Thursday, October 24, 2013

One of the best parts of being a swirly girly is sharing our work with one another and complimenting each other on the gorgeous creations submitted here at Swirlydoos. It's nice to both give and receive compliments from your peers.

In order to share your artwork it is important to make sure that you are providing the best possible representation of the GORGEOUS piece of art that you have created. You may have the next greatest thing in scrapbooking, but without a good photo the impact is completely lost.

Today the education team is here to share with you some best practices found online as well as shared from our very own DT...and personal experience of course. 

Photographing your work can be broken down into a couple of different categories. 


1. Turn off the flash! Flash is direct, harsh, and will wash out your artwork creating shadows and distorting colors. 

2. Avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will cast shadows and cause glare on your photographs. Indirect light is best. Make sure if you are inside using a window that there is not sunlight streaming in. 

3. If you must photograph in direct sunlight, use sheer curtains as a filter for the light. Here's an example from Vicky Alberto using direct sunlight with a sheer curtain filter:

notice the lack of shadow. However, the LO is darker on the bottom than the top. This is due to the light coming in the window and being closer to the top of the LO. Through indirect lighting you will avoid this. 

4. Use a white board or white wall to bounce light. In the above photo you would want to place a white board directly below the LO to bounce the light back up to the bottom portion. See the diagram here:

5. Turn on all interior lights and use white light, not standard/yellow light. Krissy uses her Stella lamp which can be purchased through the Swirlydoos store.

6. Paulien says to place your LO on a large white canvas or foam board as a backing. This will help to bounce light as well. For very light colored LO's use black instead of white.


1. Make sure that you are standing DIRECTLY over the LO at a 90 degree angle. BEND OVER!! If you have trouble bending over you can use a chair to make yourself higher and not have to bend as severely. 

2. Align the edge of the LO with the edge of the viewfinder to get the LO as square as possible.

3. Avoid glare on your glossy photo. By moving forward or backward just a tad you can remove the glare on the photo. Check for glare before pushing the button.

Manning the camera

1. Use a tripod if at all possible. 

2. If you can't use a tripod or it's too difficult, make sure you keep steady while shooting the camera. Experiment with various ways to hold the camera so you don't wiggle while depressing the shutter. Cradling the bottom and lens in your left hand allows for a base for the camera to rest on. Difficult to do while bent over though.

3. Hold your breath while depressing the shutter to minimize movement.

Once you have taken the best photo possible you can then use software to improve your photo further. Change the color of the lighting, correct any distortion, straighten edges, crop out background, etc.

Some great software is:
1. Photoshop Creative Suite $$
2. Photoshop Elements $
3. Picasa web based software: FREE

Here, Rae has created a quick video on how to use Picasa on the internet:

Experiment with your lighting, positioning, and continue to practice with your camera so you can create beautiful representations of your artwork that we can all ooooo and ahhhh over time and again.

Feel free to ask the ET or DT questions via the forms HERE


Kim said...

Great tips.

luv46kdz said...

Awesome, always looking for tips on taking better pics of my work :)


Merrihew said...

Thanks for the wonderful tips!


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