Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Photograph Your Artwork

Submitting artwork to Women in Art 278 Magazine is simple for our photographers but for those who aren't familiar with photography but still need to photograph you work, we wanted to share a few tips and a video that may be helpful. Let's do your beautiful artwork justice with a few simple tips.

  • Camera - Don't break the bank (Okay, that's an expression that might not translate well. It means, don't spend too much) Technology is amazing and to photograph your artwork, you don't necessarily need a professional-level camera. If your camera has the option to attach to a tripod, lets you adjust the ISO, image size/quality, the white balance and the lens is properly functioning ... you should be good to go! 
  • Image size: Set the image size on the largest size possible. We print our magazine so that means we have to have all of the submitted artwork at high enough resolution to print it. We can't print images that are low resolution because they will print out pixelated and look ... terrible. So, set the image size on the largest size possible (10MB is a great size) 
  • Lens - Clean that lens. Make sure smudges and dirt are no where to be seen on the lens. 
  • Tripod - While this is suggested, it's not required. You can simply balance your camera on a solid surface and set the timer. You want to set the timer because pressing down the shutter release (so you can take the photo) might shift the camera. Even the slightest shift can diminish the chances of an in-focus shot. If you are using a tripod, we also suggest using the timer. 
  • Lights - Do you need studio lights? If you don't already own them, don't worry about buying them. You can use a large window or shoot outdoors. Natural light (ambient light) is very gentle and that's great light for photographing your artwork. You want to avoid harsh lights that cause sharp and deep shadows.  You also don't want conflicting light sources. The warmth (color) of the sun/natural light is different than florescent light and that is different than halogen. You want only one light source color because you'll end up selecting a white balance that adjusts for the light source. Multiple light sources makes balancing the white balance tricky. 
  • Depending on your artwork, we suggest positioning it against a wall, hung on a wall or displayed in a setting where someone might showcase your artwork. You can view our November 2013 issue with Italian Artist Francesca Lancisi to see how she showed her prints. For her layout, we showed some of the prints themselves and then she also framed one and put it on a desk with accessories. It turned out beautifully. It helps clients envision how it might look in their home! 
  • Using the tripod, make sure that the camera is level with the artwork. You don't want to have to mess around with cropping it and adjusting it if there is no need. Reduce your workload by photographing it in a way that additional work to the photograph is unnecessary. 
  • Flash? Nope. No flash. That was simple! 
  • After you take your photo, upload it to your computer. You will have to rename your artwork from the camera image number such as IMG4920 (whatever your camera names it) and modify it to this format when you submit to us ARTISTNAME_NAMEOFWORK_GENRE_COUNTRY. We ask for it this way because we receive many submissions and this helps us keep all of our artist's work in order. 
  • Should you add a watermark? Artists work diligently to protect their work from digital thieves. We understand the desire to protect your work but artwork that is not physically signed (i.e. painters who sign their art and so on) should not add a digital signature or copyright symbol on top of their artwork that they submit. 
  • Once your artwork is renamed, you are set to send it in. Gather together the pieces of art you plan to submit to include your artist statement (name that with your name as well!) and go to the Artist Submission Form to submit your work. 
Pretty simple! 

We are working on connecting with photographers in key cities around the globe who are willing to photograph your artwork at a discounted rate. If you are a photographer and would like to have your information listed with Women in Art 278 Magazine and is willing to offer discounted prices to our artists, please contact us directly.