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How To Photograph Artwork For Printing - The Stackhouse Printery

How To Photograph Artwork For Printing

It's important to remember that the process of creating a piece of art doesn't end with the final brushstroke. In fact, taking the time to properly photograph your work can make all the difference in achieving success as an artist.

With high-quality photos, you can create stunning fine art prints, submit your work for exhibitions or grants, and make your pieces shine on your public profile page. By mastering the art of photographing your artwork, you can impress important clients and gallery directors, get accepted to shows, and create prints that customers will love.

Our team has put together some helpful tips to guide you in capturing your artwork like a true professional.

Clean Your Art Before Photographing

Ensure your artwork is clean and dust free. Remove smudges, fingerprints, or debris with a soft brush or cloth.

Set The Scene For Photographing Your Art

To properly showcase your artwork, you can either place it on a flat surface, hang it on a wall, or use an easel. Make sure that your artwork is positioned straight, level, and centered within the frame. Ideally, you want your artwork to be at a height where the center of the piece is parallel to your camera's position.

For optimal results, we suggest using a solid-colored background as it will enhance the beauty of your art without causing any distractions.

Use a Tripod To Keep Camera Steady 

To prevent blurry photos caused by camera shake, especially in low light or with long exposures, it's recommended to use a tripod. Position the camera in front of your subject on the tripod, making sure it's level and centered for the best results.

Use Proper Lighting For Art Photography

Lighting is critical when photographing artwork. Capturing the beauty of artwork through photography requires attention to detail, especially when it comes to lighting. Whether you choose to photograph indoors or outdoors, the right lighting can make all the difference.

Bright, natural light can bring out the best in your artwork and create stunning results. If the weather doesn't cooperate or time is of the essence, setting up a lighting kit is a simple solution.

With just two lights, you can achieve professional-quality results. Position them at a 45-degree angle towards the wall to avoid shadows and hotspots. By using white sheets or foam core to diffuse the light, you can simulate the look of natural light and create a captivating image of your artwork.

Remember, with a little ingenuity and attention to detail, you can create a masterpiece that truly captures the essence of your art.

Use a High-Resolution Camera for Art Photography

A high-resolution camera captures more detail and produces a higher-quality image. Use a camera with at least twelve megapixels or higher if you can.

Set The Camera to Manual Mode for At Photography

When taking photos of artwork, it's essential to have complete control over the camera settings. To achieve this, switch the camera to manual mode and adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to get the best exposure for the artwork.

When capturing your artwork, position the camera in a way that includes most of the painting and some background that can be cropped later. It's important to show the edges of the picture to give viewers a sense of scale.

To get a clear and crisp image, adjust your ISO settings to reduce noise and increase the depth of field. ISO measures the sensitivity to light, and it's best to use a low ISO for sharp pictures.

For studio shots, a setting of ISO 100 is usually ideal. The aperture, or f-stop, controls the amount of light that passes through the lens by adjusting the opening size. For DSLRs, shooting artwork within the f-8 to f-11 range is recommended.

For the best results, shoot in RAW or high-quality JPEG format.

Set the timer for four or five seconds to prevent camera shake before pressing the shutter button.

Use a Neutral Background for Art Photography

Using a neutral background, such as white or gray, will make your artwork pop and maintain a consistent background for printing.

Use Timer & Take Multiple Shots of Your Art

Use the camera timer or remote shutter release to avoid camera shake when taking the photo.

Take multiple shots from different angles and distances to ensure you have captured the artwork accurately, giving you more options when selecting the final image.

Edit The Image of your Art

Make post-processing adjustments to the image choosing the brightness, contrast, and color balance to ensure it matches the original artwork as closely as possible. Pro-tip - keep your brightness low on your editing monitor.

There are many affordable photo editing software options available to help reduce inconsistencies in your photos. Although Photoshop is the most popular, Photoshop Elements and Gimp are also helpful for basic functions like color correction, cropping, and minor adjustments. Additionally, many professional photographers swear by Lightroom's subscription-based editing program.

Crop the image to remove any unwanted background or framing elements.

Save The Image of Your Art in High Resolution

Save the picture in a high-resolution format (JPEG or TIFF) for printing or purposes. 

Good luck, and don't hesitate to contact us with questions. Our team at The Stackhouse Printery is here to help you execute your artistic vision every step of the way!