How I Photograph Project Life Layouts

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It has been honor to be a part of the Becky Higgins Creative Team this year, and with the end of the year fast approaching, submissions for the new team are now open! One of the big requirements for being on the team is photographing your layouts at home and submitting them. Since I see so many questions about how best to do this around the web, today I'm sharing how I photograph mine.

5 Tips for Photographing Project Life Spreads
5 Tips for Photographing Project Life Spreads

A Good Location to Photograph | I have a large set of windows in the our living room that lets in great afternoon light. It's about the only spot in my house I can shoot adequate layout photos in. If it wasn't for this spot, I'd likely shoot outdoors in the shade. I aim for a area that is near bright light but not *in* direct light. I always make sure to turn off any lights in the room, including the flash on the camera.

Finding a consistent time of day is helpful as well. I actually have better lighting from this window in the evening, but naptime for my youngest works better for me.

On White Background | White is my personal choice. Wood, carpet, a rug, tile. It all works as long as it doesn't distract from the spread. I like to stick to white though to keep it clean and consistent. Last year I had a white kitchen table I photographed on, but this year I purchased a large white poster board from Hobby Lobby for under $5. What I love most about it is that it's a tri-fold and I can bend the ends to create reflectors, which helps brighten the image.

Distractions | While in-person, the backs of cards and photos from the previous and following pages doesn't bother me. But in a photo of a layout, they can be distracting. For this reason, I often remove the cards from the backsides of the layout before photographing them. It takes a little extra time, but is worth it. See an example below.

5 Tips for Photographing Project Life Spreads
5 Tips for Photographing Project Life Spreads

Out of the Album | This isn't necessary when you only have a few pages in an album. But once you're several spreads in, the pages stop laying quite as flat as they once did. For this reason, I now always remove them before photographing them. It also helps to get rid of distractions that may show through from other pages.

Eliminating Glare on those Pocket Pages | The most frustrating part of photographing layouts for me is the glare. Most often this happens on the top of the pocket pages, or the area closest to the window. Below is an example of my usual glare problem.

5 Tips for Photographing Project Life Spreads
5 Tips for Photographing Project Life Spreads

I've found the easiest way to eliminate the glare is to gently bend the tops of the pages so that they lay flatter. If the tops of the pages concave slightly, I get glare from the windows, but if I make them bend more convexly, the glare goes away. Watch the short video below to see an example of what I mean.

Hopefully that helps, but if you still struggle with glare after attempting this, taking the photos and cards out of the pocket page and laying them on top can work well too.

To see more of my 2014 Project Life album, click here.