Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



how to photograph your scrapbook layouts

Hey friends! For those of you who may not know me, I am the visual manager here at Becky Higgins. A lot of my time is spent behind the camera and in the studio, and I am excited to kick off a brand-new blog series that will allow us to hang out and chat photography each month of the year. I will be covering things like indoor lighting, how to get great portraits of your kids, and much more. I would also love to hear what you all would like to be learning about for this series so be thinking about that as you work your way down to the comments section to leave me a note.

Today? Today we are talking all about how to photograph your scrapbook layouts the right way. Let’s jump in!

How to photograph your scrapbook layouts with Kara from Becky Higgins

P.S. If you find yourself swooning over the kit I used for this layout, it is the up-and-coming-almost-available Currently Edition by the uber talented, Peppermint Granberg. #SwoonWorthyRight?!

Back to business… some of you may be wanting to learn this in order to share better imagery of your layouts on your blog or on social media and some of you may just want to know how for personal reasons. Either way, I am going to walk you through a few simple steps to ensure that your layout is being displayed as beautifully as it can. We are going to go from this to this:

How to photograph your scrapbook layouts with Kara from Becky Higgins

Step 1. The most important thing when it comes to photographing your Project Life® layouts is to turn off the flash. A lot of people don’t realize just how much of a hindrance that part of the camera can be. Why? Because you are working with a plastic page covering that will give you glare and even more so when a flash is being used. So whether you are shooting with your camera phone or a DSLR, you have the ability to turn that off so make sure to start there.

Step 2. Find the most delicious light possible. I’m not talking about direct lighting; I’m talking about indirect. You want to look for a window or light from an open door. If you are lucky to have a lot of natural light in your home, then you can probably score by snapping the photo right in the middle of the room. For me, things like this are always photographed in my living room or master bedroom. Here is a peek into what my setup looks like:

How to photograph your scrapbook layouts with Kara from Becky Higgins

You’ll notice that I have natural indirect light coming from the door on the right and there is also a window directly in front of me that is not seen in the image above.

Step 3. You have to make sure to get above your layout. If you are able to shoot your layout on the floor, then you may not need a chair like you will if you are shooting on a tabletop. I like to always use a chair so I have crop space in the image.

Step 4. You want to make sure and get your image as tack sharp as possible so it will show off all of the details and journaling on your page. If you are using a DSLR, you want to hold as still as possible and take a deep breath in before hitting that shutter button. And be sure and take several shots to make sure you get a good, sharp one. If you are using your mobile phone, you want to make sure and tap the screen first where your layout is shown and then take the picture. This will ensure that the camera is focused on what it should be. And again, take a few shots.

How to photograph your scrapbook layouts with Kara from Becky Higgins

If you score the right lighting, your image may come out of the camera looking like this:

How to photograph your scrapbook layouts with Kara from Becky Higgins 

And please know that the image above is from my iPhone. Side note – I’m sure it sometimes feels that the only way to get amazing imagery is with an expensive DSLR, but you have a powerful tool right inside your pocket sometimes. I don’t want anyone feeling intimidated for these “studio sessions,” so you will see me mix up the types of tools I use and it usually won’t be professional grade equipment because not everyone has that! I wanted this one and all future photography series to be realistic to each of you who may be reading and learning.

Step 5. Some of you may not have software to edit your images and some of you may. If you are working with software, I would suggest that you bump up the brightness a bit. If you are working from your mobile camera, use your favorite photo-editing app to do this same thing. My favorite app is Afterlight and I know Becky’s is PicTapGo and she just so happened to have shared a video on how she achieves brighter photos which is a great tutorial for those of you wanting to improve in that area.

How to photograph your scrapbook layouts with Kara from Becky Higgins

And there you have it! Five simple steps to photograph your layouts the right way and show off all the work you have been doing. Thanks so much for popping in and joining me for this. I hope it helps you out with all of your future layouts and how you photograph them. Until next time, friends!


34 Responses

  1. Wendy says:

    Great post! Thanks for the great tips…

  2. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much. It’s great to have some tips to make my photos look better 😁

  3. Stephanie says:

    Sorry for that face…. That was supposedly to be a huge smile…

  4. Laura says:

    Thx for the tips! And yes love this kit! :)

  5. Ashley says:

    Great post!
    I would love to see tips on capturing our children or family members not looking at the camera/posing-more of in a natural setting. It would also be cool to see some of your best before & after of the photo editing apps. I look forward to seeing your indoor lighting post.

  6. Lydia says:

    Great information… Thanks for taking the time to educate us!!! I would like to see a future topic on how to get great movement shots with iPhone!!! Thank you!!! ~Lydia

  7. Cathy says:

    Would love to see more of Karas photos tips on this blog. (Enjoy her blog too)

  8. Jen S says:

    LOVE this series! I’m always looking for tips & tricks for getting great shots! Suggestion: baby steps for manual mode shooting?

    Thanks Kara!

  9. Steph says:

    Thank you for the great tips! Looking forward to this series.

  10. Peggy says:

    Great post! Sometimes its the little things that make the biggest difference.

    Looking forward to much more from you. Thanks:)

  11. ines says:

    Thanks for the great tips! Looking forward to reading your future posts : )

  12. Thank you for sharing this! I have shared it with my Stampin’ Up!® team and I know this is going to help us tremendously with our photographs. Really excited about Project life by Stampin’ Up!® and going for a big push to use and sell it more this year! Thanks for all you guys share on your site I LOVE it.

  13. Suse Fish says:

    What brilliant tips – thank you so much for sharing!

  14. Annabel Sivila says:

    I really really love this post. Thank you for sharing this great tips. I found this section very interesting :)

  15. Charlotte says:

    Great tips….thank you! Could you share ideas for staging your photo shoots? I love the white wood slats in the photos; the texture is yummy! I’m just starting an Etsy shop and I’m having trouble taking photos of my product that show scale, etc.

  16. Amy Myers says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I love your wooden slats background. Would something simpler, like white poster board or sheet of foam core, produce good results too? Those wouldn’t have the lovely texture but wouldn’t compete with layouts, are inexpensive, and easy to store. Speaking of which, I’m just really curious. Where or how do you store your wooden slays background when you’re not using it?

    Thanks for such a great post!

    • Kara Layne Kara Layne says:

      Hey Miss Amy! Absolutely – white poster board or foam boards works great and is much cheaper. I have a spare room at home where I store a select few more intense “floors” to shoot from and here in the studio at Becky Higgins, we have a wall that we lean them up against. Nothing too flashy or technical to be honest ;)

  17. Keri says:

    Thanks for the tips Kara! I found the afterlight app, but not the pictapgo app, is it only available for Iphones?
    Look forward to reading more!

    • Kara Layne Kara Layne says:

      Hi Keri! So PicTapGo is only for iPhone, however, they just announced that it is coming to Android so be sure and check out their website to stay updated on release details!

  18. Kelli W says:

    I’m glad to see that you are going to be sharing photography tips! Thank you for the great tips on getting great shots of our layouts.

  19. Kelly says:

    Beautiful post. I will try the tips to see if I post my layouts in my Instagram. I find it difficult to catch the handwriting but I will try.

  20. Paulette says:

    Thanks for this info! I used to carry my DSLR camera and iPhone both but have started using just my iPhone 6+. These tips are so helpful! Appreciate your whole team!

  21. Lindsay says:

    I know some of the creative team members took the photos and cards OUT of the pocket pages and laid them on top to avoid glare from the plastic pages. Yet another reason I use the App ;)

    Looking forward to more of your brilliant-ness (it’s a word) in future posts. :)

  22. Melissa says:

    Would love Candid Photo ideas of teens or ways to get them to ‘buy in’ to still taking photos. This age can be extremely hard to photograph but it’s still a scrap worthy time to document.

  23. Just wonderful, Kara! As a card maker, I think these tips will also make a huge difference in the way that I photograph my handmade cards, too. I’m ready to take the big step into scrapbooking again, and I definitely plan to photograph my scrapbook pages. Thank you so much for all that you share with us! ♡

    Becky, please don’t change a thing! It’s so interesting to hear your thought processes. Being intentional about your decisions and sharing them with all of us is a HUGE help for me. I soak up amazing knowledge and inspiration from all that you share on social media! Warm hugs to you and your team! ♡

  24. Emily says:

    Thanks for the great tips!! Can’t wait to see more of your posts!

  25. Bronwyn says:

    Great tips! I also like the background that you used. I think it really helps draw focus on the layouts without just being blank.

  26. Gab says:

    Great post – thanks so much!

  27. Lynda says:

    Love this- great tips!! I’m not wanting to be a professional -just want to take good everyday pics of grands! Thank you for your help.

  28. Sherri says:

    Looking forward to more!!!