Ten Easy Steps to Photographing for 3D and Lenticular Printing

Lenticular Photo ShootYou don’t need to plan a photo shoot for great lenticular imaging results – you can simply choose existing photos that are a similar size and color scheme to achieve a print that shines above the rest. But if you REALLY want to make an impact or if you just want to have some extra photo fun, you can step it up by planning out your project properly.

Photographing for 3D and Lenticular printing has many of the same steps and principles as conventional photography, which we’ll review here as well.

Let’s get started!


  • Camera
  • Tripod (or a place that you camera will remain steady)
  • Model or Subject(s)
  •  A background/environment that you can manipulate
  • Controlled lighting

Note: There’s equipment out there that are great for the photographing 3D intentioned photos, but I’d like to keep this blog budget friendly we won’t be going over those here (we’ll go over that another time though, so keep posted!)

TEN EASY STEPS (or 9… number 8 is optional)

1. What’s your vision?  Go into the shoot with an idea of what you’d like the results of your photos to be. Once you have a theme it may change or something else might end up making more sense, so the vision you started out with might not ever resemble what you had thought, but going in with an idea helps the process either way, so plan ahead!

2. It’s all about location, baby! We know location is key when planning for success whether it’s purchasing a home or planning a party. The same is true when it comes to planning a photo shoot. Keep in mind that the more control you have over the environment the better as you are aiming at merging two images together which means you’ll need two great shots that have matching elements.

3. Speaking of elements… choose your backdrop and background objects, remember these are the things BEHIND your main subject, so make sure that there is still room in the shoot for your model or subject when you’re done setting up!

It’s a good idea to choose a backdrop that is a little colorful as opposed to a flat colored backdrop. Flat colors don’t register as depth and when it comes to 3D printing – the more depth the better!

Set up your background objects to overlap, another trick to add depth to your image.

4. Lighting is next. A location with natural light is best, but if that’s not possible, find shade lamps and set them up around your scene so that your photo doesn’t come out too harsh or too low.

5. Lights, Camera, Acti… WAIT. It’s exciting to have a scene set up but it’s also important to test it, So before you call in your model test your shot. Don’t skimp on the amount of test shots you take, we now have the luxury of simply deleting shots off our camera instead of having to go out and get more film for the camera, so take advantage and shoot away! Adjust the camera modes and angles in as many ways as you can … and then some more.

Check out what you’ve got. View your photos on a larger screen and look at them close up and from a distance. Take notes about which mode/angel works the best for your shoot.

6. Annnnnd… ACTION! Now you can call in your model (or your kids, spouse, pet… whatever). Keep the model or subject close to the background. The less space between the model and background the better your 3D image will be.

When shooting now, be more precise than when you were taking test shots. Make sure to use a tripod or another stand to steady your camera. Pay close attention to the frame of your photo, especially the corners. Shooting close to the scene helps with controlling the photo’s composition.

If you’re photographing a model then have her/him make small adjustments to each pose and take about ten to twenty shots of each pose.

If you’re photographing an object than make small adjustments to the position of the camera instead. (for example shoot on a straight line capturing photos from right to left or left to right). Again, take 10-20 shots of each photo option.

7. Check out your shots: Take a quick look at the photos on your computer before you to make sure you have a bunch of really good options to choose from before you dismiss your model and/or dismantle the scene.

8. Now that you have a bunch of great images ready to choose from, it’s time for a snack break (I recommend nachos).

9. OK, time to get back to the images. Look through your choices and make note of the ones that strike you. Don’t over think this part! Continue narrowing down your options until you have two amazing images to merge together.

10. Now that you have your two images log onto snapily.com and choose from our extensive list of products, follow the steps to upload the photos onto our site and place your order!

We’d love to hear how the photographing experience was for you, so when you’re done let us know in the comments below!

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