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How to Photograph your Art

Feb 22, 2021

If you want to share your artwork online or create an online portfolio, you need to create good-looking photos of your artwork. You also want your photos to look as natural as possible.

Here are some tips:

Use a relatively new smartphone or camera

If you don’t have a camera you can just use your phone. Most of us have a relatively new smartphone with lots of camera options so you can use your phone to take a photo of your art. It’s quicker and easier.

Use natural light but avoid direct sunlight

Most cameras handle artificial lighting poorly. You will get crisper and sharper photos when you use daylight. You can put your drawing next to your window (or find an area where you can get a lot of daylight) but try to avoid direct sunlight.

If it’s not possible to take a picture during the day try to avoid artificial (warm) light. You can buy a natural daylight light bulb to get clean white light (other bulbs give off a very yellow light).
A daylight lamp is also better for your eyes especially when you draw a lot at night.

Don’t stand between the light source and your drawing

When the light source is coming from one side and you take a photo you might cast a shadow. So try not to stand between the light source and your drawing because casting a shadow on your drawing will ruin the photo. Make sure you’re standing on the opposite side of the light source.

Photograph your drawing parallel from above

If you want to frame your photo or sell your art online you want to make sure that your camera or phone is parallel to your drawing. That way you will avoid distortion.



Take multiple photos and choose the best one

While taking the photo you need to try to hold still which isn’t always easy, that’s why it’s best to take multiple photos. Afterward, you can zoom in to see if the photo is sharp enough, a blurry photo means that the camera moved while taking the photo.



Edit your photo on your computer or on your phone

Some examples of free editing software

Computer: Canva , Pixlr

Phone: Pixlr, Snapseed, VSCO

For an easy edit of your photo follow these 4 steps: 

Step 1: Crop the photo
To remove any unwanted background and to put the focus on your drawing

Original                                                                                                            Cropped


Step 2: Saturation
 
Decrease the saturation to remove any yellow/blue shades. If your drawing is made with graphite or charcoal you can decrease the saturation completely (no saturation = no color).

Original                                                                                                            No Saturation


Step 3: Brightness
 
Increase the brightness a bit to lighten the whole photo (just a bit).


Original                                                                                                             Brightness



Step 4: Contrast 
Edit the contrast to darken the shadows a bit or to make delicate pencil strokes more visible (only if needed).


No Contrast
                                                                                                     Contrast

Emmy

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