Are you trying to learn how to sell art on Instagram or how to sell art on Etsy? If you want to be successful you need to first start by learning how to photograph art. In this article, I will share with you tips on how to take the perfect photograph of your art and what equipment will give you the best results.
How to Photograph Art to Sell Online
So many artists struggle when it comes time to photograph their artwork.
They spend many hours on the delicate details of a painting or drawing and when it comes time to create an image to share online, they become impatient and frustrated.
Many young artists do not have the funds needed for gear or find it too difficult.
Using a smartphone to take images is something most artists have done during their career. It is quick, easy and the quality of mobile device images have come a long way. But are they good enough?
If you are trying to build an online business and compete with other artists online, the answer is no.
Image Quality Matters
Image Quality matters if you are selling art online.
To start off with, you are trying to sell your art to someone who has never seen your work in person.
As an artist, you know how much detail can be lost when you are taking images of your artwork.
The angle you are looking at a painting or drawing and the way the light is hitting the surface will drastically change the way the art looks in person.
Convincing potential buyers they can trust the image they are seeing from their computer or mobile device can be challenging.
Low-quality images will not only lower the chance of you landing a sale but they could also damage your reputation.
Capturing the detail and depth of your art is challenging but can be done.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before sharing your art online:
- Does the image accurately represent the original art?
- Are the colors accurate? (All computer monitors will display colors differently. It is important that the colors of your images are 100% accurate to the originals.)
- Is the lighting correct?
- Is the white balance correct?
- Is the image cropped and aligned correctly?
- Is the surface straight on with the image or has the image been taking at an angle? The proportions of your art will be distorted if the image is taken at an angle.
- Is the image free of glares or reflections?
Make these questions a part of your checklist.
Before posting any images online you should be able to answer yes to all of the above questions.
If you answer no to one or more of the questions above, do not share the image. It will be in your best interest to take the time and retake the photograph.
I know how exciting it is to finish a project. Once you have finished the last stroke you want to share your creation with the world. I feel the same way.
But you have to be patient and make sure you are representing your art and your brand accurately.Low-quality images will not only lower the chance of you landing a sale but they could also damage your reputation.Click To Tweet
Selling Art Prints Online
The internet has made it affordable and easy to sell their original and prints of their art to people around the world.
If you are interested in supplementing your income while waiting for your original art to sell you might want to consider selling prints of your art.
In the past artists would have to hire a photographer to take photographs of their art and have prints made in bulk if they were interested in selling replicates. This could become costly especially if the prints did not sell.
Artists do not have to pay upfront costs to sell prints of their art anymore. There are many POD (Print On Demand) services available.
The POD services will print your art, collect money from the buyer and ship the print to the buyer at no costs to you. You will make a percentage of the sale as the artist.
If selling prints of your original art is part of your online marketing strategy, you will have to pay even more attention to the quality of your images.
The image quality of your file is extremely important for printing. Don’t be fooled by what the computer is showing you. Images displayed on the computer might look good, but a printed version might be very disappointing.
How to Photograph Art to Sell Online
Unless you are going to hire a professional photographer to photograph your art, you will need to make an investment in some equipment.
Listed below are some popular photography gear by photographers.
Professional Photography Lighting
Purchasing equipment in order to take high-quality images of your artwork is an investment.
To start off you might want to consider renting equipment in the beginning. Over time your sales will cover the costs of the equipment and it will end up being cheaper to purchase equipment instead of renting.
How to Photograph Art
- In a 10’ x 10’ or 12’ x 12’ foot room with controlled lighting, mount your painting on a wall place on an easel.
- Make sure the painting is level.
- Position the camera five feet away on a tripod.
- Position the camera so that the plane is parallel with your art.
- Aim directly at the center of the painting.
- Place the lights on each side of the camera at a 45-degree angle.
- Test a few shots by placing the gray card in front of your art.
- Adjust the white balance and exposure accordingly.
- Take a few shots with the flash turned off.
- Upload images to Photoshop, crop and adjust the contrast and brightness accordingly.
Here are two videos you might find helpful:
Sell Art Online
The best way to sell art online is to start by learning how to take professional images of your artwork. Online art sales start with a high-quality image.
After you have mastered taking high-quality images, you will want to take some time to learn how to sell art.
There is a lot that goes into selling art online. You need to learn how to make an online presence and build people’s trust without meeting them face to face.
You will also want to learn where to sell art online and what platforms to use.
Build brand awareness by learning about social media marketing and the best social media tools to use.
As you can see there is a lot that goes into selling art online. To make the learning process easy I have created a free Sell Art Online Startup Plan that will help you to build a solid foundation.
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You might also be interested in:
- Digital Content Marketing – What Artists Need to Know
- How to Sell on Pinterest Tips for Artists
- 7 Art Blog Tips That Increase Online Art Sales
- Best Content Marketing Strategy for Visual Artists
- How to Be More Productive Marketing Art Online
- How to Write an Artist Business Plan That Works
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links on this post are affiliate links and will be clearly marked as so. I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you choose to purchase through those links. I will only recommend products I have used, found helpful to my business and are companies I trust.
Graphite Drawing by Dave Nevue