Picture this: You finished crafting a beautifully elaborate card for two hours - only to struggle with taking a good photo of it! From the lighting to its position, how the heck do you create an Instagram-worthy photo?! If this is something that you've struggled with and asked yourself - you're not alone!
Don't feel bad - we're crafters, after all, not professional photographers! However, some basic photography tips will help you take photos that give justice to how beautiful your design is - even without the use of a professional camera! If you want to take better pictures to post on your blog or social media or send to your loved ones, this post is for you! After you read this post, you can say goodbye to those photos with messy backgrounds and grainy quality. Here's to better-looking pictures to post on your blog or social media!
1. Use Natural Lighting
Natural light is your best friend. Whenever you take pictures of your lovely crafted cards, scrapbook pages, or journal layouts, try to do it near a big window where the sunlight comes in. The natural, diffused glow from the sun is like magic for your photos since it gives you soft and even lighting.
It makes your projects, especially cards, look their best without any weird shadows. So, find a cozy spot with lots of sunlight, put your projects there, and get ready to capture their beauty in pictures that will make everyone go "wow"!
2. Opt for a Non-busy Background
When you're taking pictures of your lovely projects, think about where you place them. Here's a friendly tip for project photos: don't take them where you made them! While we all love a good behind-the-scenes reveal, your messy craft desk will not be a great photo background.
Look for a background that isn't too busy - meaning it's not filled with lots of stuff or patterns that might distract from your project. A clean and calm background, like a smooth table or a plain piece of paper, works really well. This way, when people look at your picture, their eyes can focus on your design.
3. Position Your Camera on a Tripod or a Stable Platform
When you're ready to take pictures of your beautifully crafted projects, keeping your camera steady for high-quality photos is essential. To do this, you'll want to use a special tool called a tripod, which is like a stand for your camera. If you don't have a tripod, you can find a stable surface, like a pile of books, to place your camera on.
Whether you're using a tripod or another tool, your camera should hang overhead to your project. Make sure that your camera isn't causing any shadows on your paper, and don't position it directly in front of the light source.
4. Adjust the Brightness and Focus On Your Camera Setting
When you're getting ready to take pictures of your crafted cards, it's important to ensure your camera settings are set up just right. First, let's talk about brightness. For example, you have a clean white card. You want the white to look vibrant, not yellowish, bluish, or dull, so finding the right amount of light is key.
This is called white balance. Now, your camera might have a setting for white balance, usually with icons like a sun, a lightbulb, or a cloud. Pick the one that matches your light source. If your cards still look slightly off, try adjusting this setting until the colors look more accurate and true to life.
Now, let's chat about focus. You know how sometimes a picture can look blurry, like when we don't wear our glasses? Well, your camera needs to wear its "glasses," too. Find the part of your camera that helps it focus (usually a button or a touchscreen area). When you're taking a picture, press that button or tap that spot, and your camera will make sure the card looks super clear.
If your camera has a special mode called "macro," that's like a super zoom for tiny details. Use that if your cards have lots of little things you want everyone to see. And if you're using a smartphone, you can tap on the screen where your card is to focus on it.
Remember, practice makes you better at this stuff. So, go ahead and play around with the brightness and focus settings until you get the hang of it.
5. Play Around With the Depth of Field
Let's talk about something called "depth of field." It's a cool trick that can make your craft projects really pop into your photos. Imagine you're looking at a picture where the card is super clear, but the background is all fuzzy and dreamy. That's what we call "blurred background" or "bokeh."
If you have a camera where you can tinker with settings, as the pros do, look for something called "aperture" or "f-stop." It's like the camera's eye, and you can make it bigger or smaller. When you make it bigger (use a smaller f-stop number), the background gets all dreamy and out of focus, and your card becomes the superstar of the picture. It's like putting a spotlight on your card!
6. Stage Some Props in the Background
This tip is perfect when you have projects, like cards, that don't take up a lot of space, leaving a lot of empty areas in your photo.
When you're taking pictures of your crafted cards, it's a great idea to place a few props behind the card to make the photo more interesting and give it a crafty vibe. For example, you could put some colorful pencils, pretty flowers, or even some of the supplies you used to make the card.
These props should match the theme, color, and style of your card.
Make sure the props don't steal all the attention – they're like helpers that make your card look even cooler! If you're using a table, prop up your card with a glass or some stacked ink pads or something tall and slim to make them slightly higher than your props. You can play around with different positions to see what looks best.
7. Capture Your Project in Different Angles
Imagine your project is a star on a stage, and you want to ensure the audience sees it from all sides. Just like how you look at something from various angles to really understand it, different angles of your project can help others appreciate its beauty and details!
First, start with the usual angle, where you're looking directly at the front of the card. This is like taking a straight-on picture of your friend's face when they're posing for a photo. It shows the main design and message of your project.
Next, try tilting the card a bit and taking a picture. Imagine tilting your head to the side to get a different perspective. This can highlight any textures, layers, or decorations sticking from the card's surface.
Finally, another angle you can try is a bird's eye view. Take a picture from a higher angle, looking down at the card. This can show the whole layout and give a nice overview of the design!
8. Master the Rule of Thirds in Photos
Most cameras (including the one on your phone) have a grid setting option. It's like a tic-tac-toe grid on your photo, dividing it into nine equal squares. What you want to do is put the important parts of your card – like the cool designs or details – where those lines cross or along the lines. This makes the picture more interesting and balanced.
Plus, instead of letting your card take up the whole grid, try putting it in the middlemost squares, and giving it some breathing room. This way, your card becomes the star of the picture, and it feels pleasing to look at!
9. Make Your Photos Look Their Best With Edits
After you've taken your card photos, it's time to give them a finishing touch to make them shine even brighter! You can use Photoshop or even your phone's built-in software to adjust a few things, like brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows, saturation, and vibrance. Just remember, not too much, so your colors aren't completely altered!
10. Learn the Art of Close-up Shots
When you're taking photos of your crafts, don't forget about the magic of close-up shots! These shots let you zoom in on the intricate details of your projects, showcasing the delicate patterns, textures, and tiny decorations that make your creations special. To capture these close-up wonders, use your camera or smartphone's special macro mode if it has one. This mode lets you focus really close, bringing out the tiniest elements in sharp clarity.
If your device doesn't have a macro mode, no worries! You can simply get closer to the card and tap on the screen to focus on the part you want to highlight. Just make sure your hands are steady and that they don't cast shadows on your projects.
Show the World Your Beautiful Creations With Confidence!
Now that you know all the ways to take better photos, it's time to show them off to your friends, family, and followers on social media! Don't forget to tag us on Instagram and Facebook - we'd love to see your creations too! Here at Altenew, our greatest reward is seeing you create beautiful projects with our products - it's truly an honor!
So make sure to snap your best shot, and enjoy preserving your work! As always, if you need more inspiration and tips like these, drop by our All About Crafting blog! Happy picture-taking!