How to Take Good Pictures of Your Handmade Cards for Your Blog—Photography Tips

Updated on February 3, 2017
My own lightbox setup
My own lightbox setup | Source

How to Photograph Cards for Cardmakers... It's All About the Flash

We've all done it. We've made our cards and gingerly took a quick picture using a digital camera or our cell/mobile phone.

We upload it to our blog, yet the picture is dark and doesn't look 'right'.

I totally understand the frustration, when I started my card-making-blog, over seven years ago (Yikes), I used to put my cards under a scanner and just hoped for the best.

I knew then I couldn't possibly compete with professional photographers but secretly I was very envious of all the other cardmakers' blogs where their greeting cards looked 'just like they do in magazines'.

A Quick Search on Google and It Became Clear

So I searched online to see if I could get a few quick tips and came across a few websites, apart from the very technical ones.

I was lucky to find a few quick fixes that will give my picture taking to a slightly more professional level.

Unfortunately I can't remember the photographic site that dished out those pearls of wisdom but I quickly made a note of the main three tips in my mind.

3 Tips for Better Custom Card Photography

So here are the three tips so that you can improve the look of your cards when you want to upload them to your blog:

1. Switch the Flash off on Your Camera

  • I know it seems silly and you think that the picture will become dark but don't worry tip number two will fix that.
  • The reason you want the flash off is because it makes everything look flat and unnatural. It also creates shadows where you don't want them and your cards look like they've been caught in a traffic light!

2. Look for the Instruction Booklet for Your Digital Camera

  • (You can go to the manufacturer's website and download it there if you lost it) and check if your camera has this setting called EV (exposure value) and then set it at 0.7 + you can 'push' it to 1.0 + if need be, just experiment. What this does is to tell the camera to get more light in, so that you're actually forcing the camera to overexpose your picture.
  • Honestly, it's ok because the next step is to fix it once you've taken the picture using a free software called Picasa.
  • If you have other pictures software enhancer, that's cool, use the one you have.
  • The setting you want to hit is the automated quick/instant fix. This will just automatically enhance the picture like magic.
  • You can also play with the saturation setting to give your cards' pictures 'more colour'.

3. Finally You Need a White Box (Also Called Lightbox)

  • I was lucky enough I found one in my local Maplin (computer and electronics retailer in the UK) but you can make your own with a fairly deep box.
  • Just cut out the two flaps that fasten the box plus one side, then line your box with white cardstock (it doesn't have to be good quality just white).
  • Next use a table lamp and shine the light from above but directing against one of the sides so that it reflects the light back to your card.
  • You might need to prop up your table lamp with a smaller box or like I did on the picture with a kitchen paper roll (yep I'm that technologically minded).
  • You could always 'take it outside' like Lindsay Obermeyer did to get the best natural light (go and have a look—it's pure genius).

So what about it ? Is a good picture of a greeting card helpful when bloghopping ?

Do you think it's important how the picture of cards look in cardmakers' blogs ?

See results

Take Several Pictures of Your Card from Various Angles

Since we don't have to develop pictures anymore in this day and age, don't be stingy with your picture taking, just go for it and you'll start to feel like a professional photographer. Take at least 5 to 8 pictures of your cards 'moving' around the card and varying the angle of your camera, my best pictures usually are made when I put the card slightly at a jaunty angle and take the picture from below looking up.

You'll want to experiment so that you can find what works for you, so go for it and also try to avoid taking a picture of your card from the front that's why I position my card slightly off. You'll pick, then, all the card layers (if any) and people will appreciate more your cardmaker's skills.

Also and this is a total bonus, no matter how good your matting or positioning of your elements on your card there will always be something that looks a bit off, when taking a picture this way, it kinda corrects these 'mistakes' as you can't really tell. Shhhh that's a secret! lol

If you have any tips of your own about how to photograph handmade cards, please leave a comment below! Thanks!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • stampinwithfab profile imageAUTHOR

        Fabrizio Martellucci 

        2 years ago from London, United Kingdom

        You're welcome Fiona ! :)

      • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image

        Fiona 

        2 years ago from South Africa

        I have always battled to get decent pix of all my craft projects but I think that this is a solution that is simple and one that will work and - best of all, I have everything I need already so no spending any money. Thanks so much!

      • stampinwithfab profile imageAUTHOR

        Fabrizio Martellucci 

        2 years ago from London, United Kingdom

        You're welcome Debbie :)

      • profile image

        debbiesiddle@hotmail.com 

        2 years ago

        Thanks for this. My photos need some improving. x

      • stampinwithfab profile imageAUTHOR

        Fabrizio Martellucci 

        2 years ago from London, United Kingdom

        Totally empathise with your predicament about lighting, I tend to crank up the contrast and saturation when I use a photo editor such as Fotor (Picasa is good too), it brings back the colour although the card will seem slightly different than the real thing, .....people will never know. Thank you for your lovely compliment about my hubs. There are more articles to come as I'm moving them over from my 'soon to be gone' website cardmakingnews.com :D

      • paperfacets profile image

        Sherry Venegas 

        2 years ago from La Verne, CA

        All your craft Hubs are excellent. After 10 years I am still experimenting with photos. It is hard to get the lighting just right and paper seems to absorb light. Colors drive me crazy.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)