tell Your Story
    Planning Your Photograph
    Choosing Backgrounds
    Props, Styling & Scale
    Detail & Texture
  • 3: DIY Accessories Tutorials
    Light Tent
    Light Box
    Flash Diffuser
    Seamless Background


  • 4: Fashion & Fabrics
    Planning & Setting Up
    Common Problems & FAQs
    Practitioner Spotlight
  • 5: Bags, Purses & Accessories
    (Same as chapter 4)
  • 6: Knitting & Needlecraft
    (Same as chapter 4)
  • 7: Jewellery
    (Same as chapter 4)
  • 8: Dolls & Toys
    (Same as chapter 4)
  • 9: Ceramics & Pottery
    (Same as chapter 4)
  • 10: Art
    (Same as chapter 4)
  • 11: Books, Magazines & Stationery
    (Same as chapter 4)
  • 12: Home Accessories
    (Same as chapter 4)


  • 13: Editing Essentials Tutorials
    Creating a Duplicate Layer
    Rotating & Cropping
    Adjusting Exposure
    Correcting Colour
    Optional Extras
  • 14: Image Handling
    Digital Files
    Size & Resolution
    Saving & Storing
    Backing Up
  • 15: Optimisation
    Camera Workflow
    Post-production Workflow
  • 16: Business Advise
    End Uses
    Branding, Marketing & Merchandising
    Good Business Practice
    Social Networking
    Finding Motivation
    Practitioner Spotlight
  • Glossary
  • Photographers’ Details
  • Crafters’ Details
  • Index
  • Acknowledgements

2 responses to “BOOK REVIEW: The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos by Heidi Adnum

    • You’re welcome! I’ve so many “technical” books I thought I might as well tell people about the ones I like 🙂

      A little secret: compare the prices on Amazon with those on The Book Depository, the latter is usually cheaper (and offers free shipping) xx

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