Are you wondering why your artwork is not selling online? One reason might be the images you are publishing online. Photographing artwork is a skill, and you will want to master this skill if you wish to own a thriving art business.
So many artists spend hours painting and drawing their masterpieces, but they often neglect what is essential for selling their creations, and that is photographing their finished pieces.
It does not matter if you are a master at content marketing, social media marketing, or have the most beautiful artist website if the images of your art are not high-quality, your artwork will not sell.
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Tips on Photographing Artwork to Sell
If you are selling your art online, you are showcasing your art online with images.
The quality of the images you publish online could be the difference between a sale and no sale.
You have spent endless hours creating your latest piece of art.
It is important to spend an equal amount of time photographing and editing the images of your artwork if you are operating an art business.
Photographing art is a skill that can be learned.
You will be able to showcase your artwork like the pros just bu following the easy tips outlined below.
Before We Start Learning How to Photograph Paintings
Let’s do a fun project.
- Do a search for your favorite dessert.
- Do a search for furniture.
- Do a search for puppies.
What do all of the images have in common?
All of the Pinterest pins and Instagram posts that you stopped and looked at had high-quality images.
The Images that you scrolled past did not stand out and grab your attention.
Studying how other people and businesses are showcasing their products online will help you to learn how to promote your artwork.
Pinterest is a great way for you to learn about images because it is a visual network.
When you are studying the images that caught your attention on Pinterest and Instagram, ask yourself:
- How can I create the same excitement with my images?
- What do I need to do to stop people from scrolling past my Pinterest pins?
- What do I have to do to have people purchase my art when they land on my site?
- What do I have to do to gain more engagement on my social media networks?
Research Other Artists
The next step to take is researching your competition.
Take some time out of your week to find other artists that are selling the same type of art you are selling.
Look at their blogs, gallery, and social media pages.
Take note of how they are representing their art and how people are reacting to the images.
Ask yourself, “What can I do to make it better?“
Go to KeySearch to discover artists who are selling similar artwork.
In this example, I typed in Horse Painting Artist.
On the left, you will see a list of the top nine websites that rank for the keywords “horse painting artists.”
Click on the links to discover artists who are ranking for those keywords.
On the left, there will be a list of related keywords.
Click on those links to discover even more artists.
Photographing Artwork Tips
Here are 7 tips to help you take better photographs of your art.
- When you are taking photographs of your art, make sure the lighting is correct. There is nothing that could make a piece of art look flat more than bad lighting.
- If you have a hard time taking your photographs, you might want to hire someone to take the photos for you. If your art sells because of good images that you provided online, it would be a wise investment.
- Ask a friend to help you if they are good at photography. Many people love to take photographs and are as good as or even better than someone you would hire.
- Take photos inside and outside. There is nothing better than natural sunlight when it comes to taking pictures.
- Stage your art. Have it hanging on a wall. Customers like when they can see what a piece of art would look like hanging on a wall or sitting on a shelf.
- Add some décor near the art. Stage it just like it would be displayed in a home.
- Take close-up pictures of your art. People like to see the texture of the art.
There are so many different things that you can do to bring life to your work. Once you do that, you will have an easier time selling your work online.
Another tip is to edit your images. There are many free online tools that you can use to edit your images.
Canva and Photoshop are two of my favorites image editing tools to use. Canva is free, but you can also purchase the premium services if you wish.
If you are using social media for marketing, size the images to the social media site that you are using.
Unfortunately, all social media sites have different image sizes that they use for their posts. This makes it difficult because now you have to edit for each social media site.
You will want to crop and resize the image for the particular site for the best results. You do not want just a part of your artwork showing; people will just scroll past your post. You want to catch their attention and have them want to learn more about your work.
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 digital cameras used by photographers.
Prime Camera Lens
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 to help keep the cost down.
Over time your sales will start to increase and cover the costs of the equipment you need to operate an online art business.
At that point, it might be more cost-efficient to purchase the equipment instead of renting.
What are your thoughts about staging your art to sell?
What difficulties do you have photographing artwork?
Photographing An Oil Painting
In this video, fantasy artist Ryan Pancoast (Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons) shows how he photographs finished paintings. This process works for both wet and dry paintings.
Photography Online Course
Fundamentals of Photography by John Greengo
In this course, you’ll learn:
- How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
- How to choose the right gear and develop an efficient workflow.
- How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.
You can learn how to take great photographs of your artwork.
If you are serious about selling art online, you will want to put aside some time every week to enhance your photographing skills.
Photographing artwork is a skill you can learn just like painting.
You might also be interested in:
- How to Sell Art Online with Pinterest
- 5 Ways Artists can Make a Presence on Instagram
- How to Sell More Art by Building your Tribe
- 10 Social Media Marketing Tips Every Artist Must Know
- 3 Best Digital Cameras For Photographing Artwork
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More resources to help build your online art business.
Art Marketing Resource – All of the tools I use and recommend for my online art business.
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By Dave Nevue
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