Are you looking to build your online audience? Would you like to see your conversion rate increase? In this article, discover the importance of photographing and displaying Images of Art.
This article is written by guest Author Jacob Smith
Jacob is an illustrator living in Chicago, Illinois.
After 10 years of working for a marketing agency as a re-toucher and
design guru, he started ProductViz to help artists show the world how
beautiful their work is. ProductViz shows artwork in beautiful
You can email Jacob directly at [email protected] or visit Productviz.com
The Importance of Photographing and Displaying Images of Art
For most artists, the internet is the best place to sell their work. Getting your portfolio online is simple. Tools like Squarespace make a beautiful website just a few clicks away. As a result, tons of artists vie for attention online.
With that competition, finding your audience takes a lot of effort. On top of your website, social media, and email, you must create beautiful art.
This leads to an obvious point: Selling art online is difficult. At the same time, the Internet provides a chance to build an audience — a community of people who love your art.
There are a million ways to improve your online art business. Today, we’ll discuss building trust through product photography. Showing your work in a quality setting signals the value of your art. A professional display is a key to building trust with your clients.
How Professional Photography Can Help
Today, shopping online is mainstream, but stories of shady sellers, bad deals, and fraud persist. As a result, most customers approach buying online with skepticism.
For artwork, in particular, many fear online photos do not tell the whole story. They wonder if what they see online and the piece that shows up at their home will be different.
This is reasonable. Consider how hard showing nuance of art is online. If a photo captured a painting perfectly, why would we have museums? How different going to the Louvre compared to googling “the Mona Lisa”?
In a museum setting, you are up close and personal with artwork. You see the brushwork, the frame’s details, and the reflection of the light on the surface. Museums also spend time and money on ambiance, enhancing the feel of the artwork.
Compare a real gallery to the average artist website. Online, most images are plastered onto an all-white background. The richness you find in real life is missing, replaced by a sterile, white setting.
For anyone viewing art, going to a museum provides a complete feel for the artwork. Online, most websites lack that intimacy and detail.
Successful artists mimic museums by curating their portfolios. Like a museum curates the collection and layout of its work, these artists put their best foot forward. With your online art business, take a note from museums and curate as much as possible.
Curation can live at many levels of your website and internet presence. You can curate the language on your site — descriptions, etc. — the fonts and color scheme, etc. Below, we will discuss one kind of curation: your product photography, as professional photography leads to sales, improved reputation, and trust from your customers.
Gain a Competitive Edge
For most artists, snapping pictures on an iPhone is how they get their work online. Truth be told, cell phone cameras can take good quality photos, and they are easy to use. For those reasons — everyone does it, and they are so easy to use — savvy artists take a different path.
Like I mentioned above — and you’ve no doubt experienced — tons of people sell their artwork online. In that noise, your job is to show your work better than the average artist. If you do as everyone else does (taking cell photos), how can you expect better results?
Photographers have the equipment and expertise to take great pictures. Plus, they can edit the images, making your art look great. For anyone viewing your work, this difference is huge. Customers can see and feel the details of your art — textures, subtle color variations and the like. For someone interested in buying art, these details matter. Imagine if you spent $1000 on something you would have to look at every day. You would want to know how that thing looked before buying it.
If you expect compensation for your art, you have to show your audience the value of your work. White backgrounds, copy and pasting, etc. all looks low quality. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If an artist can’t put together a beautiful presentation of their work, could you expect buying to be easy? How does a low-quality presentation make your customer feel?
People will perceive your artwork’s quality based on the quality of the images you publish. Superior images lead to a perception of quality.
Photography as a Storytelling Tool
As we all know, art lives within a great social and cultural conversation. Use the setting your art lives in to tell a story. Consider the interior where your artwork is displayed. Does that tell part of the story? The props style in the photo make a point or provide some insight into the art.
More than that, you can use these photographs as a way to introduce yourself to your audience. People love connecting on a personal level with art and artists. Including yourself in photos of your work shows your life to your audience. Your audience will feel more connected to you compared to a faceless artist. In other words, you can connect with your audience on a personal level.
The Importance of Feel
An interior where a piece of art lives has a certain feel. Imagine how a hospital feels compared with a luxury restaurant. Never forget that you can persuade your customers to feel a certain way about your art. Galleries do this all the time. Gallery owners may want to show a cool vibe. Or a traditional one. Maybe they know a showing will mostly be older collectors, how would the look change compare with younger hipsters? If you are charging premium prices for your art, you need to make sure your customers perceive it to be valuable enough to convince them to spend money on it.
Using Photos as a Marketing Tool
You will use quality pictures of your work offline. Perhaps you participate in a show and want to pass out a lookbook or brochure? Professional photos will undoubtedly be more impressive. These may include online and offline articles and all your marketing literature.
Don’t forget the power of social media. You have to use Instagram if you want to attract the widest possible audience for your artwork online. You can have a range of pictures taken of each art piece you are working on and then share them on Instagram. Once you upload the images to Instagram, they will be saved and stored, and you can access and use them in case you need to.
Is Professional Photography Necessary?
Having gone over the benefits of using professional photography for displaying images of your art, let’s move on to the central question: is it necessary for you to hire a professional photographer or can you go DIY? At the end of the day, it comes down to your preference. Keep in mind that professional photography gives you a better chance of selling your artwork online. Professionally taken images show customers that you are a professional.
In this way, view the cost of professional photography as an investment in your brand. The quality of your portfolio will improve your chances of success, and in a way, the photos will pay for themselves down the line.
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