Oh this is a fun tutorial to write because it is so easy.  Thank you Vindeeloo for the request 🙂

The most important part of doing this is using a great source of natural light and avoiding flash.  I mostly use the window light from the sliding glass door or the covered porch.  I choose a spot where it is bright with no directional sunlight.   Then place my layout on the floor and hover the camera no less than 4 feet, or more above the layout.  I center the lens over the middle of the layout, using a little in camera zoom, while making sure it is still in focus then take several shots making moves in increments so I can get it straight as possible.  Obviously the camera is not going to take a perfect crop to the layout, so I then take the image into Photoshop (this can be done in any program with a photo editor.  I am sure you can do it in Word, Outlook, ect.  Infranview is a free download, you can also download the editor and it does even more than that, if you can find the right plug in you will be able to view your svg files in windows explorer!  Anyway…. once I am in the editor, I crop around the edges, doing any adjustments such as straightening and contrast, then put a small border to hide any of the crooked parts of the photo that isn’t perfect.  This is why I shoot many pictures in increments, it is to much work to go back and forth if you are off to much to get a good straight crop.


Also if you are a card maker, you can use the same concept, set your card on a table, tv tray, desk wherever that open shade falls, you can use background papers to keep focus on your card, if you use papers, don’t let the design of the paper take over your subject.  Keep it simple, and let your subject shine.

The closer to the sunlight your are without being IN the rays of light, the more quality light you will receive.  Unlike a layout that you photograph straight on, (unless you are taking close-ups of embellishments) This angle of light will give your card dimension as well, never photograph your subject straight on, with the exception of the rule on layouts, or you will get the FLAT look.  I will talk about this more in other tutorials.  Photographing at an angle on your layouts will show off your embellishments as well, experiment, experiment!

You also have other options as well using flash but I will go into that in later tutorials.

Giving a quick skinny is using a light box or bouncing your flash, or diffusing your flash… until that tutorial, you’ve really got the best quality light right here.

Please excuse my cheezy drawing… it was a quickly I came up with on a short  break at work!

Or you can use a Scrap n Easle, that works too if you get the right angle but the lighting concept is the same.

Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!



  1. Michelle says:

    This is a great idea… I always try to use natural light when I can and to shoot it during 2-3 in the afternoon…. but, sometimes… I’m in a rush and I can’t wait. I think this is great that you are sharing your photography skills with us.

Your comments encourage me to craft more!

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