Photographing Your Art (a step by step guide)

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, for visual artists and other product-based businesses, this could also mean thousands of dollars! Getting the images you need of your artwork is not difficult to do. Here’s a step by step guide on how to photograph your art without fancy studio equipment.

 

 

Step 1. Get what you need: Lights, Camera, and Artwork.

You’ll need an overcast day, one that is bright, but not too sunny. Find an area outdoors that has an even amount of light. This could be in the shade. Make sure there are no dapples of light, and that there are no brightly colored objects nearby (that blue swimming pool or red wagon could reflect its light on your art)

You’ll also need a digital camera with high resolution unless you have lens attachments for your smart phone and advanced training in taking photos with it.

Once you find an area of light, place your painting on a flat upright surface.

 

Step 2: Take a picture.

The most important thing to consider when you are photographing your work is to be sure the picture is square in the frame. This means that the edges of the artwork are even with the edges of your picture. What you DON’T want is your picture to appear at a slanted angle or look like a trapezoid.

Use a tripod to hold the camera steady.

 

 

Step 3: Crop the Extras.

Now that you have your pictures taken, you will need to go back and crop the images. If you are using a digital camera, you’ll be uploading the images to your computer to do this on an image editing program.

 

 

Step 4: Adjust the Brightness and Contrast if needed.

If you are shooting your artwork in bright overcast light, the colors on your work will be pretty close to how they appear in real life. Sometimes, however, you’ll notice a blue haze on pictures taken on a sunny day. You may want to remove some of the blue haze (usually an “auto correct color” feature can handle this for you), and also go back in to adjust the brightness and contrast of your images because even on the best day, sometimes the light bleaches out the richness of your work.


Final Note:
I highly recommend that you shoot all of your artwork at the same time. If you are working on a new collection, finish the collection first and THEN take pictures in one session. This will save you from the dreaded variations in light temperature that happens when you shoot on separate days in different lighting conditions. If you follow these guidelines, taking pictures of your artwork will be an enjoyable part of the process.


FREE Photography Equipment Shopping Guide

If you aren’t able to shoot outdoors, then I happen to have a pretty awesome photography guide, where you can learn the tools and techniques I use in case I need to shoot my work indoors.

 

 

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In case we haven’t met yet…

About Me (Miriam Schulman)
Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion or become better artists. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and M.I.T, I initially pursued finance but after witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and my story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. My forthcoming book with HarperCollins Leadership on how to make it as an artist is scheduled to be released January 31, 2023. When I’m not in the studio, you can find me hanging out with my husband, adult kids, and a tuxedo cat named Ebony. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at schulmanart.com/freebies

 

 

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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity, learn new skills and techniques, and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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