5 Tips for Taking Digital Photos of Your Scrapbook Pages

photo album of brothers
Kohei Hara / Getty Images
  • 01 of 06

    Tip 1 - You Do Not Need a Large Format Scanner

    Finished Layout

    Large format scanners are only affordable for a small number of scrapbookers. Instead, all you need to be able to have a digital copy of your layouts is use your digital camera. Taking pictures of your pages with your digital camera is the quickest and easiest way to share them with friends and loved ones who live far away.

    Many scrapbook page contests and layout galleries online require you to save digital images of your pages so you can email them for entry. Digital photos are perfect for this. You can also use this technique to save a digital copy of your pages in case of disasters such as fire or flood. Some tips will help you take the very best photos so that they can be digitally cropped to look just like the real scrapbook pages. With a little practice, you will find that you will never need to scan images of your scrapbook pages.

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  • 02 of 06

    Tip 2 - Use Bright, Indirect Lighting

    Low Light

    The photo shown here was taken indoors, during the day, with lamps on in the room. It was almost but not quite enough light to get a great picture. With the camera set on "auto", the lighting levels caused the photo to be just slightly blurry. The best lighting for taking pictures of scrapbook pages is actually sunlight. The sun will allow the true colors of the page and pictures on the page to show up in the photo.

    Try laying your pages flat on an outside surface like a concrete sidewalk on a sunny day to take digital photos of them. If you have a "true-light" lamp, you may be able to set-up a small photo studio at home to create a nice bright lighting situation for your photos.

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  • 03 of 06

    Tip 3 - Turn off Your Flash

    Page with Glare

    Turn off your flash. Any direct, bright lights will cause glare from the photographs and embellishments on the scrapbook page. Also, be careful that lamps and overhead lights in the room are not showing glare on the page. You can see the obvious results of using a flash in the photo shown here.

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  • 04 of 06

    Tip 4 - Line up Page Squarely

    Angled Layout

    Line up the page squarely in your viewfinder. If the pages have been photographed at an angle, you won't be able to use them. If you were to try to crop the photo of the page shown here to remove the background there will be no way to get a nice square page. The best way to get a perfectly square shot is to put the page on the floor and stand directly above it, shooting down. If your background is very dark, you may want to put white paper behind the page.

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  • 05 of 06

    How to Take a Photo of Your Scrapbook Page - Tip 5 - Leave Some Room

    Needs to Be Cropped Later

    Leave some room around the photo for cropping later. You don't want to take the shot only to realize when you start working with it that you cut off a small amount on one edge of the page. The easiest way to get a great picture of your page is to go ahead and leave some space around the page when you take the shot. Use the sides of your viewfinder to help you judge if your layout is squarely placed in the photo. You can crop out the background later with your photo editing software.

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  • 06 of 06

    Saving and Sharing Your Images

    Finished Layout

    Saving Your Images

    If you are submitting layouts to a website or contest via email, be sure to check with the contest to find out any parameters for the size of the image in pixels and the size of the file. For most platforms, 72 dpi resolution and about 600x600 pixels in size will be good enough. This will also keep your file size under control for emailing. Again, be sure to read submission requirements in the contest rules to find out how large they would like the images to be.

    If you plan to print your images, you will want to save them at a higher resolution. 300 dpi is usually sufficient to get a very nice print made from the pictures.

    Storing Digital Images for Backup Copies

    If you plan to use digital images of your pages as a disaster back-up copy, be sure to burn them to CD's and store them somewhere other than the place where you store your albums. In the technique world, this is referred to as off-site backup storage. You may want to ask a relative to keep them for you or store them in your safe-deposit box.