For quick reference shots, using your smartphone can be just the ticket. For archival images and professional reproductions of my artwork, I always use a qualified photographer. But for simple things like blog posts, social media posts or just to send an image to someone via email, smartphone shots can do the job.
Choose a neutral background
I will sometimes shoot an image on my living room carpet. It’s a neutral off-white background and I shoot from above, if the image is small enough. Easy to crop out the carpet from the photograph.
Square up your image
Most smartphone cameras come with a grid for squaring up the image. Use it! If you have a really hard time squaring up the image, get at least one side of your painting lined up flush with a gridline. You can then crop it to square in the resulting photograph.
Light and Shadow
I’ve found natural light to work the best. Often I will shoot an image inside, in my living room with the image lying flat under the window. This results in less glare and more even lighting. The best times to shoot in natural light are between 10 am and 2 pm. The sun is the highest in the sky and won’t put a warm sunset/sunrise glow on your painting.
If you are shooting outside, pick a sunny day and put the painting in the shade. The bounce light from the bright sun will bathe the painting in even light and result in a relatively glare-free photograph.
Most smartphones now have editing capabilities that are on par with software online but if you want to edit further these are good options.
Picmonkey - free and pretty good online editor.
- Photoshop - of course the best, paid app.
Read an entire article here on photo editors.
Resizing your photos
Don’t want to bother with how many pixels per inch or DPI? Just resize your image online. There are plenty of places online you can resize your photos.
Take reasonably good pictures and learn to edit them yourself. You’ll save yourself time and money!
Want more tips on painting? Check out my book.
Want to know what I use in the studio? Check out my Product Recommendations.