Jan 13, 2014

Camera Settings for Photographing Your Cards

Hello, Sweet Things!  It's Melissa and I hope you've had fun playing a bit with your photography set up since last time!  This week for the Picture Perfect series, I'm back to discuss some basic camera settings with you!

First, let me tell you that you do not have to use manual focus on that camera of yours to get decent photos, so shake that worry off your mind right now!  We're going to stay user friendly here!  If I can say one thing before we get started, it is this:  Get to know your camera and read the user manual!  I know.  Yawn, right?!  I promise you'll learn something!  If you can't find the information you are looking for in the manual, do a quick search online for your camera model + what it is you are wanting to know more about.  There is usually someone out there that has the exact same camera and knows the answer to your question!

Let's start off by taking a look at the two photos below:

You'll notice that the background is more blurred (what we're aiming for) in the photo taken in portrait mode (the head icon on a camera).  By simply changing to the portrait setting on your camera, you can blur the background quite nicely!  Don't forget to move your card out away from the background too, as we discussed last time!

I used this setting for a long time before I discovered something else.  I'm going to ask you to go just a tiny bit out of your comfort zone and venture into a semiautomatic mode called aperture priority.  Depending on the camera you own, you may or may not see an "A" on the setting dial.

This mode will blur your background even more!  As always, be sure that you are focusing on your card and not your background.

Lastly, let's talk about white balance.  We all know that sometimes lighting just isn't ideal.  Adjusting the white balance on your camera can save you some editing time!

On my camera, a Nikon dslr, there is a handy little button for white balance.

See the circular +/- button just below and to the right of the off/on?  That's the white balance button!  Let's say your lighting isn't quite right, but you need to get a photo taken so you can post it on your blog.  After taking a photo in portrait mode, you really wish you could brighten the photo & blur the background just a little bit more.  Take a look at the difference between the photos below:

By shooting the photo in aperture priority mode and increasing the white balance, both things were accomplished with just the click of a couple buttons (see photo on right)!

I played with my set up a bit and did a little tweaking in Photoshop Elements and here is the final photo:

With a little practice and patience, you'll find what works best for you and your camera.  Like I said previously, get to know your camera and take time to play with all the different features it offers!  You'll be pleasantly surprised what it will do for you!

For my card this week I played with triangles from the extremely versatile Triangle Style set as well as a sentiment from the wonderful Austen Obsessed set.

You'll find even more Sweet triangle creations on my blog today, so be sure and bop over and take a look!  Had I not had plenty on my to do list, I'd probably still be playing with triangles!  I was on a roll, I tell ya!

I'll be back in two weeks to discuss backgrounds and photo props!  How fun does that sound?!

Until next time, keep practicing playing!
Pin It


  1. Once again, Melissa, AWESOME!!!! I have been learning so much with your series, I LOVE IT!!! Cute card too btw :)

  2. oh my goodness - AMAZING blog post!!! LOOOOVE how informative it is!! i am TOTALLY going to try it! i promise! i LOVE this series, so much!! and i agree, your card is beautiful! i LOVE the graphic traingles with the gorgeous sentiment! it's a knockout! thank you!!!!!!!!!

  3. I love your series--seriously! I have learned so much!

    1. Thank you, Laura! I am so happy to hear that! :)