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  • Writer's pictureKris Poor

Three Quick Tips for Better Project Pics

Are you struggling to take great project photos? How about sharing a picture of that fun block you just finished or that modern bag? You don’t need to be a professional photographer – try these easy tips for better photos in less time!!

By the way, this advice is intended for smaller projects, but you can apply this to your quilt photos, too.

Tip #1 Set it up for success

Your phone camera can make it easy to look like a pro. In your camera settings, turn your GRID on. Now you can adjust your camera angle so that your subject is straight or not. Now I can judge whether this scalloped mat is centered or not.

With the grid, you can now use the rule of thirds to compose the photo. By placing the subject of your photo at any point along a 3x3 grid, it creates balance in your photo. In the example below, I’ve offset the Americana Star to add interest. I can also add some text to the photo if I want later. This photo was taken on against a black foamcore background.

Tip #2 Natural Lighting is Best

Natural light is your friend! Try taking photos in the same spot in your home so that you get to know what times of day work for getting true and clear colors. You will find that there are good times of day and there are not so good times.

I take most of my pictures for Poorhouse Quilt Designs in my sunroom. I generally find that morning pictures in that location can be very shadowy and just not worth my time. Afternoon works; I get nice soft light and clear color. By sticking with that location as my “photo studio”, I now know when (and when not to) to do a photo session.

Take your photos near a window or glass door if possible. If you still need more light (or need to get rid of shadows), you can bounce light onto your subject using just a plain white foam core board. Household lighting can add weird colors to your photo; stay away from turning on lamps.

The placemat photo in tip #1 was taken right at the window, so that the fabric colors are accurate!

Here's a don’t: don’t use the flash on your camera – it will just look unnatural.

Tip #3 Clean up the Background

Speaking of white foam core, I find that using white foam core as the ground of your photo really places the focus on the subject and makes you look like a pro!

Take your photo just a bit further away than you need, and then you can crop it down to what you need (and maybe take out the feet that end up in the photo!!)! Below, I took a load of pictures of Hoilday Stars, just to see what might look interesting.

Bonus tip: once you set up your photos, take extra pics at different angles. You never know which one you will like, then have fun cropping them down and making photo collages with your photos.

Speaking of background, I bet you can find lots of interesting textures to use as a background around the house - the photo below of this rainbow Holiday Star was taken on a shelf.

Try these tips and let us know how you make out!

Keep on stitching and take pics along the way!


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