The Secret to Photographing Glitter and Holographic Material

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I’ve been there so many times: I’ve made the absolute most beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous creation known to anyone in this world using glitter or holographic materials and when I take a photo of it – it doesn’t sparkle! Instead, it looks flat, and usually pretty dark compared to the rest of the photo. Have you experienced this, too? If so, read on for my trick.

Super, secret trick: Add more light! What I usually do is hold a flashlight off camera (an non-LED flashlight works best) pointed directly at the specialty material while taking the photograph.

Examples

In this first picture, you can clearly see the holographic material (it’s Siser’s holographic aqua heat transfer material), but it’s got several sections that are dark and dull.

The Secret to Photographing Glitter and Holographic Material for Silhouette Cameo and Cricut crafters - by cuttingforbusiness.com

When I shine a flashlight onto the material, it brightens and the dark, dull sections shine! Pretty neat, huh?

The Secret to Photographing Glitter and Holographic Material for Silhouette Cameo and Cricut crafters - by cuttingforbusiness.com

You can see the same thing happen below in this photo of glitter heat transfer vinyl (it’s Siser’s blush glitter heat transfer material). The glitter appearance is overall dull and dark in sections.

The Secret to Photographing Glitter and Holographic Material for Silhouette Cameo and Cricut crafters - by cuttingforbusiness.com

When I shine a flashlight onto the glitter, it brightens up the glitter and you can see each of the glitter specks!

The Secret to Photographing Glitter and Holographic Material for Silhouette Cameo and Cricut crafters - by cuttingforbusiness.com

Photographing a larger product? Grab a garage worklight, a photography spotlight, or a larger lamp to shine on the specialty material. Just an easy way to brighten up your up photos with holographic or glitter designs!

Save this post to Pinterest and then try it out:

The Secret to Photographing Glitter and Holographic Material for Silhouette Cameo and Cricut crafters - by cuttingforbusiness.com

6 thoughts on “The Secret to Photographing Glitter and Holographic Material”

  1. I’m so glad you addressed this subject. I’ve often wondered this, too. I’ll make a card with glitter, and it just doesn’t “pop” when I take a photo. Guess I’ll have to get a tripod for the camera or my kid to hold the flashlight 🙂

    1. I’d love to see a post on how to best photograph etched glass! None of the tips I’ve seen seem to work well (like filling with tea) & it’s so hard to capture the beauty of etched glass on cameras!

  2. You are exactly right. Glitter and holograms do not seem to photo well. I will put your ideas to good work.
    Yes to the tripod, and if you do any amount of serious photography, type “photography lighting kits for beginners” into the Amazon search bar and see what comes up for around fifty dollars or so.
    The kits come with CFL bulbs, and the bulbs can be used as is, or you can put LED bulbs into the sockets.
    Also a cheap light tent can be very handy for product photos. Getting the light tent to fold back up into a disc was quite the interesting battle, and I finally gave up and looked up how to fold it on the internet.

    Your use of the hologram to accent the design is something I am going to “borrow,” as a shirt design that is made totally from glitter or hologram can be a visually overwhelming.

    Thank you for sharing this bright idea, I am sparkling with the desire to try it.

    1. John, feel free to steal the idea! I find that the holographic material is so thick! If you did an entire shirt with it, you’d likely feel like the tin man and you wouldn’t be able to move! LOL! Have a great weekend!

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