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Tips on photographing your work

TanT photographingyourworkAfter you make your super special artwork for yourself, or for our WTB gallery and/or contests, you need to take a really good photo to get noticed. Most of us can’t hire a professional photographer to shoot for us. And some of us only have a cell phone camera and limited access to photo editing software.

Don’t worry! You can still take a kick ass photo of your work!

Here are five tips to help you take your very best photo using your cell phone camera.

Natural light is your friend!

Pick a slightly overcast day for shooting outside. If you live in Southern California like I do, those days are few and far between. I like to shoot around 4pm when the light is softer. If you’re photographing inside, open all the curtains, position your work close to the windows, and turn off the lights. It’s best to have a single source of light because different types of light bulbs can cast blues or reds on your piece, altering its value in the final photo. The goal here is to capture the piece’s palette true to life.

Create a blank canvas for a background!

Use printer paper, mat board, actual canvas, your room mate’s sheets, a blank desk, or a white wall. Experiment with white, black, and a light gray. Steer clear of bright colors.

Angles, angles, angles!

With 2D work, shoot straight on, aligning your camera with the angle of the bottom of the piece. However, if you have a really interesting texture on a 3D piece, experiment with taking a photo from several different perspectives to capture what makes your piece unique.

Fill the frame!

This photo is about your work. Make sure there is nothing interfering with the image, from a leaf to a misplaced finger. The canvas you created should provide a thin frame around your piece, about one inch all around.


Take as many photos as you can. Once you upload it to a computer you’ll see things you didn’t notice before. You can always go back and take more until you find the perfect shot to submit!

If you have a digital camera and Photoshop, there are a lot of great tutorials on the web to check out that address the camera as tool. I like this one by Saatchi Online clearly explains the simple adjustments you can make to your camera and doesn’t expect you to own a tripod and a full lighting kit.

So off you go, photograph your brand art and get uploading! We can’t wait to see it!


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