How to Photograph Three-Dimensions items, including Silver, Ceramics, Sculpture, Glass, and Other Decorative Art

This guide will give you the tools to take quality photographs of your three-dimensional items, including silver, decorative art, glass, ceramics, and sculpture. Always handle your items with clean, dry hands or wear gloves.


Take your object 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 an object in direct sunlight to photograph it because the bright light can distort the image.
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 object, so that they illuminate the item evenly from each side.

Object Position

Place the object on a flat surface, and try to position it against a plain background. A good place to set your object is on a sofa upholstered in solid color fabric.

Camera Position

Make sure the entire object is in the frame. Hold the camera “straight on,” parallel and perpendicular with the object. Make sure you don’t tilt the camera or photograph the object at a severe angle. However, if the object you are photographing has a reflective surface, like sterling silver, you may need to photograph the work at an angle to avoid capturing your own reflection.
It's recommended to take several photos of your objects:
  1. Image of Entire Object Front, Back, and Sides. Make sure to include the entire object in the photograph.
  2. Image of the Bottom of the object
  3. Close-up image of Signature, Date, Edition Number, Foundry Marks, Maker’s Marks, Hallmarks, and any other writing or stamps on the object
  4. Close-up images of interesting, detailed, or beautiful areas
  5. Angled images illustrating the surface texture. Move the camera to an angled position, and position the camera so that the light falls across the surface and emphasizes the texture.
  6. Close-up images of any surface dirt, repairs, broken areas, dents, or other condition issues. If condition issues are not disclosed, a buyer can return the object.
  7. A close-up image of any labels


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