Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Photo Set-up

Hello Journey Friends,

Many friends have asked me how I take my photos for my card creations here on my blog.  I'm here today to share my high-tech set-up and explain a bit about my process.

The photos I'm about to share with you are unaltered (except for watermark), straight out of the camera photos.  I'm showing you these so you can see the before---and after.

My camera is an older Canon Xsi with the standard stock image stabilization lens.  I take my photos on Manual mode.  I'll show a snapshot of the photo details below each picture.

This is my workspace.  I work at an old kitchen table that sits in my spare bedroom.  It's pretty dark in there, and I rely on the light on the desk as well as two torch lights that are positioned on either side of the table.
When my cards or projects are ready to be photographed, I place a piece of watercolor paper flat over my workspace and position the rest of the pad (with the hard cardboard backing) up against my markers.  I also place a piece of this paper along the right side edge.  As you can see here, I have one of my favorite backgrounds also set up.  I often use backgrounds that compliment the cards or themes of the cards.  I also use sparkly cardstock in the background and felt, embellishments, trinkets or a piece of glass from a photo frame (for reflection) on the bottom.  The task light (with a white OTT Lite) is positioned directly over the project.  
When taking pictures, I sit almost eye-level with my camera so that I can take a head-on shot.  I look through my viewfinder and adjust the objects to my liking.  Most of the time, I take a photo with the card facing at an angle to the right.  In this particular setting, I wanted to photograph a collection of similar items so I raised one of them up on stamp blocks to give additional height in the picture.  I teetered the other one off the edge of the blocks to give additional purpose and function to my "props".  I do this as well when I pile sand, rocks, gems, sequins, etc.  
After taking the whole frame shot, I focus on two additional close-up shots.  You've probably noticed that when I post a card on my blog, I show three photos.  The whole, and the two close-ups.  I think this allows me to be able to explain details by including a visual reference for my readers.  

Sometimes, as with this image, I apply gloss over areas.  When I do this, I want to make sure that shows up so I tilt my card/project or tilt my light source to create reflection on the gloss.  This reflection will show up in my photos.  
 You can also see that I take a tight shot of the bling or ribbon elements.  I just like to see sparkle!  ;)
Alrighty, so now that those three photos are taken, I load them on my computer and head over to for editing.  I only do a few edits.  

1.  CROP the image.  
2.  ADJUST THE EXPOSURE to brighten the photos up and increase the contrast just a bit.  
3.  ADD OVERLAY EFFECT (usually FROST and/or FOCAL B/W).  Sometimes I add a LENS FLARE or STAMPS but that's rare and only for special projects).
4.  ADD WATERMARK (I tend to have a few favorites and always try to use the same watermark effect for the collection of photos in this series.  

So now are you ready to see the final photos???

I hope this information is useful to you!  Thanks for stopping by!  Tomorrow I'll be back to regular scheduled crafty posts!  


  1. Great explaination - your photos are always amazing. Oh, the subject is too and that helps!! :)

    1. Thank you Chris. I hope it helps those who wanted the information.


Thank you for taking the time to comment about my creations! I appreciate the feedback and LOVE. A stamp in the hand is a song in the heart. Kerry