"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." - Edgar Degas
The advancement in technology allowed the world to share the visions of artists. Print on demand supported by online marketplaces like Etsy has successfully bridged viewers with works of art around the globe. Art in itself is inspiring, but how the artists present their pieces is even more so. Photography is key in the print on demand industry. These tips will aid you in producing beautiful photographs that accurately reflects your work.
Lighting is the most important element in photography. It's hard to appreciate something under dim or blinding light. Proper lighting creates a well-lit, flattering photo. Natural light is the best. Place your artwork near a window. A white sheet of paper or board reflects or bounces the light from the window to achieve even lighting on the subject. Shooting outside is also an option. Be sure to shoot with soft light that produces even light with soft shadows. It can be achieved during early morning or late afternoon. However, it does depend on your location or the weather. Try to shoot at different times and see what works best. If you do decide on using artificial light, diffuse it using tissue paper or make your own softbox.
Shooting your artwork at a high angle is the most common angle. It shows the viewers everything with one look. The artwork alone can be sufficient, but it's also a good idea to add props in boosting visual appeal. Using props gives the photo some context. It builds character and creates a narrative. Surround your art piece with objects related to its theme, or with the tools you used. Not only does this enhance the artwork, but putting familiar objects in the composition is helpful for size comparison. There are a number of flat lay tutorials swarming the internet. Look around and be inspired. In addition, try holding your artwork to express tangibility. Or stage the artwork in a way that helps viewers imagine where and how it could be exhibited. It could be framed hanging on the wall or on a desk top. For more composition tips check out Guides on How to Compose Photos
Invest in a good camera that produces sharp images. It can be a camera phone, point-and-shoot, SLR, or DSLR. The important thing is that it takes high-quality photos. That way, editing won't have to be as difficult. Also, use a tripod to make sure that the artwork is in focus. If you don't have a tripod yet, try to be perfectly still or minimize shaking when you take the shot. You can also think of creative ways to keep the camera still, but the tripod would be the best option. Take several shots. Delete the blurred images and keep the best ones.
Use Lightroom or Photoshop for editing. But nowadays, there are plenty of stand-alone and online photo editors available. Adjust the brightness, contrast, and color balance. Don't overdo it. Stay true to the original. You don't want to steer away from the masterpiece your artwork already is.
Keep in mind that these are just the basics. Don't worry if your photos don't turn out the way you want them. There's always a chance to improve. Practice. You'll get the hang of it in no time.