Wednesday, January 23, 2013

TAKE BETTER PICTURES- 6 Tips to Photographing your artwork

linda peterson designs - sweet antiqs on etsy

In the recent day's I've received a lot of email from beginners asking me about taking photographs.  As we all know a photo is worth a thousand words.  It's your photographs that tell the story, about you, about your style and about your artwork.

It's important - very important - to take good photographs of your work - Why? Because it shows who you are as an artist.

A good clear photo will show all the details in your artwork that you took so much time to create.
A good styled photo says -I really care about the details, my work is outstanding! I take pride in my work!

Here are 6 EASY Tips to help you take better pictures if you are just beginning:

  1. Select a digital camera that will do nice close up (macro) shots.  This is very important.
  2. Hold the camera steady - if you can't, consider using a tripod and the timer button on the camera
  3. Use a simple background.  A light grey, black or light blue works well.  As an option you could use a pretty piece of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper with a gentle pattern.  Stay away from pure white as this tends to confuse the camera and sends the white balance in a tizzy.
  4. Use natural lighting if at all possible.  Shoot by a window, but not in direct sunlight.  You can also take your project outside and choose a nice shady spot.  This helps avoid shadows.  Lighting is so important - so give attention to this particular tip! 
  5. For nice detail, shoot the photo in as high of resolution that your camera will allow.  Mine is 8mp.  The higher the megapixel the more detail in your photo when enlarged. 
  6. Here's an important one.....if emailing your photo to your Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook or to me to share, please resize the photo down to an "email version".  Most photo editing programs will allow you to resize these photos to send quickly over the internet.  If you are using Photoshop, simply click on FILE then SAVE FOR THE WEB and this will do the trick!!  
Here's some samples that put these techniques into practice!

I photographed this on a patterned piece of scrapbook paper.  While the paper has a light pattern to it, it doesn't detract from the Friendly Plastic pendant.

 You can see that the patterned background that I used above would not be a good choice for displaying a variety of beads, such as these beads created by Liz Welch.  She effectively used a lighter grey background to highlight each and every bead.

 This is an example of a close up photo.  Liz used a black background to make the individual bead stand out.  The photo is clear.  Just a word of caution, be careful using black backgrounds, since they could come off as greys, blues or purples. 

Have fun with the photography and stay tuned tomorrow as I give some more advanced tips!

For More time saving tips check out these links:

5 Tried and True Tips on where to find inspiration for your craft projects
5 Tried and True tips on getting out of a creative slump

Linda Peterson is compensated and endorsed by AMACO. The guests features may or may not have any affiliation with AMACO.>

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