Iguana Art Academy

Photographing Do’s and Don’ts

When photographing pictures of your artwork, keeping a few things in mind before you snap the shutter will produce better images. Here are good/bad examples of shooting artwork:

1. A bit too far away. You’ll lose important detail when you try to enlarge this image when editing. Move in so that your camera is almost touching the longer dimension. You can crop the other sides if necessary.

2. The camera isn’t square with the artwork. See how the artwork is larger near the bottom but smaller near the top, like a trapezoid? You need to position your camera so that the sides are all as parallel as can be to the camera. Move to your right or left, up or down to get this square. For smaller work, I will sometimes lay the work on the floor and stand over it with my camera. Watch out for your camera strap, hair, purse, or shadows getting in the way.

3. Bummer- my shadow is cast over the artwork. Remember to check to make sure no shadows or reflections are on your artwork. It should be nice and evenly lit. Use strong natural light or artificial light. If you see a sheen on your work from the light, try rotating your work 90° at a time until all looks good.

4. Ahhh, now we’re good. Cropped in nice and close to the artwork, no trapezoid thingy going on here, and the art is nicely and evenly lit with no shadows or reflections. We’re ready to edit this easily and quickly to remove the excess background. If you don’t already have a photo editor, I recommend using www.picmonkey.com (it’s awesome and it’s free!).

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