Picture Perfect Greetings

Tips on photographing greeting cards for shop listings and social media from small business photographer Heather @heather_creativephotographer

Setting up:

Before you even pick up your camera (or phone) having a clear plan of your shoot will help make the experience stress free. These are the things I like to have lined up before shooting:

Check your ratios and requirements if you are shooting for a specific platform like NOTHs or Etsy

Make a plan covering the colours and theme of your shoot, if your not sure where to start with this take a look at your website, social media and designs and pick out the most used colours (see example below)

Select your backgrounds (papers, tiles, fabric, vinyl backgrounds)

Gather your props (envelopes, pens, stamps, themed props that fit your shoot e.g. candles for a birthday or confetti for a wedding) have these easy to reach to swap in and out of photos

Manage your lighting whether you are using natural light from a window or an artificial light you will likely need a photography reflector or a white piece of card to bounce the light across your photo. This should be placed opposite the light source and tilted towards the focus of the photo.

The little things – Blue tac, washi tape or post it notes, these always come in handy for clasping cards together, keeping envelopes in place and even creating depth by placing them inside a card in a flatlay.

Finally, If you are looking to take consistent shots for website listings I’d recommend doing a test run with one card, setting up a tri-pod or makeshift stand for your camera and marking where each card should stand with a faint pencil mark or washi tape. This will save you a lot of time and stress when it comes to editing the photos – giving a clean, consistent frame.

When shooting:

Take care of your cards – Make sure there are no scuffs or marks on your card that detract from your design

Don’t forget the purpose of the shoot, it’s easy to get carried away with colours and props but check in and make sure you are selling the design, it’s in focus and front of stage

Showcase your selling point find a layout that works for you and shows any finishes or design features in your greeting card design e.g. you could have your eco credentials on the back, so photograph one card forward facing and one card showing the back. If page 3/4 of your card has a particular colour, design, or message show that off, retailers and customers want to see exactly what they are buying.

If you are shooting a group of cards use height to add visibility, a gift box, shelf or unbranded packaging will do the job if you don’t want to invest in plinths.


If your looking to build your photography set up with key pieces and props I’d recommend the following:

Custom styling propsPlinthy, Propface Etsy (CreativeCactus) or shops like Flying Tiger, Sostrene Grene and IKEA – Perfect for starting out

Coloured or textured backdropsClub Backdrops, Capture by Lucy

For more ideas on how to photograph greetings cards and inspiration for your next shoot visit – heathercreativephotographer.com/greetingscards