How to Take Professional Photos for The Professional Artist

When it comes to your art, having professional photos are an essential part of your creative business. Taking professional photos with your Art helps you to sell fine art prints, posters and make more money than selling a piece original painting. You can even leverage your art by making personalized greeting cards, hand-made coasters and much more!

It is important that you know these tips when working with your photographer. When I first started with my images I was very fortunate to have met Jaiden from MJStudios Marrickville. Where did I meet him? I simply Googled affordable photographers and found a site that sent me a list of promotional services. There was a wide selection of students to fresh graduates and professional photographers who pitched for the job.

You and your photographer must look at the ideal digital enhance level required, the angle and how to avoid glaring on photos (a tip is to not varnish your painting just yet and do this after so the lighting doesn’t bounce off the canvas and interfere with the pixels).

If you only take photos for your portfolio and social media but do not wish to sell your prints, then use these d.i.y steps with your own camera. You don’t necessarily need to spend thousands of dollars on lighting equipment. With a basic home studio kit – you can shoot exclusive creative portrait of your art – those that are considered worthy of any expert’s portfolio.

Just a basic simple home studio kit that has 2 flash heads would be perfect to get started with. These tools are readily available and comparatively low-priced!

As you are all set you can theatrically alter the look of a portrait or image by utilizing a few basic tools, accessories, and methods. This is why it is worth spending some time to experiment on different set-ups.

Great photo studio shots of your images will help present your ‘works’ in more professional and acceptable ways, and will help distinguish your art.

Thinking of controlling the intensity of lighting within the studio – there are loads of lighting accessories to help you achieve that. This includes soft-boxes, umbrellas, and beauty dishes. A good starter kit usually would come with a soft-box and an umbrella. These kits or accessories are superb for diffusing the light, ensuring it’s softer in quality – while honeycombs, barn doors and snoot are great for concentrating it.

Lighting can also be well controlled by setting the lights strategically. Some lights come with modeling light – a kind of constant light that’s ON almost all the period and isn’t strong enough to affect the exposure.

When you move light at a distance away from your ‘image subject’ – it gets more diffused and softer; and when you move it closer, it becomes solider with stronger shadows. Check the height and make sure the light is above the image to get the perfect shot. It is also worth experimenting to check out how the light will look at different heights. Consider the angle also! Lighting that falls across and from above is generally more satisfying. With a special digital camera – you can get a perfect studio professional photos and then see the results immediately on an LCD screen to evaluate points for modification and distinction.

Learn to take your best shot always! Below are practical ways to further do this:

  1. First get your art prepared. Bring it out from within its frame if framed and then eliminate any matting before taking pictures to prevent any shadows. Ensure that you never shoot a picture under a glass.
  2. Next position the painting on a wall. You can use tape to secure your work. To prevent stooping while peering thru the camera’s viewfinder, you can center your art image at eye-level.
  3. Next is to block the windows and go on to set up your lights.
  4. You can opt for the following camera settings below:
  • Set Color mode: Adobe RGB is much better, so avoid sRGB
  • For Image size, you can set the camera to the biggest size your camera can capture & produce.
  • For Image formatting, you can use RAW or TIFF format as JPEG format is usually best for the Web.
  • For White balance, you can set the white balance to complement the kind of bulbs you are utilizing.
  • Also set the exposure control to manual mode
  • For Flash Setting, ensure it is camera-mounted flash, if any, is disabled.
  • The Aperture and f-stops: This (aperture) is actually the opening thru which light gets within camera. It is normally defined with numbers such as 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 and 22. To increase the volume of light passing thru the camera, you would choose a smaller aperture number. The aperture setting also will help you to maximize the sharpness and quality of your professional photos.

Some other way to control how much light enters the camera aside aperture – is the shutter speed which is typically expressed as numbers such as 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 500 and 1000.  To make sure that the image isn’t distorted in the photo, place the camera’s line of sight seamlessly perpendicular to the art. You can even watch this video and learn more on taking digital photography and basic camera settings here.

So those were the technical side when choosing to d.i.y photos or hiring a professional. It is important to know these few tips and tricks so the money you spend will be well worth it and you can avoid making mistakes that could cause you damage. Also be sure to email and clarify with your photographer that you have the full copyrights to your images and that it cannot be used without your permission or request for a copyright agreement.

I’m an artist, blogger and founder of AX Publisher and AX Lifestyle. Enjoy a great collection of art, events and contents submitted by our industry experts.
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