Photographing your art properly

We have a few tips and tricks when it comes to accurately portraying your artwork through a photograph. The most important part of selling art online is the quality of the images: you'll want to give an accurate representation of your artwork. If your work is on canvas or a sturdy base you’re good to go, but if it’s on paper or cardboard you will need to attach it to something that will allow it to stand upright.

Here, we'll walk you through the process:

  • Decide on a bright, softly lit location. Avoid harsh or direct lighting as it may distort the colour of your artwork, for example, on a sunny day a window is great for indoor photographing, but a cloudy day is best suited to shoot outdoors.
  • To get the best quality image out of your camera, set the ISO (sensitivity of the image sensor) to 100 or 200, depending on the model of your camera. Clean the lens with a microfibre cloth to remove any smudges or dirt.
  • If you have a tripod, definitely use it. You will get a significantly better photograph if your camera is stationary. Alternatively, you may use a flat, level surface.
  • It is important that your art is parallel with the lens of your camera. If your artwork needs to be tilted to stay up, slant your camera accordingly. Use a clean, bare space: it is best if your artwork is the only object in the picture.
  • Leave only a small border around the sides of the canvas when taking the picture. That way your camera’s resolution will be maximised.
  • Turn off your flash, as it will overpower the picture.
  • Play around with the pre-settings to find the right white balance for your environment. For example, use the daylight setting if you are shooting during the day. This way the camera won’t tint your art to a different shade. If you are shooting inside, make sure you turn off the room lights as they will clash with the light from your window.
  • When it comes to taking the picture, it may help to turn on the self timer, creating a delay between when you press the shutter and a picture is taken, so that the camera will be perfectly still.
  • You will get the best result if you zoom out just a little - the camera is at its sharpest when it is somewhere between fully zoomed out or fully zoomed in.
  • Once you’ve taken the picture, check how accurate the colours are to the original artwork. If it is too dark or bright, use the exposure compensation feature in your camera to adjust the settings accordingly. Also check the focus, so that the image is not blurry in any way. If it looks soft, the auto focus may have made a mistake or the camera may have moved.
  • Take multiple pictures to ensure you get the best shot possible. The photograph sometimes looks different on a computer screen, so it is wise to have options.
  • To process your images on your computer, there is Picasa for Windows or iPhoto for Mac. You should crop the image so that you only see the artwork itself, taking care to check all the edges for any background colour. Sometimes slightly altering the contrast can make your art more true to life.
  • Finally, save the image to your hard drive as a jpeg, and select ‘maximum’ image quality.

We can't wait to see your finished result! | 416-588-2222 |