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Art Journal Every Day: My Three Best Tips

You're Only As Good As Your Pictures

I have LOVED reading the thoughtful comments on my "Some Thoughts on Blogging" post.  Thank you!  And as I mentioned in that post, here are some thoughts on crafty photography.

One of the hard truths about this internet age is that you're only as good as your photographs.  If your blog or website is your calling card, then most people will only ever see the photographed version of your artwork.  I am always studying how other artists I admire photograph their art.  It's hard to do it well.  I struggle with it constantly.  And it's especially hard to do it well on a schedule.  I ran into this recently with the pair of earrings from yesterday's post.

I try to take most of my photos outside on the theory that natural light makes a huge difference.  It's only recently that I've even had an apartment with a balcony that made this possible.  And luckily my balcony has some nice backgrounds (brick wall, white shutters, red clay, etc.) for shooting.  However it has been raining for three days now and there's no way to go outside and photograph.  So I set up some lights (OTT lights do a great job) and some pretty paper backgrounds. 

My first attempt:

I like the vintage look, but you can hardly see the earrings.

Better, but the yellow and blue is not great and I don't think the earrings pop.

Again, I'm digging the vintage feel, but I think that all I see is that striped paper.

Ew!  Ew!  Ew!  Hate it!  I feel like I need something dark so that that big square base disappears.

Black is a great choice!  Though the brocade-ish paper seems to dominate a little too much.  It feels sort of old-ladyish and that makes the earrings feel stuffy.

I like the printed paper in the back, but the props are just not working.

Yep, the props are just not working.

Ah, that's it.  All you really notice is the earrings.

I think that the purpose of any photograph of your art is to show it off.  In this final picture your eye immediately goes to the earrings.  There are no distractions.  The stand fades away.  And the vintage newsprint style patterned paper in the background - subtly - makes it feel a little bit vintage, while the brocade style paper on the bottom matches the feeling of the lace components of the earring.  But neither paper pulls focus.  You simply see the earrings and they look delicate and lovely and ready-to-wear.  Perfect.

So, what do you think?  Do have any tips or tricks for taking gorgeous photographs of your artwork?  Or are there bloggers whose photography of their art is just amazing?  Link me up!  I'd love to see it all!

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. Check out these cute (well she looks cute, I look silly) photos of me and Kelly eating ramen.  Here