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Paper Crafting Photography :: Day 2 :: Setting the Stage

Hey there! I hope you are enjoying the Paper Crafting Photography Series. Today, I want to share some helpful tips on "Setting the Stage" or how to set up your shots with the right angles, lighting, and backdrops.

  • Avoid using too many props. They have a tendency to steal the show instead of your project. Use furnished areas in your home with limited accessories as a nice backdrop for your project.
  • I photography my projects on a white countertop. Don't have one? It's okay, simply use white cardstock to stage your scene.
  • Use solid color cardstock as the backdrop to create contrast in the photo. I usually like to coordinate my backdrop cardstock with my card. Be careful, make sure your backdrop cardstock color does not conflict with the main project color. I find kraft cardstock works with many projects, unless the project is kraft, then I switch to another shade.
  • In my space, I have recess lighting, but none are directly above my photography studio area.
  • There is also a well-lit chandelier in the room, but it's not directly above the photography area.
  • I do not use a light box and the one I have is collecting dust. If you have an external flash, you will not need a light box.
  • Get eye level with your project. Sometimes, an aerial shot of an altered project is more appropriate.
  • Place cards at an angle to see the dimension of the card. Avoid flat card shots. Flat card shots can create illusions causing the viewer to think the backdrop may be a part of the project.
  • Having difficulty with you card standing upright? I use a glue dot on my countertop (you can do the same on cardstock). I place the card front on the glue dot hiding it. Then the card back is kept in place with a small object. This is a super easy way to keep your card in place while avoiding extra props.
  • For scrapbook layouts, try placing it on an easel or stand. Stands may be purchased at Michaels or framing store.
  • If you have cardstock larger than the layout size, simply stand the layout upright and have a prop hold it up in the back and take the shot.
  • Another option is to place the layout flat on a surface, then photography the project from above. This gives the perception that you are taking the photo directly in front of the layout. As a backdrop, I use my white countertop; however a larger sheet of cardstock, such as posterboard could also work.
I hope these tips are coming in handy! Tomorrow is the last day of the series and will focus on editing and organizing image files. I hope to 'see' you back! If you have any questions, please let me know and I may do a posting to answer them or answer you directly, so make sure you leave your e-mail. Thank so much for joining me!


Jana said...

Great tips, Ashley. Thank you!

AJ said...

how awesome of you to share how you do your photos! :)

Unknown said...

Thank a lot for doing this! I will be referring to this over and over!

Aimes said...

Oh I'll be back for sure!! Thanks so much for these tips - today's tips were exactly the kinda tips I needed, might be using my white kitchen worktop from now on LOL!

bernietom47 said...

This is fantastic. I've resisted starting my own blog for the simple reason I can't take decent photos of my work. I never even knew what questions to ask. I will be printing these pages out so I can refer to it as I practice, practice, practice. Thank you ever so much.
Hugs & Blessings

Alice said...

thanks for the tips!

Nicky Hsu said...

There are so many great tips in your post. I've learn a lot. I tried to adjust my cards and camera. The magic happens. This really helps to improve the quality of photo. Thank you so much for taking your time to share with us.

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