Socks Behind the Lens: Niq -
I was so excited to write this profile of Niq, our primary product photographer (and Sock Dreams founder!). It’s her style that defined the type of product photography we do here, since she’s the one who started Sock Dreams!
I mentioned in my own Behind the Lens post that Sock Dreams has a “look” and language to product photos, and that language and look is partially evolved from Niq’s early Socks of the Day photo posts! Sadly, multiple site redesigns and blog moves have lost most of those posts to the sands of time, but I was able to find these two images from a post made in December of 2003!
The welcoming and casual tone of her photos, merging lifestyle product photography with traditional product photography, has become a key part of how Sock Dreams portrays our products online. We want to show you not just what a pair of socks or arm warmers looks like, but how they look in life.
I sent Niq a questionnaire to see how she started this sock-tacular style, and I’m going to let her tell the tale in her words—because whatever I might know or share is nothing compared to her sock saga!
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When did you start taking pictures for Sock Dreams? I mean, we all know the answer is “since Sock Dreams was born” but give us a date so we can imagine the labyrinthine photo archives you must have!
My first rolls of actual sock shots were developed by Seattle FilmWorks on March 29, 2000... test shots were taken a couple of months before that, to see if I could even make socks look interesting enough for people to want them for themselves.
Do you remember your first photo for Sock Dreams?
Attached is not my first shot, but the first one that felt usable and gave me a direction to work with on this new venture of taking pictures of socks on feet.
When/how did you start photography?
When I was about 8 I was out hiking with my mom and she handed me the camera to take a picture of her... not only was it my first picture, it was the first time tilting the camera to get what I would learn much later is called a Dutch angle, I still love my angled shots, but I do try not to overuse them.
What was the road that led you to taking product pictures, was it through portraits of friends, necessity, or did you jump right in to working with folks modelling product?
It was necessity... since it was just me in the beginning I would use a tripod and remote shutter release.... I didn't even have a digital camera at the time, in fact, my first two years online I relied on SFW and digital scans but one particularly bad batch of images quickly made me realize it was worth the investment in the "new technology".
What is the most difficult thing for you when it comes to taking pictures of product?
Keeping track of all the details so the picture comes together with minimal fuss... are the socks even and the lines straight? did a bit of fuzz magically appear since we started? ...probably.
We Love Colors Plus Size Tights in Purple
What is your favourite thing about taking pictures of product?
Seeing all the new socks in action.
Do you have a favourite thing to take pictures of?
Sockwise it is thigh highs.... outside of socks it's either flowers or bugs, especially bugs on flowers.
Patchwork Floral Lace Stockings with Attached Garter Belt
Hardest question ever: what’s your current favourite shot?
ModSocks fiddle head ferns...
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From film to Instagram, Niq’s style has sparked the fashionable flame that is Sock Dreams! Thanks to her, we’ve been having fun with our photo shoots since the start, and we hope it shows!
Dreamer Tartan OTK in Charcoal/Sweet Cream/Ochre