Artwork & Product Photography

Within the last month, I have run across more and more artists wondering what is the best way to shoot their artwork and products. What is so great about today’s technology is that there are many studio lighting options that are “good” and affordable. You don’t need expensive equipment to achieve great results. Depending on what types of products and art you are photographing will determine what photography equipment you need. This article is purely a high-level overview and to provide a starting point to get you going. I don’t endorse any of these sites or products; I provide them for you as a starting point to do your own research.

Note: For the artists that are only interested in shooting 2-d art, I would still recommend reading all of the product photography articles as there are tips and tricks that apply to photographing your artwork as well. For the artists shooting 3-d work, the product photography articles definitely apply to you.

As you read through the articles and look for photography equipment, keep in mind the following points:

  • What is your budget?
  • How much room do you have in your home or studio to accommodate photography equipment while shooting and for storage?
  • Is it a 2-d or 3-dimensional piece?
  • What is the size of the product or art you will be photographing?
  • Type of surface; glossy or matte – will you have to compensate for unwanted glare?
  • What are you using your art and product photography for? Is it for website images, or will you be using the images in print for marketing purposes? If it’s just for products on your website and small printed materials, chances are you can get away with using your phone camera. If the item is a large piece of artwork, you may want to use a digital camera with a larger sensor and image size.
  • Future planning: Will I always be shooting the same type or size of piece? If you are always photographing small pieces then you won’t need to worry about a more “complex” lighting setup, but if you may be shooting varied sized piece now, or in the future, you may need a studio lighting setup that allows for more flexibility.

What camera will you be using to photograph your products and artwork?

Depending on what your needs are, you can photograph your work with a phone camera or a point-and-shoot and achieve great results. In this article from Pixc, “Essential 2017 Camera Buyer’s Guide for Professional Product Photography”, they walk you through the finer points of figuring out what will best fit your needs.

Introduction to Lighting & Photography

Introduction to Photographing 2-d Artwork

Even if you are focusing on 3-d product photography this first article will be a great introduction to the basics of product photography and what to think about as you take photos.

Introduction to Product Photography & 3-d Artwork.

Tips & Tricks for Photographing Artwork & Products

How Do I Edit My Photos?

There are so many software solutions out there depending on your needs, budget and skillset it would be nearly impossible to wrangle them all together in one spot. This article from Shopify, “17 Best Online Photo Editor Software and Apps (Free and Paid)”, covers a few of them.

Photography Studio Lighting and Equipment

Small Product Photography and Artwork

Take a look at Amazon and see what they offer. I have a couple listed below to get you started.

Larger Product and Artwork

I would suggest calling or going to a camera store like Glazers in Seattle, WA or Kenmore Camera in Kenmore, WA that sells photography equipment and have a discussion of what your needs are. I like looking at a physical product before I buy it, as well as getting pros and cons, and feedback about alternative solutions.

Additional Resources

  • Bellevue Fine Art – Fine art scanning and printing for artists and fine art photographers in the Seattle area.

Please leave constructive comments about this article and the information I provided.

Cheers and happy shooting!

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