Jo's Web Wizardry

Jo Atherton

As we’ve discussed in previous newsletters, releasing your work on the internet is a fabulous way to publicise your work and gain feedback. People will not be viewing your original piece of art in a gallery or at your studio so it is very important to make sure the photographs you take are doing your work justice.

You’ve spent weeks painstakingly creating a beautiful piece of art, pouring your soul into the final piece but a poor image will let you down.   Indeed, how you present your artwork online can be just as important as the work itself so this month, here are a few tips to make sure your work is displayed at its best when showcasing it online. 

Try and use natural light wherever possible. This will give a true likeness to the original, especially important for paintings and prints. Using a flash can alter the tone of the image and often make it look washed out. The Etsy Blog has some good advice on lighting for photographing 2D work if you want to find out more.

Crop out any irrelevant material in the shot that may distract from your work - no one needs to see your pants drying on the radiator in the background!

Often, we have the opportunity to upload multiple images of a piece of artwork. Begin thinking about this from the very point you begin the creative process. It is interesting to show the final piece, but what about showing the work in progress? Take photos of your work at a variety of points along the creative journey to add to the narrative of the artwork and highlight the skills required to create such an item. 

For 3D work, consider some taking some great close up shots of your work, along with an image of the piece in totality. This will allow viewers to experience your artwork from many angles, just as if they were viewing it for real. Photography blog, Photojojo has some great tips on snapping 3D work in their article, Shoot to Sell, which is well worth a read.

For those more crafty items, try taking some contextual photographs as it will help the customer see pieces in their intended environment. A browse through sites such as notonthehighstreet.com, madebyhandonline.com and seekandadore.com will display craft items which almost have a story built around them. We can read about the artist and their inspirations, but we can also see lovingly crafted handmade objects inhabiting a small corner of the real world.

Finally, take a look at Feature Friendly Photos and these handy tips on Etsy.com which provides some great images of handcrafted items before and after a bit of composition planning. Browse online galleries and websites to see how others are doing it, and remember - don’t leave your creative eye at the canvas next time you reach for your camera!

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