How to photograph your portfolio

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take pictures of your artwork, but following these tips will help ensure the quality of your work shines through.

  1. Make sure the lighting is adequate for your photo. Avoid using a flash – natural lighting typically looks a lot better than overpowering flashes that will wash out your work. Try taking your work outside or into a bright room instead. Watch for bright spots of glare on your photos, and move your artwork around or change your position to avoid overly bright areas on portions of the work.
  2. Get rid of clutter or busy backgrounds. Don’t let details distract from your work – photograph your work with a neutral background. A concrete floor, solid (unwrinkled) sheet, plain wall, or other simple backdrop will keep the focus on your work.
  3. Photograph each piece individually. Try to fill the camera frame with your work, so the focus is on one piece at a time.
  4. Take three photos of three-dimensional items. If you’re taking a picture of a three-dimensional piece like sculpture or jewelry, take three photos: one straight-on shot from the front, one shot from above (“bird’s eye view”), and one shot from a side angle.
  5. Use a tripod. Using a tripod will reduce motion blur, give you the opportunity to frame your shot carefully, and help ensure your photo is crisp and in focus.
  6. Avoid using the zoom. It’s better to simply get closer to or stand back from your artwork instead of using a digital zoom. The zoom function on some cameras can cause pixelation in the image.

Once you’re happy with your photos and have composed your statement of intent, it’s time to submit your portfolio.