Photographing Fine Art

Learn key tips for photographing fine art

Photographing fine art is essential to showcase your portfolio, sell art online, and keep a record of your art.

You can spend a lot of time making great art, but if you don't take great photos of it, you're not doing it any justice.

Whether you're photographing fine art for your portfolio, website, or Instagram. The last thing you want is to spend a lot of time snapping photos, only to find that your images are out of focus, the lighting changes the color of your work, or there is a glare interfering with your image.

In this article, you'll learn five tips for photographing fine art.

1. Use the right camera for photographing fine art

Nowadays it's okay to use your cell phone camera. The cameras on your cell phone are amazing. Most recent cell phones have cameras that are comparable to regular standalone cameras.

Cell phone camera or regular camera, make sure you're camera meets the minimum requirements:

  • The camera is at least 16 megapixels resulting in an image of 4,920 by 3,264 pixels.
  • The camera shoots in RAW so you have more data to color correct and edit the photo.

Remember, on a cell phone, if you zoom in to take photos, you'll lower the quality of the image. Never zoom when you're photographing fine art with your cell phone.

2. Use the right light

Next to the quality of the camera you use for photographing fine art, the light is just as important.

Indirect natural light creates a nice photo. However, if it's cloudy your colors will look muted.

This is when artificial light will help you a lot. But you have to position them correctly to get the best results. Ideally, you'll want to place two lights next to your art at a 45-degree angle. Making sure each light is the same brightness and equal distance. This will ensure you don't get any shadows cast over your art.

3. Never ever use flash when photographing fine art

If your conditions for photographing fine art still aren't right. Don't get tempted to use flash. Using flash will whiteout your colors and make your art look flat. Plus, you'll risk having an ugly lens flare interfering with your art.

4. Use a straight angle and position

It's essential to position yourself straight in front of your art in order to get the best results.

Unless you’re want to get more artistic shots for your Instagram. In this case, be as creative as you want with your camera angles.

But to take photos to document your art, ideally, you’ll need to hang your art flat on the wall to do this. Avoid leaning your art against the wall. The slightest angle will create distortion when you photograph it.

As you're taking the photo, make sure your viewfinder is centered on the art.

If you're photographing giant canvas, you may have to lay it on the floor. Then use a stepladder to get the best shot. In most cases though, standing straight in front of your work while it's hanging on a wall will work.

5. Use a tripod

Fuzzy and blurry photos can ruin photos of your fine art. Tripods prevent blur. Even though it is possible to take steady photos while photographing fine art without a tripod, a tripod will make your life easier.

So there you have it. Our handy guide to how to photograph paintings and drawings.

No more less-than-perfect shots in your art portfolio – just crisp, sharp images that truly do justice to your artistic talents.

Final thoughts on photographing fine art

If you would like to take a photo of your art to make a print of it. I first recommend reading my article on what is a giclee print first.

Then afterward, you can figure which of these printers for art you can use to create your prints.

If you're trying to take better photos for Instagram, check out this tutorial on Instagram for artists.

Learn how to sell your art online in a natural, storytelling way

Join the waitlist for my course Art Launch Blueprint which opens for registration twice a year and paying students get access to forever.

To be the first to know when the course opens, get actionable tutorials, and a sweet launch bonus, signup below:

Powered by ConvertKit