We recently had the opportunity to join the talented photographer Erin Smith (http://erinsmithphoto.com) in her Minneapolis studio to learn, first hand, what goes into documenting artwork for websites and client offerings.
Frequently, a photograph is the first thing a client or designer sees when being presented artwork options, before they are shown the originals in-person in a gallery or showroom. This means that clear documentation of a piece is crucial: to illuminate the details, texture, warmth of color, and craftsmanship that may be lost in translation in poor photo reproductions.
While shooting several new works by artist Neal Perbix for the Bicycle Fine Art website, Erin offered us some insider tips on how best to capture artwork.
“When photographing artwork, in addition to understanding what is important about the piece, I have to consider the materials that it is made of as well as its size and shape as that will help to determine the lighting strategy that is used. For example, if something has shape and dimension, you want to light it to enhance those qualities, rather than choosing flat lighting that may not highlight it’s shape as well.”
• Use a tripod if possible to stabilize your camera and square up the frame.
• Choose a plain, neutral, non-distracting background (white is great!).
• Photograph so that the artwork takes up most of the frame but be sure that the lens is not distorting the shape of the art piece.
• Be sure that artwork is well lit but without harsh shadows
Thanks so much for inviting us into your studio Erin! Here are some shots of Erin in action.