How to Take a Photo of a Photo

Posted by Gemz By 28/06/2020 0 Comment(s)

How to Take a Photo of a Photo


Whether you're looking to have a photo restored, engraved or printed, sometimes, (especially with old photos) we do not have any digital versions of the photos, we only have the physical prints. You can, of course, scan the photos however not everyone owns a scanner and these days our high-tech camera phones and digital cameras can actually provide a much clearer copy of the print than a scanner would. Now, you may think that taking a photo of the print on your phone/camera is easy peasy but there are actually a few key points to bear in mind when taking your photo and that is what I am going to discuss today.





Lighting, Hot Spots and Shadows


The first thing to take into account is the lighting. You want to ensure that you take the photo in an evenly lit area of the room during daytime and not night time, this is because natural light during the day will provide the clearest photo and colour balance, whereas photographing at night means you will have to turn on the wall lights which not only add an orange hue to the photo but they cause ugly dark shadows over the photo and you lose detail. With that being said, when photographing during the day it is important to stay away from direct sunlight where it is extremely bright or cross light (a mixture of bright light and dark shadows). The reason for this is because shadows and hot spots will show up on your photo and these can be very hard to edit out (if at all), therefore try to take the photo in a shady area. As you can see in the photo above the subject on the left is extremely shadowed in the first photo and the subject on the left in the second photo has hot spots over the face.





Camera Angles


A common mistake many people make is that they take the photo from an angle which can cut off important parts of the photo, or worse, cause the subjects to look warped. To correctly photograph your print, position your phone/camera directly above the print and ensure that it is straight on all edges with a little space around the photo. Do not angle the camera upwards or downwards or this will create distortion (as you can see in the first photo) and cause the bottom half of the photo to look very wide and the top half to look very narrow and vice versa. 




Frames and Reflections


Always take the photo out of any frames before taking the photo. This is because (as you can see above) the glass on the frame causes reflections and light spots and I will be able to see your reflection, along with anything behind you, in the photo and these cannot be edited out of the photo. Therefore, for this reason I always advise to photograph your print out of the frame. 

On another note, if your print is 'gloss' and not 'matte' you will find reflections can still show up in the print itself, so keep an eye out for this too. 




A Good Photo


As you can see above this is how a perfect photo should look: even lighting, no shadows, no hot spots or reflections, none of the photo has been cropped off or warped. 


If you require any further assistance with capturing your photo, or would prefer us to do this for you then please do not hesitate to get in touch. For further information on our photo restoration service click here, alternatively you can view our wide range of engraved productscanvases and cushions. 



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