Dec 30, 2013

Setting Up To Photograph Your Cards


Hi, Sweet Things!  It's Melissa and I'm back with another installment of Picture Perfect!  This week, we're going to take a look at some things you will want to pay attention to when snapping those photos of your cards.  These are things that may seem rather small or insignificant, but really do make a difference in your final photos!

The Setup

First, you're probably wondering what my setup looks like when I take one of my typical card photos!  Surprisingly, it's pretty basic and that's the beauty of this.  It doesn't take expensive equipment to achieve nice card photos!  Take a look...

When I'm ready to photograph a card, I gather a basic tripod, a kitchen chair, a couple pieces of 12x12 paper and my camera and take them into the living room where I've found the best natural lighting in the house due to a large window.


I place the chair at an angle facing the window, taking care not to create unwanted shadows around my card.  Take a look at this photo:

After I set up two pieces of 12x12 paper (one under the card and one standing up behind the card), I snapped a quick photo for you.  I'd set the card down in such a way to show you what happens when a card is oriented at an angle that isn't ideal.  Notice the shadow on the left?  Shadows also appear if a photo is taken while the sun is shining directly in the window onto your card.  Try to either photograph your card at a time of day when the sun isn't glaring in your window or find a shady spot just to the side of where the sun is shining into your room and then play around a bit with the orientation of your card or chair to see if you can't eliminate (or at least minimize) any shadows.

I simply rotated the card a bit and the shadow disappeared (see below):


I thought I'd touch briefly on backgrounds this week, but be assured that I will be revisiting this topic in future posts!  For today, I just want to show you the relationship between where you place your card in your setup and the appearance of whatever background you choose to use.  I used a 12x12 sheet of decorative paper as my background behind the card to demonstrate.

Notice the difference in the appearance of the patterned paper in the two photos above?  The only thing I changed was where I placed the card in relationship to the background.  In the photo on the left, the card is standing right up next to the background paper.  In the photo on the right, I simply pulled the card out from the background and retook the photo!  You really want your card to be the focus of your photo, so try to keep any backgrounds you use soft and subtle.  As you can see, that simple trick created the desired look and kept the card the focus rather than the bold pattern of the paper!  When using auto focus, always remember to have your camera focus on your card and not the background and use either portrait (the head icon) or macro (the flower icon) mode on your camera to help blur the background a bit.

As you can see, I played with the City Scape stamp set this week!

This set is so full of possibilities!  I used it for a New Year's card and here is my final photo:

I hope this week's post inspires you to play some with your camera and photo setup!  Continue to pay close attention to lighting and shadows.  Then, start playing with background papers.  The fun has only just begun!  I'll be back again in a couple weeks to discuss some of the settings on your camera that will help you on your photography journey!

Until then, keeping practicing playing and bop on over to my blog to see even more Sweet Stamp Shop goodness!
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  1. I just LOVE your series soooo much!!!! Great job and cannot wait to play around myself! :)

  2. I just LOVE your series soooo much!!!! Great job and cannot wait to play around myself! :)

  3. Another great post!!! Love this!!! So many amazing tips! Love it!!!!! I am so glad you showed your set up! It's so enlightening!!

  4. I wish I lived where there is tons of daylight..I'm in washington state :) Love this post, fabulous card!

  5. I recently found your blog. This is perfect because my pictures always come out so dark. And I live in Florida!! Thanks for the tips.

  6. Melissa, I loved this post...makes me feel better that I'm OK to wander around the house with my 12x12 papers, my card, and my camera until I find just the right light! I love your new year's card, too...a great post all around!