Don’t let bad photos get in the way of creating beautiful photo cards & invitations. Here are my tips to snap the perfect pic!
Photographs are the simplest way to personalise your greeting cards and party invitations. They add an extra level of emotion to your cards and are bound to put a smile on the receiver’s face. But I know not everyone is confident when it comes to taking wiz-bang photographs for their photo cards. Here are some quick photography tips to ensure you end up with the perfect pic, every time.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have access to an expensive camera or advanced lighting equipment. Modern smartphones are equipped with decent enough cameras that can produce high quality photos. But there are a couple of tricks you can apply to take your photos from good, to great! Try using a post-processing app. This could be as simple as using the built-in app in your phone’s camera to adjust brightness and colour saturation, add a filter or even crop any unwanted areas away. Take it to the next level by using a dedicated photo app (such as Snapseed- iOS, Android) to really help you bring out the best in your snaps!
Let the light in
One major component that must not be forgotten when taking a good photograph is light. Generally for greeting photo cards and party invitations, you’d be wanting bright and cheery photos to be warm, welcoming and emotive. Whenever possible, use shaded natural light to achieve the best lit pictures. Choose to take your photos in places like under a tree, or covered patio to achieve this. Or wait for an overcast day. Cloudy days are actually perfect for photography because the clouds act as a fantastic diffuser for the sun. Direct sunlight is harsh on your subjects and you don’t want your photos featuring kids (or adults) squinting or closing their eyes. If it’s not possible to shoot outside in the natural light, you can still make use of the ambient light. Avoid using a flash because it produces hard shadows on your subjects and generally looks cheap and nasty.
Take care of your subjects. If your model doesn’t feel comfortable, then the final shots aren’t going to work. Take time to chat and compliment your subject while you’re snapping. Offer them direction or poses – don’t just shoot away silently. One thing I find useful to build confidence is to show them the shots on the back of your camera or on your smartphone screen. Kids get a real kick out of this and usually you’ll get so much more from them once they see some of the results!
Another way to get great pictures for your greeting cards and invitations is to shoot candidly. What this means is that your subject is not in their serious posing positions. Instead, they are just going about their everyday activities as you snap away. Kids playing with their toys, your partner screaming at the TV whilst watching a sporting match or even the whole family just chatting away at the dinner table. These photos tend to have a more playful tone to them – not as serious as posed ones.
Add some props
If you are posing your subjects, adding some props will make a world of difference to your results. Cheap props from your local hot dollar shop will work perfectly. A santa hat will bring the Christmas spirit to the photo cards. Some toys will bring a smile to your kids’ faces. Just don’t go so overboard with the props that you end up cluttering your shots.
There are so many ways to get great pictures for your photo cards. Go crazy and do something fun and cool. Take pictures from different angles, get on top of your couch, drop down to the floor. If you are having fun with it, it will show in your photos.