How to Photograph Prints

This guide will give you the tools to take quality photographs of your prints.

If your print is framed under glass, it is best to remove the artwork from the frame before taking photographs because glare on the glass can cause distortion. 


Take your print to an area with good natural light, and make sure there are no shadows on the surface. Examples include: outdoors on an overcast day or a room with strong natural indirect light. Don’t place a work in direct sunlight to photograph it because the bright light can distort the colors.
If you do not have access to natural light, take two light sources with the same wattage bulb and place one to the right and left of your painting, so that they illuminate the work evenly from each side.
If your print is framed under glass, make sure that there is no direct light bouncing off the surface of the glass, causing distortion. You may need to photograph the work at a slight angle to avoid this. Do not use a flash.

Artwork Position

It is best to hang the artwork on a blank wall, or use an easel if you have one available. You can also place your print upright on a firm sofa, or lean it against a wall. Make sure the work is as upright as possible. If your print is unframed, lay it carefully on a clean, dry surface, such as a freshly made bed or clean carpet.

Camera Position

Make sure the entire print is in the frame, including corners and sheet edges. Hold the camera “straight on,” parallel and perpendicular with the center of the artwork. Make sure you don’t tilt the camera or photograph the work at an angle.
It's recommended to take several photos of each print:
  1. Image of entire front. Make sure no parts of the artwork are cut off in the photograph.
  2. Image of signature, date, edition number, and any other writing on the work
  3. Close-up images of interesting, detailed, or beautiful areas
  4. Angled images illustrating the surface texture. Position the camera so that the light falls diagonally across the surface and emphasizes the texture
  5. Close-up images of any surface dirt, repairs, tears, or creases. Accurately reporting condition issues is essential to selling your property. 
  6. An image of the entire back. Make sure to include the entire sheet of paper in the image.
  7. A close-up image of any labels, stamps, or writing


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