When photographing your work, you want to make sure you deliver the intended meaning to your audience. The following information will give you key tips on how to photograph your artwork to properly interpret your meaning.
You can either choose to photograph your own artwork or can also use a professional photographer, choose the most suitable option for yourself. A professional photographer comes with a cost but will be the best option if you have minimal experience with photography. Before selecting whom you would like to work with, make sure to research the photographer and his/her portfolio to clarify the type of work they do and if it is suitable to what you are trying to achieve.
Start researching and collecting images that appeal to what you want to portray in your own photographs. You may choose to look at magazines, books, articles or online portfolios. When you have found your desired format, brief your photographer on how you want your work to be presented.
Background and Lighting
Photographing against a neutral background, either white or black (preferably white), will place further emphasis towards your artwork. Wether colourful or not, the neutral background with make the audience focus on the features (texture, tone, colour) of your piece. Make sure the background in which you photograph is clean. Lighting is also very important as is sets the mood of your artwork to your audience. The experience of the photograph will change depending on the lighting; therefore it is important you choose the correct lighting for your work. Try to avoid using flash when photographing and work more with the natural light. Midday on a sunny day is the best time to take images as the light is at its whitest during this time of day and take you images without Perspex, if possible. If your work is generally very dark or very light, it is difficult for a camera to automatically calculate the required exposure. If you can, take a number of photographs using different exposures and try to bracket the exposure by trying one stop more or one stop less as well as the exposure setting indicated by the camera.
Choosing Format on your Camera
Using RAW format, which is usually utilised by professional photographers, will allow you to play with the image if you need to make adjustments afterwards. You can easily then save the file as a JPEG when you are finished. This is an option for a more high-end digital camera such as an LSR. Although using JPEG format when photographing is just as suitable as RAW. Also when photographing your artwork, scale and size of the image may vary. Make sure your format takes high quality photographs which are 300dpi and that the image size is approximately A5 (148 x 210 mm) and 2000 x 3000 pixels.
Photographing Your Artwork
- Make sure to take these key steps into account when photographing your artwork:
- Use a tripod or camera support.
- If your artwork is 2-Dimensional, do not take photographs on an angle as it distorts the image. Stand squarely in front of your work.
- Make sure the image is sharply focused and fills as much of the frame as possible.
When photographing, make sure to include a wide range of images including close up photographs to emphasise certain detail or texture. For example, if your artwork was a painting, you could emphasise the texture and thickness of the brushstrokes you have made.
Keep a Copy
If you intend to sell your artwork make sure you photograph your artwork to keep a copy. It is useful to document the processes you have undergone whilst creating the artwork to use for future creative outcomes.
If you are not photographing your own work, make sure you obtain copyright ownership of the product. If a professional photographer has taken the images they own the copyright. Make sure you try to get ownership of the images from them (this may increase the amount you need to pay them) and agree on how you want the images to be used. If you do not have ownership of your images, make sure they are always published with the photographers name and your name as well.
The maximum photographs to be submitted are 3 with each file size allowed to be 500kb (no bigger). Make sure to choose images which highlight your artworks detail and also considering multi view points and an image of your full sized artwork. If your images are larger than the required submission format, you can resize or crop them to make the file smaller. A program you can use to do this is Adobe Photoshop which is part of the Adobe Creative Suite. Be sure to save you file as a JPEG because it is the only format acceptable for submission.
Make sure you use appropriate captions for all images that will be distributed. You need to include the title of your work, the name of the artist, the year it was produced and the name of the photographer (if applicable). You can choose to show your captions on the back of your artwork or on a piece of paper. If your artwork consists of a series, remember to number your captions and images accordingly.
How to Burn Images onto a CD
The most important part of submitting your images is making sure you burn your data onto a CD properly. Be sure to burn only what is necessary onto the disc and no extra files or clutter. Depending on what computer you use, steps to burning a CD may vary. Below are instructions on how to manage this properly with both MAC and PC computers.
- Open “Disk Utility” found in the “Utilities Folder” (Go to “Applications” then into “Utilities”).
- If the disk image you want to use doesn’t appear in the list, find the Folder which your images are in and drag them into the “Disk Utility” window.
- Once finished dragging your images over, select the disk image and click “Burn”.
- Insert a blank CD into your computer’s CD-burning drive and follow the onscreen prompts.
- Find the photos you plan to burn to the CD by opening the folder which they are in.
- Insert a blank CD into your CD-burning drive. When you have done so, a window should pop up to ask how to open the CD. Choose “Open Writable CD Folder Using Windows Explorer”.
- You should now have two windows open: The one where you have the pictures you want to burn, and the one with the writable CD folder. Click and drag the names of the photos you want to copy over to the writable CD folder.
- Once you’re done dragging the files you want to copy over to the writable CD folder, click “Write these files to CD” which is found on the left-hand sidebar and follow the prompts.