News - Photographing Your Artwork: Some Tips

Author: ZAPP Team
Date: March 8, 2013

Photographing Your Artwork: Some Tips
Images courtesy of Larry Berman

Proper equipment is essential:

  • If photographing your own work, use a 3-megapixel camera or better.
  • Most photography studios offer services to digitally scan slides.

If you use models to display your work:

  • Be aware that models can easily take away from your work if not photographed correctly.
  • Remember that your work is the focus, not the model.

Lighting:

  • Lighting is an important factor when photographing your work.
  • Be sure that your camera is set and white-balanced for your lighting conditions.
  • Small shifts of light can dramatically bring out the details in your work.
  • Play with different angles.
  • Avoid hot spots if at all possible.

Lighting examples:
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Exposure:

  • Bracket your photographs and take multiple exposures.
  • Depending on your lighting, various exposures can give different effects to your work.
  • Make sure that your blacks and whites still retain detail.

Exposure examples:
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Exposure-Poor
Good
Exposure-Good

Focus/Clarity:

  • Your images should be clear and in focus. This is especially critical with artwork that has fine detail.
  • The more textures and nuances the jurors can see, the more your craftsmanship will be appreciated and noticed.
  • Macro photography can significantly enhance jewelry images.

Perspective: especially applies to jewelry, craft, glass, 3D, fiber

  • Different angles can give off different moods and feelings for the artwork.
  • Experiment with various angles.
  • Take many photos so you have a variety to chose from.

Perspective examples:
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Good
Perspective-Good

Size:

  • Use up the maximum amount of image space available in the 1920 x 1920 pixel limit.
  • Crop the image so there is not any unnecessary negative space in the image.

Size examples:

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Consistency: applies to all media categories

  • Make sure that all of your images have a consistent feel and look.
  • A consistent theme, lighting, background, subject, etc., will make your submission appear professional.

Consistency examples:
Consistency

Backgrounds:

  • Steer away from distracting backgrounds.
  • If using a background, gradients and neutral colors work best.
  • People, pets, banners, etc., can take away from your work.
  • Each image is your chance to glorify your work. Remove any distracting elements.

Backgrounds examples:

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Backgrounds-Poor
Good
Backgrounds-Good

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