Capturing Childhood with Kat Goldin

Blogger extraordinaire, whiz with the hook and needles, and camera pro Kat Goldin (of Slugs on the Refrigerator fame) has stopped by to tell us a little about her new book 'Crochet At Play' and share some insider tips on how to take great outdoor photos this spring.

Tell us about your new book…

Crochet at Play is a collection of 30 hats, scarves, clothes and toys for kids to enjoy. I was inspired by my children and the amount of fun they get out of my crochet. In the spirit of using blankets to build dens, I wanted to bring a collection of playful designs together in one book. From wolf cardigans to baby ballet slippers there are projects for children from newborn to age six. Whether you want to add to the dressing up box or create beautiful garments with a fun twist, Crochet at Play is packed full of inspirational projects. Its published by Kyle Books and out in April.

What inspires you to pick up a camera?

When my eldest child Ellis was born I wanted to share pictures of him with my family in America. I learned as I went along and my love of photography grew. These days I’m inspired by not only my children but nature, art and craft in my photography. Photographing someone or something you love inspires you to make those photographs the best they can be. I love how looking down the lens at my children helps me really see them and notice the small details that make up our lives together.

How did the Capturing Childhood project come about?

My business partner, also named Kat, sent me a message one afternoon with the idea for the courses in a nutshell. I didn’t hesitate before saying yes; amazing photography, using your camera to its full potential and recording the intimacy of family life are all topics I’m passionate about. We very quickly developed our ideas and opened the virtual doors to a warm welcome from the online community. In the ten months we’ve been running our business we have been continually impressed by the work and improvement show by our students – they really do take our lessons to heart and shine.

What are your main tips for someone picking up a camera for the first time?

Notice where the light is coming from and move to capture your subject in the best light available. Imagine the photo you want to capture before you bring the camera to your eyes; this will help you to compose the picture as you intend rather than point and shoot. Stay conscious of what it is you love about photos be it subject, light or composition. Remember that every photo you take develops your personal style skills so keep taking photos. They say the first 10,000 photos you take are your keep shooting!!

Give us your top 3 tips for shooting outdoors...

1. Try shooting in the “Golden Hour” – this is the hour before sunset or the hour after sunrise.  The sun is low on the horizon and should cast everything in a nice even glow.  This is a great time of year for shooting in the Golden Hour, as the sun’s low position means that it lasts longer and it at a more reasonable time of day than summer. If this isn’t possible, try avoiding the midday sun, when shadows are at their harshest.

2. In bright sun, try to photograph in the shade.  This will minimise harsh shadows and squinting. Under a tree, in a forest, in the shadow of a building, next to a natural landscape feature, under the slide, all will help alleviate problems. If you can, position your subject at the edge of the shade with you shooting from the sun so that all of that lovely light can still be part of the photograph.

3.Put the sun behind you (or as we often say to students put your "bum to the sun"). Angling your subject towards the sun will help light them and create the lovely light sparkles in their eyes known as catchlights.

Tell us your simple things…
That first cup of coffee of the day, brought to me every morning by my 2 year old daughter and her daddy. She sings me "Happy Birthday to You" every single day of the year.

Crochet at Play will be out on 18th of April in the UK, and later in the year in the US, Finland and Holland. Expect some fantastic makes, and more stunning photography!

Click here to sign up to an online course or find out more about Capturing Childhood.