How to Photograph Scrapbooking Layouts, Cards, and Paper Crafts

I have had many people ask me over the years how I photograph crafting projects such as cards, scrapbooking layouts, and craft projects. In my positions as magazine Editor, Product Photographer, Marketing Coordinator, and freelance Designer, I have had years to make all the mistakes and to learn a lot of tips and tricks to make photographing crafts MUCH easier. I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite tips and tricks to help you get the best photographs of your creative projects.

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher


In this post, I'm not going to talk much about lighting conditions or selecting props for your photography. If you're looking for lighting recommendations, then I suggest reading THIS article. I suggest some ways to use those lights HERE. If you want to learn my natural lighting tips, then you can read this article HERE.

What I want to talk about in this post, is how you set up and quickly photograph the things that you make.

How to Photograph Crafts:


* Scrapbooking Layouts:

Scrapbooking layouts can be photographed in one of two ways: flat lay or standing up. Flat lay includes placing the layout flat on any kind of backdrop/background and then shooting above it. A tripod can help with this or standing over it will also accomplish this. You can use props or just shoot the layout.

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher


Standing a layout up means that you prop the layout up and then stand and shoot into the layout. Again, props are optional. Sometimes I get a really good flat shot, if I tape it to the wall and shoot straight in and then crop later.

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher


The key here is to get the layout as flat and straight as possible. For flat lay, I recommend using a tripod and flipping the head upside down so you can shoot down and into your project.

For stand up photos, make sure your props support every corner of the layout and nothing is bent. The set up your tripod to be on the same plane as the layout and shoot in.

Both methods work great. Be SURE your focus is on the ENTIRE layout. That means everything on the layout is completely in focus. Take a shot and then use your expand/enlarge button to make sure every part of the layout is in focus. I tend to take at least four shots every time so I can ensure I get a great photograph.

* Cards:

Cards are intended to be dimensional. So while you can shoot cards as a flat lay or shooting in, you will want to do some testing with the card you have created. I suggest using the same techniques posted above, but taking the following shots to give yourself some options.

Shot 1: Shoot your card flat (whether this is flat lay or shooting straight in, it means the card is facing you and appears perfectly flat and straight in the photo).

Shooting Flat:
How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

Shooting Straight In:
How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher


Shot 2: Turn your card. If you find that your card looks more like a piece of paper rather than a card, you'll want to employ this technique. When shooting straight in, set up the card as you normally would. After taking Shot 1, turn the card slightly. Look through your camera, can you see the opening of the card now? Don't turn it too far. A slight turn so you can see the edges of the card works best (see sample images below).

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher
How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher


Shooting flat? Try elevating the card with something underneath: something you can't see like a roll of tape that elevates the card and creates shadow; or place it on a plate or a craft tool. This will help the card have some dimension.

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher


Now you can choose to use both image types or use the one that best highlights your card as a dimensional object.

* Craft Projects:

These are the most challenging, yet most fun to photograph. Start by looking at the basic shape of your project. Is it circular (meaning rounded or curved), or is angular and square (like a rectangle or a box)? Just like a card, you don't want your project to feel flat in a photo. Your project is dimensional, and you want it to feel that way in the photo. So here are a couple of shots I recommend taking with these projects:

* Shot 1: If the project is square, angle it slightly and shoot straight in. This is just like turning the card slightly. What you are trying to capture is that this project has more than one side. You do this by shooting towards one of the corner edges of the project. Is your project rounded? Try to capture the top AND the curve or rounded parts of the project.

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

* Shot 2: Shoot straight down. Just like a flat lay, shoot straight down and into the project. Make sure any words, or patterns face the correct way (you don't want text reading upside down in your photo).

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher


* Shot 3: Try another angle. With dimensional projects, don't stop with just one or two photos. Move around your project. Move your project around. You may be surprised to see the photos that best capture your craft aren't the ones you originally thought would show the project in the best light.

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher


Some "Don'ts":

Over the years, I have seen several strange photo angles. It takes some time to recognize that some photograph angles distort your project or feel "weird" when processed. So to help you see what I would NOT recommend doing, I'm sharing some "BAD" photo images.

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

How to photography crafts for websites and blogs by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com #blogphotography #photographytips #projectphotograph #diyblogger #jengallacher

Like this article, be sure to share with a friend! Or pin it to your photography Pinterest board. Have questions? Be sure to ask them in the comments below! I'd love to help, and I totally want to help save you time, stress, and making mistakes if I can. So let me know if there is something else you'd like to learn. I'm here to help!

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