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How To Photograph Your Artwork for Reproduction

How To Photograph Your Artwork for Reproduction

Are you a traditional artist looking for ways to sell prints of your work? Fortunately, with the right equipment and sources, you can easily obtain prints of your work for sale or display. Photography is one of the most common ways to transform your physical works into reproductions. If you’re not familiar with this process, keep reading to learn the best tips for how to photograph your artwork for reproduction.

Why Proper Photographs Are Important

When you want to create prints of your artwork, you need a way to digitize your image for the printing process. Digitally accessing your images allows you to view and edit them and eventually send them off for printing. You can simply scan some art pieces, such as smaller works, on paper. However, you can’t always rely on scanning your artwork, especially when working with large or bulky items such as canvas works. This is where being able to photograph your works becomes so important, and taking clear pictures is crucial to creating high-quality art reproductions.

How To Photograph Your Artwork Properly

Once you understand the importance of photographing your artwork properly, you can start to explore how to clearly capture your artwork. Here are some tips and techniques you can use to successfully capture your artwork to prepare it for reproduction.

Go Vertical

One of the biggest mistakes that artists make when first photographing their artwork is capturing it horizontally. When photographing an art piece, you want to promote an even distribution of light and prevent shadows. Laying your artwork flat to take a picture can result in more shadows on the surface, which are hard to edit out. Instead of laying a canvas flat, try hanging it on the wall or supporting it with an easel. This prevents unnecessary shadows and makes it easier to stand parallel to your piece.

Be Strategic With Your Lighting

Lighting is crucial when photographing your artwork. Proper lighting helps prevent shadows and brings out the colors and techniques from your original art piece. When lighting a hanging piece, always use two equal light sources on either side of your shooting spot. This helps prevent shadows from forming on either side of the canvas. Avoid harsh light sources, as these can cast additional shadows and cause a glare to form on your canvas. Instead, use soft lighting by investing in soft box lights or draping thin pieces of neutral fabric over your lights. This helps diffuse the light and create a softer atmosphere.

Keep Your Camera Steady

The key to taking a clear, still image of your artwork is to steady your camera. Whether you’re using a smartphone or professional camera for photography, holding this equipment for extended periods can lead to shaky or blurry images. Instead, use a tripod or camera holder to steady your shot. This also helps keep your camera parallel to the piece to avoid angles or cutting off edges of your piece. If you’re shooting multiple artworks at a time, just position your tripod, and it will maintain the perfect angle while you swap out your art pieces.

Choose the Right Camera

While the latest smartphones have camera functions and settings that can produce high-quality images, they may not always be suitable for printmaking. Smartphones can do the trick with the right settings, but experts recommend upgrading to a professional DSLR camera for high-quality pictures. If you’re looking for the best camera, choose a DSLR with at least 24MP and a quality lens. A professional camera is one of the most expensive parts of the photography process, so choose a model that fits within your budget.

Practice Camera Handling Techniques

Once you have your photography lighting, backdrop, and camera all set, you can start taking photographs for your prints. However, before you start shooting, you may want to practice some camera handling tips and techniques. For example, always keep your camera parallel to the piece. If you angle the camera up, down, or sideways, it could distort the piece and create an inaccurate image.

Additionally, give the image plenty of space in your shot. It’s always better to include more of the background behind the canvas than to capture it too close and cut details out of your piece. You can always edit out parts of the background later, but you can’t recover lost details.

Finally, try to photograph your artwork in batches. Setting up your lighting, angling the easel just right, and inputting your camera settings are time-consuming tasks, so save yourself more work by photographing multiple canvases at a time.

What To Do Once You Have Your Photographs

Once you’ve concluded your photography session and uploaded your pictures, there are a few more steps to take for the printmaking process. Follow these final steps before you eagerly send in your photos for printing.

Use a Photo Editing Software

While the steps you take during the photography process help produce high-quality photos, you should still use editing software to enhance them further. Photo editing programs can help you adjust qualities in post, such as exposure, saturation, brightness, and contrast. These digital touches can help you enhance your artwork and make it more accurate to the appearance of the original piece. You can also use this step to crop out any background elements.

Choose a Reproduction Company

Finally, the last step before sending your images in for printing is to choose a printing company to work with. Don’t choose just any printing company to create your art reproductions. While ordering images from your local convenience or craft store can be easiest, their printing methods won’t result in high-quality prints. Instead, choose an art printing company that specializes in art reproductions and uses high-quality equipment. For example, The Stackhouse uses giclée printing techniques to create quality fine art prints on archival paper. We also offer canvas printing if you want to preserve the original appearance of your artwork.

These are some of the best tips to help you photograph your artwork for reproduction. All that’s left is for you to choose what type of prints you want to order and send off your pristine pictures to your printer. And don’t forget to check out our wide variety of reproduction materials at The Stackhouse. Our high-quality giclée printing is sure to bring out all the colors and details of your original artworks.

How To Photograph Your Artwork for ReproductionHow To Photograph Your Artwork for Reproduction