Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Photographing your Artwork

A friend asked me if I use a photo box to take photos of my artwork, so I thought we would discuss that. I did make a photo box, but I still like using natural light out on my front porch. I will give my photo box another try once I get my work area cleaned up, but here is a blog post that describes a very simple photo box you can make at Deb's Creative Heart. Scroll back to March 15th....and enjoy the artwork along the way! Her box would be a little too small for me, but it is great for A2 cards.

I have a little collection of cloths, easels, a board to use as a platform, etc. by my front door that I use when I photograph artwork.
I also like to sometimes stage my photos, adding things like the roses above or candy for a holiday, etc. I use an old piece of white satin for many things, but I also have black velveteen, beige felt, printed photos, red crushed velvet, etc. You always want to crop the photo so the artwork takes center stage.
Time of day is also very important. I know when the sun goes over the roof next door and comes on my front porch. It is good to become familiar with a particular spot so you know what the sun does at that spot. If the sun is too bright and creates too many shadows, I move to the shade. The rose thank you card above was taken in the shade.

I try to match the background cloth with the artwork as in the photo above. The shadows were a little strong in this photo but I wanted to showcase the dimensionality of the die cuts.
The rose fabric above goes well with this clipboard calendar I made. I just purchased some St.Patrick's Day cloth that will either be cut up and used on cards next year maybe, or if not, might become a back drop for St. Patrick's day projects.
Sometimes I include some of the tools I have used in making the card. Above, I had used this copper fish to emboss the envelope, so for my photo, I included the envelope and copper fish. Sometimes I will photograph a card with the different copic markers I have used or a watercolor brush, etc.
I sometimes have to resort to taking photos inside, where I will use an Ott light, but I really prefer using natural light.
For scrapbook layouts or other large flat projects, I place fabric on the driveway or front porch and then stand over the artwork to capture the layout. I then crop around the layout and only include it in the photo. You need to watch for shadows (like your own or a porch railing, etc.). Rather than photographing a layout, you could scan it in two parts and stitch it together on Photoshop Elements, but standing over it is much easier.
Hope these tips give you some ideas and if you have suggestions, please make a comment!
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