AdobeStock_94567072_WEBHaving great photos of your artwork is essential in today’s very online, image-driven society. You may need records of your work for a CV or commission, for selling your artwork online, for promoting an exhibition or even just for your own social media accounts.

Don’t forget that the difference between a great photo and a bad one can often be just a few important small details! Therefore in this blog article I would like to share with you a few handy tips for taking eye-catching photos of your work:

  1. Be sure that your photos show the colours of your work as closely as possible.
  2. Consider a white or neutral background so that all the viewer’s focus is on the work itself rather than the setting. A plain background can set off a colourful work beautifully.
  3. Consider group shots of items that you sell as a product range.
  4. Consider photos of you holding the work.
  5. If you are selling online, check clearly the instructions on the size, format (.jpg or .tiff or .gif etc) and resolution for product images. Then follow their guidelines. For many websites you will need to reduce the size of your images so they load quickly on the website. If the images are too large, they will take too long to load and a viewer could get frustrated and click away. Bear in mind that different websites may have different requirements, so make sure you have a good high resolution image to start with and then change the dimensions and format for each website as required.
  6. If you can’t afford to employ a professional photographer, why not see if you can find a very keen amateur or student who may be able to help you out. It could give them an opportunity to build their portfolio but also you will get high quality photos.
  7. If you don’t have access to a studio, or professional lighting equipment, take the photos outside because natural daylight is very powerful and one of the best ways to obtain clean, even light.
  8. If you want to show scale in a photo, consider placing a measuring tape or your hand next to the item so that people can see how big a product is.
  9. If your product is large or has a lot of detail to it, consider a few close up shots of small details as well as whole product shots.
  10. If your products are small, consider creating a mini lighting studio of your own at home using white paper and table lamps. Make sure that the item you are photographing is in focus!
  11. Take a look online for DIY ways to photograph work professionally – there are some great YouTube videos and online courses that can help you out.
  12. Take both landscape and portrait photos in case you need the different formats for different things.
  13. Take lots of photos! The more you have of each work, the more likely it is that some of them will be good ones.
  14. Take photos of your work from different angles – front, back, side and inside (if applicable). This will mean that a buyer can see all angles clearly and make a proper decision.
  15. Try not to have too much white space around the product – your piece doesn’t want to sit very small in the centre of the photo as people won’t see the product properly.
  16. Try to use soft lighting from multiple angles so that you don’t get too many big shadows and that all sides of the item are clearly lit.
  17. When employing a photographer, choose one that has experience with product photography and/or working with artists. Make sure that you explain exactly what you need and understand the costs before you start. Will they edit the photos? Will you get digital copies or prints? Do they charge VAT? How long will it take? Can you come to their studio or will they bring lighting to you? Are there any other costs involved? How long will the session take? How long until you see the finished prints?

Enjoy creating great photos of your work and I hope to see some of them on my Facebook Page – feel free to share them with me!

These top tips come directly from the printmaking book Learn to Earn from Printmaking, which is available in the online shop (signed by the author!) or on Amazon.co.uk or on Kindle.

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