10 Tips for Artwork Photography


After finishing a painting, the next step is usually photographing it.  You may want to share your new work on social media, make prints or even apply for art shows, so it’s important to capture your work accurately.  Here are some tips to taking great photos of your art.


  1. It’s okay to use your phone camera to photograph your work because today’s phones have come a long way.
  2. It’s best to photograph your art in natural light.  My favorite spot is placing it on the concrete slab under my carport where there is no direct sunlight. The light is perfectly soft and subtle there.  Another option is to place it on a wall near a window and with the lights off. Or you could place it on the floor by an open door to let the bright natural light in that way.  I’ve taken photos in all these ways but it’s important to note that the indoor light was always switched off and there were no harsh shadows or light cast onto the work.  
  3. Try several spots in your home to see which light fits best for your work.
  4. When taking your photo, try to take it from straight on.  Use the grid lines on the phone to help line up and match the straight edges of your work.
  5. Don’t go too close when taking the picture because it can warp or give your work a “fish bowl” appearance, distorting the edges of the photo.  Take it from a little distance away to avoid this.  
  6. Keep your body from shaking by holding your arms in tight to your body and hold your breath just for a moment when taking the picture.
  7. Next, you’ll need to edit your photo so that it matches closely to the real thing.  
  8. Crop your work closely so there is no background.
  9. When editing the colors and light of the photo, I rarely use the auto adjust because it never accurately shows the art as it should be.  Most of the time, I have to edit the exposure, the warm tones and the contrast. As I make these adjustments, I always have the original work close by for accuracy.  
  10. If you want to show your work in a setting, place things around it that tell the story of your work.  For example, I’ll leave my palette, a few brushes and a few tubes of paint on the table to show my process.  If you’d like to place it in a room setting, there are several apps like Canva you can use to create “mock ups” of your works in different rooms. 

If you like these tips, I have some more!  Keep reading and I hope these ideas will help make your next painting session the best yet!  Thanks, Debbie