Photographing 3-D Projects

As I mentioned yesterday, I am attempting to become a better photographer.  Slowly but surely I am making progress.  Something that has made a huge difference:

This is my light tent by CowboyStudio.  I love it.  I got it as a Christmas present (thanks Jonna!) and have used it almost daily ever since.  It folds up for easy storage, but since I use it so often I don't put it away.  It's huge and sometimes in the way, but it is so convenient to be able to throw something in the light tent and take a picture of it.  Shadows are almost non-existent, glare is significantly reduced, and the soft light looks great. 

When I first started taking pictures of the projects I make, I would just put them on the carpet, wait for the afternoon light, stand above them, and snap.  I cringe a bit when I see these photos- they certainly don't enhance my projects.  Here's one of the better ones:

Altered clips, before and after. 

It wasn't long before I realized that beige carpet is not the best background for my artwork.  I graduated to using a piece of white posterboard.  I would prop the posterboard up against a wall so it curved, wait for acceptable light, then set the object on it and snap away.  Much better.

Thank-you gifts for MOMS Club volunteers.

When I couldn't get decent light indoors, I'd head outdoors.  Sometimes I took my posterboard with me, while other times I just put my project in the grass.

The bag from my DIY Scavenger Hunt.

Both indoors and out, I really struggled with glare and shadows.  If I didn't take the picture during the right time, it looked terrible.  Unfortunately, it isn't always convenient to take pictures during one short time period each day.  Enter the light tent.  Now I can take pictures of my projects from dawn until dusk.

The photo tent comes with four backgrounds.  95% of the time I use the basic white:

A thank you card and gift bag for Trevor's preschool teacher.

The remaining 5% of the time I use black:

The other two backgrounds are blue and red, but I haven't used them at all. 

I still scan all my flat projects, but the light tent has revolutionized the way I photograph anything dimensional.  It's so easy and the results speak for themselves. 


  1. I'm so glad you use the light tent so much! The photos turn out great!

  2. That is AWESOME!!!! I need to check into one of those! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. Cindy, this looks really neat. How do you shoot with it? Do you have to shoot from the top down, or can you set it on it's side and shoot from the side? I have some huge windows in our living room and can get indirect light most of the day by taping my LO's on the wall. I usually supplement with an Ott light on overcast days. I remember the first LO I posted on-line. I finished it not long before the midnight deadline, and sat it on a table under some light and stood over it to shoot. Let's just say, my layout photography has improved dramatically since then. LOL

    I'm glad you enjoyed your journey through those blogs. Some sweet ladies there. ~ Blessings http://gracescraps.blogspot.com/

  4. Tracey, there is a panel on the front that has a slit in it, or you can lower the entire front and shoot it that way. 99% of the time I lower the front panel, as it is much easier.

  5. Thanks for your response, Cindy. I just may have to check into one of these. ~ Blessings


  6. Love the black! It really makes stuff stand out! I wonder how big it is...ioana

  7. The photo tent is large- about 30 inches in all directions.


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