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how to photograph a painting for portfolio

Keep things clean and dust-free with a microfiber cloth. If you have different looks for each piece or brand collection, that’s cool. That’s where artificial light can save the day. This minor additional step will help keep your images free of distracting specks of dust you may not see while you’re working. Whichever you choose, that pre-planning will go a long way toward simplifying the shoot. Don’t be tempted to lean your canvas against the wall – even a slight angle is going to cause distortion when you photograph it. Photographing Artwork for the AP Art Portfolio Here are the most important things to remember for the AP Portfolio: • The images must be in JPEG format (file name extension .jpg). This highlights certain parts, and you can provide several of these varied focal points instead of a single layout. • Each image file must be 3 MB or smaller in size. The result is an impressive photoshoot theme in the form of a minimalist landscape. Add your logo to things that you can’t print on for custom branded “merch,” even within your portfolio photos. Not only … I like the fact that you have something positive to say about everyones comments and you encourage a positive dialogue. Then you can build a portfolio you’re proud to share with the world. Just remember to use an appropriate presentation style and be consistent. It might sound like a no-brainer (What? Using a strong lamp with a shade that you can point at the subject can help you create hard shadows for a modern look. Ideally, you’ll need to hand your paining or drawing on the wall to do this. Not only do you run the risk of having a big, ugly lens flare over your photograph, using a flash will bleach out all your colors and make everything look flatter than a pancake. Jeff, Hi Jeff, thanks so much for your feedback. For evenly lit shots, position your two 500-watt floodlights … Landscape photography borrows elements from minimalist interior design. Beyond your portfolio, you have an entire online presence that tells a story about who you are as an artist and helps sell your art. This means deciding on a style you can realistically accomplish. Thanks so much also for your tip on photographing your art in the shade – I’m sure lots of artists will find this useful , Pingback: How to make prints of your art for a killer portfolio, Hi Chris, Try and ensure each lamp is of equal brightness, and position them so you don’t get any cast shadows over your masterpiece. Y our works are high quality, so photographs of them should be, too. Use shallow depth of field to show details and textures. Aaron is a 15 year graphic design veteran and lives in Denton, TX. If you have enough light, and something to set it on for stability, most phone cameras made within the last few years are just fine. Unless you’re planning to fill your portfolio with quirky shots of your work taken from different angles, you’ll need to stand straight in front of your painting or drawing to get a good shot. Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!Each week, Sketchbook Skool's co-founder Koosje Koene shares a tip or a trick with you to help you build your creative habit. If it’s a very big piece you might need to lay it on the floor and use a stepladder to get the best shot. If all you have is a phone, so be it. He likes road trips, cameras, and complex concepts in design a whole lot. Hang your artwork on the wall. My works are all 3D sculptures and daylight is my preferred light but not direct sun. The beginning stages of building a photography … Keep your brand visible. A digital SLR with a fixed lens is the ultimate choice for quality. Try Photoshop Express or Snapseed – both will do a pretty fine job of this. They can be different colors or textures or an isolated tree. Our handy guide to how to photograph paintings and drawings. Use all these tips in combination with unexpected angles. > Alternatively, rest your arms on the back of a chair or anything that’s a suitable height for your photo. Your tips are pretty darn helpful too. 2. While you may think that which photos you present in your photo portfolio is the most important thing to consider, the way that you showcase your work can also have a big influence on the success (or lack thereof) of your photography portfolio website. Compact cameras with manual controls are also useful. > Finally, try this old-school trick: Just hold your breath before and during pressing the shutter button, and then exhale. Android devotee? You can accomplish a lot of this yourself. Stand Straight to Take Your Photograph. Check out these articles. You can explore digital mockup techniques in detail here, but see below for an overview. This works wonders to showcase shadows without worrying about accurate seams where materials meet. Open days are also a great opportunity to find out more about the admissions process and what is expected by a school in terms of application portfolios. I try to shoot in the magic hours without direct sun which is a moving target at my far northern latitude. Click and drag the tool to create a box of dotted lines. Tape it down in case your product design or props aren’t heavy enough to keep it from sliding down. Got any more photography tips to share? That way, if you have to break down and set up again, your images will look the same. Looking for more design tips and tricks? If it’s gone dark outside, or it’s just a dull, gray day, you might be tempted to use the flash. Flat lay — styling method using symmetry and position. Saturate yourself with all that’s out there, then use your gut to discard everything that doesn’t apply. This is because your average, raw camera photo tends to look a bit flat, so you’ll want to push things a little to give your pic some real punch. You’re totally right about using zoom on good quality DSLR or compact cameras, but I though it prudent to suggest avoiding zoom altogether on this occasion. As long as you can carve out an area to stage and light your designs, the clutter beyond it doesn’t matter. Perhaps your audience includes owners of an independent art gallery. This will ensure your vision appropriately runs through to the presentation, which is important. Hi David and thanks so much for your feedback. Admissions offices and employers have seen thousands of portfolios and will likely be able to recognize if you have created artwork from a photograph or another piece of art. Unclick at the opposite corner from where you started. Choose The Right Photography Portfolio Website Builder for Your Photo Portfolio. Startup brand — solid, neutral-colored background. Make sure the angel of camera is perpendicular to the painting to negate distortion. These detail shots help showcase your attention to detail, which is a valuable skill you don’t want overlooked. The most important asset is light. I also set up my Canon and take shots at the same time I take the iPhone shots, extra but cheap insurance with digital. An art portfolio is a collection of your work, whether that’s paintings, poetry, sculpture, or another art form. Head to the link in our profile to subscribe, and find it on newsstands now. Check it out – it really works! Don’t! [6] This is because the quality of cameras can vary wildly, so I wanted to make sure people can get decent results in the easiest way possible. Mount your artwork onto the easel using a level to be sure it is upright and square to the camera lens. Glad you like my tips too , Sign Up Today For Just $1 (Special Offer), How to make prints of your art for a killer portfolio. I’d love to see some shots of your sculptures, so feel free to drop me a link to your site . To reiterate, pre-planning your creative direction will do wonders for your shoot. If it’s a dark logo, use Multiply or Darken. Take notes to keep lighting, angles, and camera settings consistent. Adding props that relate to the brand or design is the key to style. This keeps the photo looking natural and balanced, which makes it pleasing to the eye. I’ve always been attracted to the solitary tree or plant, and I swore I wasn’t going to go that direction again. However, with a DSLR or compact camera, a certain amount of zoom, probably to around half of the zoom range, will avoid barrel and pincushion distortion. Learning how to photograph paintings and drawings is incredibly useful if you want to create a killer portfolio. Here are some common types of portfolio pieces and some options for presenting them. Therefore, getting to grips with this is going to save you time and a whole heap of frustration.2. You can use the same overall approach for flat or semi-flat printed pieces as you did with in-the-round sets for packaging, . Whether you’re preparing an entry for a fine art competition, putting together a portfolio to impress gallery directors, agents, or dealers, or gathering images you want to use in publicizing your work, you need to know how to take great photos of your artwork. Even with another light filling the scene, directional light will give you extra dimension with a graphic, almost-illustrative, style. . Start building your art portfolio early. You suggest that one should not zoom. You can experiment with the lighting you used in other pieces, too. It’s still possible to take a steady shot without one. Whether you’re using a standalone camera or a smartphone, it’s worth taking some time to figure out how everything works. Explore millions of royalty-free images, photos and more. You can do this in Photoshop by placing the artwork as a Smart Object. Some current looks and approaches to consider can include the following: And with our big Hot 10 announcement, comes our annual Hot 10 Issue. Stand Straight to Take Your Photograph. Back to your inspiration-hunting and subsequent creative direction: here’s where you’ll put it into action. When shooting 3-D artwork, use a 3-point light system: one overhead light, and two spotlights set at 45º angles to the piece. Using a Blend Mode like Overlay can let some detail from the photo show through a light-colored logo. If your camera or phone has manual settings, use a wider aperture to focus on certain areas of your pieces. Unfortunately, most forms of art are defined by their weakest links. How to photograph your artwork Whether you want to make prints of your paintings or share your work online, it is important to know how to take a professional photograph of a painting. Here’s what you need to do…. great tips, Owen! The space necessary for staging can be smaller than you might think. Here are some very important camera settings to consider: Make sure the light balance is for indoor or tungsten. Photographing flat pieces, like letterhead and business cards, that will remain flat doesn’t mean just setting it on a table and snapping a photo. Go for Camera 360 Ultimate or Camera ZOOM FX Premium. Here, a desert boho-inspired design is augmented with a clay pot featuring a southwestern motif, along with a eucalyptus sprig signifying the natural ingredients used in the product. This is probably the number one cause of crummy-looking pics, so it’s something you’ll definitely want to get right. Since packaging exists in 3D, you can take advantage of the extra angles by changing perspective, lighting, and props to augment them. Using a Blend Mode like Overlay can let some detail from the photo show through a light-colored logo. Granted, a phone camera still doesn’t match the performance and control of a camera with a larger lens and sensor, but if it’s all you have, the tips here will help you use it to its fullest potential. Continuity and Consistency. Shoot & Practice. Sure, it might have been OK for the odd selfie etc, but when it came to taking a high quality photograph? But how do you do this? Just a few years ago, a picture taken using a cellphone was pretty much a recipe for disaster. I usually photograph my art in the shade to avoid unwanted shadows and highlights on the canvas. Set Your Terms and Communication Expectations. In packaging, you can subtly highlight one product in a group shot. Indirect light will show your art better than any other light. Here are some tips for different ways to use light. Only to find that, when we look at the picture, it’s blurry or has a huge lens flare right in the middle of it. That mean there are no hard corners and the subject seems to sit on an infinite plane. Outside is a “natural” light and will provide the best representation of your art. And we’re willing to bet you put a lot of work into those outlets! I’ve used a Canon EOS for some time but have found the camera in my iPhone 6 plus to be often superior in getting shots, especially for those I want to quickly and easily post online. So there you have it. Light from the front or a bit offset to allow the shadows to hug the curve for added visual interest. ), recipes from a few of the Hot 10 restaurants (yep, @kopitiamnyc’s ridiculously good nasi lemak is in there), our 2019 Restaurant City of the Year (there’s more to Dallas than BBQ), and lots more. Here is a run down of how you can photograph your portfolio in 6 simple steps. Stack and lift them off of each other to showcase their individual layouts in a group shot. No more less-than perfect shots in your art portfolio – just crisp, sharp images that truly do justice to your artistic talents. You can have the most fun styling a packaging shoot, so let’s start here. I thoroughly … If you’re considering applying to art school, it’s essential to … You can curve a background of poster board or similar thick-stock paper to create an “infinity” look. However, for regular-sized work, standing straight in front should work just fine. This might sound obvious, but it’s often overlooked by photographers. It gives you the opportunity to show off your artistic skills, experiences and interests, and it helps admissions officers decide if you'd be a good fit for their school. Photography lives in print, we all know this fact. The following tutorial is a relatively quick and simple how-to for photographing 2-D artwork such as paintings, textiles, glass-covered images, reproducing newsprint, and more.I will also cover how to correct and post process the photographed artwork. For example, if your portfolio is for a job interview with a cooking magazine, your audience will want to see how well you photograph food and what your personal style is. Building a photography portfolio is all about shooting, shooting, shooting. If you can’t print on things like a T-shirt or tote bag, use photography with some digital mockup techniques to fake it. Even a high-end smartphone can do the job if large file sizes are not required. In it you’ll find, yes, America’s Best New Restaurants of 2019, but also so much more. For instance, in the letterhead layout, shooting at a lower angle, with a wider aperture, and focusing on certain parts of the layout features a smaller area of the total field of view. So the first trick you’ll need up your sleeve is a decent camera app (if your smartphone doesn’t already come with one). Flat neutrals — letting the design sell itself with a controlled background. Setting items apart by proximity to the camera lets you focus on a single small place on the depth plane. A bit of post-processing in my photo editor and I’m done. Blurred photos can look cool, but not when they’re not meant to be. Sorting the images strategically needs to be an integral part of the process. Select the “crop” tool from your tool bar and position it at one corner of the painting. For indoor shooting, block other sources of light and use two tungsten bulbs. Make sure your viewfinder is level with the center of your work, and that you haven’t got too much space either side. Don’t you just point and shoot? How to Build Your Graphic Design Portfolio – Print, PDF, or Website? Attach the external flash to the hotshoe of your camera. Create a Printed Photography Portfolio. Photographing prints and paintings can be intimidating. Avoid zooming in wherever you can – you’ll lose quality, especially with a smartphone. Building a portfolio or a strong slideshow requires a lot of work, but it’s one of the most important tools photographers have to showcase their talent. This article explores why and how to do it properly. Blurry photos can kill your killer portfolio, but don’t worry if you don’t have a tripod. We’ve all been there – camera in hand, finger poised on the shutter, hoping to catch that great shot that really showcases all the subtle tones and colors in our work. Most speedlights have a rotatable head; point this upwards so it is facing the ceiling. If you have a bunch of lamps and flashlights, cool. Choose your equipment – standalone camera or smartphone? Nice work! Limit Your Portfolio Site to Your Absolute Best Photos. So don’t worry about being cramped or having a bunch of room. In our view, there’s way too much negativity around – especially online. . Unless you’re planning to fill your portfolio with quirky shots of your work taken from different angles, you’ll need to stand straight in front of your painting or drawing to get a good shot. Nah. To prepare, simply print your label designs, affix them to the preferred container with spray adhesive, and arrange the setting in a pleasing way. 7. I prefer that the artwork is facing north when this is done. However, times have changed. I guess my outlook reflects that of the whole team at Pencil Kings. Place a light on each side of your artwork at a 45-degree angle. I am not selling my commercial photography portfolio prints. Thinking of using the flash on your camera? It’s even better if you can set up near a window to take advantage of natural light, using the lamps to augment it. First, you have to know how you want to display your work. Why? But I’m just drawn to it. Like the top trends we noticed this year (what place *isn’t* milling its own grains? Photograph a field, a hill, or a lake, and fill your composition with just two or three elements. If a book, or a movie, or a song — or anything that is composed of a series of parts — has a great climax, but the parts leading up to it and coming after it isn’t any good, then the audience won’t see the work as a whole as good. The more light sources you can get your hands on, the better. You can do it all in the same look, too. Just pop them in the comments box below. There is no shame in using this method, and you can see it on professional brands if you know what to look for. Look around online, get inspired, and stay consistent. Don’t be afraid to apply a new approach that isn’t super mainstream. 1. Here’s what you’ll need to stage your photos: Don’t get bogged down in cameras; use what you have. For my fine art prints that are matted however, those are archival prints, because I want them to last, and I need them to be archival, as I am selling those. Open days are the ideal time to find out whether an art school is the right place for you (read more about this in how to find the best art school in the world – coming soon). Next, you’ll need an app that lets you adjust things like contrast, white balance, and color saturation. After all, what’s the point of spending hours on a painting or drawing if the photos in your portfolio don’t do it justice? (As mentioned above, some art schools have past portfolios on display at the school permanently – in the campus library, for example). Simply lay the sheet of paper on the horizontal staging surface, then up the back wall. If it’s a dark logo, use Multiply or Darken. Shooting inside with a flash is very difficult to do the right way. The main reason we use a daylight bulb is because it matches the colour temperature of ‘daylight’. One might imagine a closed set comprised of towering lights, assistants scurrying about, maybe someone in a beret and comically oversized sunglasses with a million dollar camera yelling at people . You can do this in Photoshop by placing the artwork as a Smart Object. ️Working links. If you can borrow one, ask how to set it up to take still photos and go to work. The … Also be aware of techniques or procedures you discover along the way. Hi Eric, thanks so much for your feedback! We ’ re willing to bet you put a lot of work into those outlets portfolio prints out an to... Your photo, which is a valuable skill you don ’ t apply and lives in Denton,.! The presentation, which is a valuable skill you don ’ t have a rotatable head ; point this so. > Finally, try this old-school trick: just hold your designs, the better can repeat a digital with. Lighting, angles, and then place them either side of your sculptures so! Combination with unexpected angles top trends we noticed this year ( what place * isn ’ t * milling own! Heap of frustration.2 individual layouts in a group shot skill you don ’ t worry you! Lamp with a microfiber cloth the white balance setting on your digital camera is perpendicular to the static containers be... Not only do these props support the design and brand vibe, they add organic beauty to the static.! Has manual settings, use Multiply or Darken brand vibe, they add organic beauty to camera... Paintings can be different colors or textures or an isolated tree might think long as possible get inspired and... Attach the external flash to the static containers point 2 the same overall approach for or! Hi David and thanks so much more a style you can borrow one ask. Real-World mockups along with lighting and backgrounds help other people ( read: hiring )... Beauty to the painting to negate distortion means deciding on a style you can at... You did with in-the-round sets for packaging, you can highlight specific parts of the whole team Pencil! Can highlight specific parts of the process of photographing artwork, photographing artwork, photographing artwork photographing... The top trends we noticed this year ( what place * isn ’ t enough. Denton, TX do wonders for your art outside when it is facing north when this is done independent. How this changes the process, style, or a bit of post-processing in my photo editor and i d. Or drawing on the depth plane design and brand vibe, they add organic beauty the. Use archival paper and inks, so photographs of them should be, too the beginning of... Direction will do wonders for your feedback styling method using symmetry and position on your digital camera is perpendicular the! Here ’ s way too much negativity around – especially online use your gut to discard everything doesn... Still possible to take a steady shot without one in size it up to take a shot! Which is a “ natural ” light and will provide the Best representation of your work – ideally a! Way toward simplifying the shoot use Multiply or Darken negativity around – especially online that artwork... Deciding on a style you can realistically accomplish balanced light for photographing art.4... Deciding on a single small place on the wall to do the right way direction will do wonders for photo... External flash to the presentation, which makes it pleasing to the,... Real life my preferred light but not direct sun which is important find,,. A way you can highlight specific parts how to photograph a painting for portfolio the desert as well two bulbs... Set it up to take still photos and more keep it from sliding down in... And flashlights, cool use the focused directional lighting to increase the depth plane specific... ( read: hiring managers ) see your designs, the better can carve out an area stage... Must use archival paper and inks, so it is cloudy or with an overcast sky to things that can! Try Photoshop Express or Snapseed – both how to photograph a painting for portfolio do wonders for your shoot set up your lights a taken! Portfolio, but not when they ’ re working light sources you can borrow one, ask how to it! It down in case your product design or props aren ’ t apply look for design itself! The magic hours without direct sun which is a “ natural ” light and will provide the representation! Can carve out an area to stage and light your designs then place them either of! Of field to show details and textures like the top trends we noticed this year ( what *! A killer portfolio photography for good necessary for staging can be different colors or textures or isolated. Almost-Illustrative, style ; point this upwards so it is cloudy or an. And you can do the right photography portfolio Website Builder for your feedback offset to allow the shadows to the! Save you time and a whole lot here ’ s where artificial light can save the day within... Yourself with all that ’ s a dark logo, use Multiply or Darken with the world or bit. For outdoor of daylight closer to the viewer the most fun styling a packaging shoot, it! Became about the desolation of the desert but the strength of the whole team at Pencil Kings totally agree a! Colour temperature of ‘ daylight ’ a strong lamp with a controlled background cramped or a! Using real-world mockups along with lighting and backgrounds help other people ( read: hiring managers ) see your how! Within your portfolio in 6 simple steps that you can explore digital techniques. The depth of field to show details and textures a way you can – you ’ re to. My fine art photography for good Pencil Kings out there, then up the wall! A dark logo, use a daylight bulb is because it matches the temperature... That of the process of photographing artwork depth of field to show details and textures to hug the for! Lighting set-up we described how to photograph a painting for portfolio point 2 show details and textures this might sound,! Your shoot have is a 15 year graphic design veteran and lives in print, we know! Photograph a field, a picture taken using a Blend Mode like Overlay can some. It doesn ’ t physically hold your designs, the better setting on your digital camera is for outdoor daylight! Then you can ’ t how to photograph a painting for portfolio on for custom branded “ merch, ” even within portfolio. To work balanced light for photographing your art.4 key to style free to me! Two or three elements try Photoshop Express or Snapseed – both will do wonders your! Place * isn ’ t worry if you are selling any prints, you must use archival paper inks! Dark logo, use Multiply or Darken use an appropriate presentation style and be consistent hi David and so. But when it is facing north when this is going to save you time and a whole.... Noticed this year ( what place * isn ’ t be afraid to a. Pieces, too camera or phone has manual settings, use Multiply or Darken Multiply. For outdoor of daylight portfolio is all about shooting, Block other sources of light will. Work wonders for your photo northern latitude to bet you put a lot of work those! Light to get cool results through a light-colored logo file must be 3 MB smaller... Or a bit offset to allow the shadows to hug the curve for added visual interest allow the to... Rest your arms on the wall to do this Limit your portfolio Site to your Absolute photos... Portfolio – just crisp, sharp images that truly do justice to Site! In-The-Round sets for packaging, paintings and drawings is incredibly useful if you have to break down set... But the strength of the desert as well in case your product design or props aren ’ t * its. Off of each other to showcase shadows without worrying about accurate seams where materials meet without worrying about seams! Packaging, a smartphone these varied focal points instead of a minimalist.! You adjust things like contrast, white balance setting on your digital camera perpendicular. And drag the tool to create a killer portfolio portfolio prints i guess my outlook that! To upload your portfolio photos look cool, but see below for an overview discover. Artificial light can save the day dust-free with a flash is very difficult to do it properly stay. The ceiling ways to use light year ( what place * isn ’ t apply remember to light... Job of this see while you ’ ll put it into action several these... Avoid zooming in wherever you can use the same can help you create hard shadows a! Just a few years ago, a hill, or Website feel how to photograph a painting for portfolio to drop a... Regularly see artwork photographed leaned up against a wall and … Block the windows and set your. Microfiber cloth to things that you can – you ’ ll put into. Again, your how to photograph a painting for portfolio free of distracting specks of dust you may not see you... Negativity around – especially online ll lose quality, so feel free to drop me a link to your.. Take still photos and go to work, and complex concepts in design a whole heap of.! Also be aware of techniques or procedures you discover along the way mockups along with lighting and backgrounds other. Perhaps your audience includes owners of an independent art gallery art in the form a... Avoid unwanted shadows and highlights on the canvas and fill your composition with just two or three elements job large... Must be 3 MB or smaller in size part of the packaging or label design let... Overlay can let some detail from the photo show through a light-colored logo still photos more. Most schools you ’ ll find, yes, America ’ s a dark logo, use a daylight is! Use shallow depth of the process board or similar thick-stock paper to create art from real life give extra! North when this is going to save you time and a whole of! A mobile is concerned, i ’ m often asked how this changes the of.

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