Photo: Cessiah Henderson

Milliner and photographer Cessiah Henderson shares how to enhance the look and experiment with your photos.

Post-processing simply means editing. Once you have picked out your best images it’s time to edit. As most are aware there are many programs available to edit your photographs, but for this type of photography you really only need a few basic touch-ups. Photoshop is great if you can afford it and if you know how to use it. I learnt how to use it and I found it a bit tedious and over-the-top for most of my photography.


For editing my photos I use a program called Picasa which you can download for free from Google. I find that this program has the basic editing tools I need to touch up my photos. Often I will adjust the light and shadows as well as make the picture a bit warmer with the temperature tool. I also often crop the picture (leaving out unwanted distractions) and sometimes I sharpen it. There is also a “Retouch” tool which allows you to remove any blemishes or imperfections in the picture. It’s a very comprehensive program and very quick – you can even open the photo folder up in Picasa and delete unwanted pictures and edit wanted ones as you go. Some photos don’t need editing at all, but I’d say that the majority of mine I do adjust slightly, just to make them as clean, bright and crisp as possible. If you are using your mobile phone to take your photos then I recommend a program called VSCO Cam. This program does much the same as Picasa. Just as a side note, I would be careful with the use of filters on your photographs as you may lose some of the actual colour of your hat.

Just as you experiment with millinery, photography is something to be experimented with. You don’t need an expensive camera in order to get great photographs, it’s the way you utilise your camera that brings about good results. If you can get hold of a model (be it a relative or a friend), use them. Seeing a hat on an actual person is much more realistic than on a foam head. Or if you don’t have a model readily available, I strongly suggest investing in a mannequin head. I’m lucky that Mum has bought two beautiful vintage mannequin heads made by Marge Crunkleton and I have become good friends with one in particular named Cora, as pictured here wearing one of my creations. Once you have your photographs don’t forget to back them up! Drop Box is a fantastic tool for this. Or otherwise save them to an external hard-drive. The last thing you want is to have gone to all that trouble only to lose your photos! 

I hope that these simple tips and techniques will assist you with photographing your creations. You want to show off your work as best you can. So keep in mind a good source of light, a simple yet effective composition, focus on your hat and take many photos from many angles. Also don’t be afraid to experiment. If you keep these few simple (yet important) components in mind you will no doubt improve your photography abilities. Practice makes perfect, so go get snapping!  

Cessiah Alice Photography

 FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/cessiahalicephotography

FLICKR – www.flickr.com/photos/cessiahhenderson

INSTAGRAM – @cessiahalicephotos

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Tags: Cessiah Henderson, millinery photography, the spindle

Ruth Connor

Thank you Cessiah,

this has all been very interesting and useful.

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