Today’s How To-sday comes to you from former Design Team member Katrina Hunt! No matter how hard I try, I always struggle to photograph my layouts – either the lighting is wrong, I can get it all in focus, I can’t get it straight, the list goes on! Katrina shows us an easy way to put all that right and get the perfect end result every time.

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It is so nice to be back on the ScrapbookSteals blog today! Katrina here and I hope I am going to help you “de-mystify” how to photograph your projects to display in galleries, on your blog, Facebook, etc. Warning, this post is picture heavy but I wanted to try to show each step. There are many ways to photograph projects and many ways to edit. This is what works for me. I am focusing on a layout today, but this will work for cards also.
I have two supplies that are staples for me taking project photos: a white foam core board and also a small easel. The board is big enough for a two page layout and the easel is great for propping projects up on.
Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts I always take my photos outside in natural light. Also, I never use a flash. If you use a flash, it bounces off your pictures and anything that is shiny. Those things are too hard to fix! Natural lighting requires me planning ahead and possibly taking them before work or taking pictures of several projects on the weekend. But the lighting in the house isn’t good for this, so I plan accordingly!
I use Photoshop Elements 9.0 as an editing tool. If you have a different version the steps will be similar to what I am showing.

Step 1. Lay your white board down and place your layout on top of it, as straight and square as you can. Then you want to stand directly over your layout. My front step is the perfect height for me to do this. Snap several pictures making sure to leave white space around your layout. I take several shots and pick out the best one to actually edit. Then you will want to open in Photoshop Elements (PSE).

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 2. Start to edit your project photo. All of the editing I do is under the enhance tab and 99% of the time I do the auto enhancements that you are going to see here. First is Auto Levels.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 3. Then Auto Contrast.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 4.Then Auto Sharpen-I didn’t include a picture for this, but it is under the Enhance menu also.

Step 5. This is where the good stuff starts coming into play. You are going to do Adjust Lighting-Shadows/Highlights. A box will pop up on your screen and give you the option to adjust the sliders. This will lighten up your picture and make it brighter. I always just leave it at 25% and don’t really ever move the sliders.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 6. Now you are going to go to Adjust Color-Remove Color Cast. Your white board comes into play here. There will be a box that pops up and it will tell you to click on an area that you know is a true white, grey or black. Click on your white board and watch the color change!

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 7. Double click on your “background” layer over to the side to create a “layer” to work with. To straighten your project you will need to go to the View menu and then select Grid Lines. This gives you something to gauge how much you need to turn your layout to make it straight. Make sure you have the “arrow” tool selected and then click on your project. This will create a dotted line around the layer and you will be able to turn it until you get it straight. Hit the green arrow to save your work.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

You can tell where I have slightly turned my project to make it a little straighter and the green arrow is at the bottom to check ok.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

Step 8. Last step is to crop down the white space, so that basically all you have showing is your layout.

Photographing and editing your scrapbooking layouts

And my finished project that I will post in galleries and on my blog!

K_HuntRoadTrip1000Signed

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Katrina, thank you so much for sharing with us today – it’s good to see you back! I am definitely going to be trying this one out! Thanks for the tips :-)

If you have an idea that you would like to share as a How To-sday tutorial, please send your photos and directions to ksharrock@steals.com.

Have a great day and be sure to stop by tomorrow for Mid Week Mojo sketch Jade #7!