I'm an amateur photographer with a capitol "A" and by no means are my photos "perfect." I don't own a fancy camera or even Photoshop software (tried it diligently for the 30 day free trial and gave up). However, I often get asked by readers for tips on how I take my photos so I'm happy to share the few things I have learned as I have bumped along the picture taking highway.
Mary's Not So Fancy Tips for Better Pictures
1. My camera is a relatively inexpensive Samsung S730 (Circuit City–around $100). The key is using the settings "Scene" and "Text." There are similar features on other brands.
2. I purchased a 20" photo tent and two desktop photo lamps (with daylight bulbs) at an on-line store for about $80. You could probably get away with a smaller tent if you are primarily snapping cards. Prior to the tent, I used two large pieces of white card stock as a base and a background. However, for this second set up, you need good daylight conditions.
3. I use only white backgrounds to keep pictures consistent in my gallery.
4. I do not use a tripod. I prefer to hold steady, stop breathing, focus and shoot.
5. I take 5 or 6 photos at different angles. I tend to select the angle with the focal point (or sentiment) closest to the camera.
6. I downloaded Picasa (free) software and use it to sharpen, crop, center and brighten as needed. It's very user-friendly. This is a shot of the same photo at the top of this post before sharpen and auto contrast (brighten) were applied. Magic 🙂
Today's card was prompted by Beate's Inspiration Challenge. I was inspired by the the crisp colors and botanical images. Organic Grace is one of Stampin' Up!'s Hostess Level I sets (also available with on-line product orders of at least $150). Click here for full details on Stampin's Up!'s Rewards Program.
I stamped the dragonfly in Kiwi Kiss, Baja Breeze and Tangerine Tango on Whisper White card stock. Using Define Your Life (it covers every occasion and beyond), I stamped the "inspire" sentiment, Chocolate Chip on Whisper White. TIP: The look of a layered sentiment can be beautiful. I layered the Organic Grace fern (Kiwi Kiss) over the sentiment for a soft touch.
Each image received it's delightful "postage stamp" scalloped shape and embossing with the help of Nestabilities Long Rectangles and my Big Shot Die Cutting Machine. They are layered on Kiwi Kiss and Baja Breeze card stock. Whisper White follows along with a card base in Tangerine Tango (4.25 x 5.5). A luscious piece of Stampin' Up!'s Chocolate Chip 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon was the finishing touch.
Hugs and Pretties . . . . Mary
COMING UP: Halloween Ideas, My First Guest Stamper, Stampin' Pretty Gets a Blog Makeover
Stamp Set: Organic Grace (Hostess Level I), Define Your Life
Paper: Whisper White, Kiwi Kiss, Baja Breeze, Tangerine Tango
Ink: Kiwi Kiss, Baja Breeze, Tangerine Tango, Chocolate Chip
Cool Tools: Big Shot, Nestabilities Long Rectangles
The Perfect Touch: Chocolate Chip 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon