5 Simple Tips to take great Photos of your Artwork

In today’s digital world showcasing artwork online is important for most artists. If you find yourself thinking that your artwork looks better in person than its pictures, then let’s try to do something to change it.

It takes a lot of time to create art. Capturing this art in its true form is important if your audience and future buyers don’t have the option of being physically present to see your work and its details. 

Good photos help to show your work better

Learning to take good photographs of your artwork is helpful. Unless you can hire a professional photographer for taking your art pictures.

Nowadays most smartphones have good cameras, making it easy to take good photos. Once you understand the basics, you will be surprised to know that taking nice pictures is not as difficult as you think.

Fresh or Dried Flowers as a photo prop

I am no expert at taking pictures of artwork, but I have made many mistakes in the last 2 years and learned a great deal about art photography.

 Even now, I understand/fix details with every single picture, but I feel that I can showcase my work decently through pictures. Hence I feel confident enough to write this article for beginners.

I take all my photos from a regular phone camera in a home setup, so all my tips are more relevant to phone photography. 

Stationary as a photo prop

Disclaimer – Please note, these tips are based on my personal experience as an artist trying to take pictures of my artwork. Photography is not my profession. I  case of conflict or difference of opinion, I request you to prioritise the advice of a professional photographer over my suggestion.  

If you also struggle with taking art photos, then I hope that the things I learned can help you as well:

1) Correct light for art photos

The single most important factor in photos is light. Taking photos of artwork in natural light gives spectacular results.

Use daylight and avoid taking photos indoors in artificial light. Pictures of indoor light lead to a lot of unwanted shadows and dark patches.

Try to avoid poor light. Good light brings out all the details of your artwork.  One thing to note, natural light doesn’t mean direct sunlight. The direct sun casts a lot of harsh shadows.

Hence pick a spot outdoors, balcony, garden, or even near your window where there is no direct sunlight. If you are near a window or door, be mindful of the shadows.

2) How to take art photos

  •   Put the focus on artwork*

It is taking me so long to learn this one, along with the harsh lighting principle. I select the “show grid” option from camera settings and make sure that I place my artwork near the grid centre. 

Do read about the “rule of the third”  if you feel your art is not the centre of attention when one looks at your photos.

*Disclaimer – Please do your own research about the placement of the main subject. I am still learning about this hence I am not sharing more about the “Rule of thirds “.

  • Background for art photos

Initially, I would take photos on any surface (dark wood flooring, tiles), but it might mute work details.

Now, most of my photos are taken on white chart paper. You can use any light-coloured background, bed sheet, fur piece, thermocol sheet, brown paper, etc.

I have taken photos on green grass, too, but I find it overpowering for artwork. You can try and see how you like it.

  • Using props for art pictures

Personally, I love props. I almost overdo them. You can use home decor items, dried or fresh flowers, greenery, art supplies, etc. Absolutely anything will work.

I also believe they aren’t necessary. It is totally up to you.

4) How to Improve at art photography

  • Camera angles and art details

I put my work horizontally, parallel to the surface and mostly take overhead shots. 

In a lot of my photos, the paper looked distorted because of the lens. Adjusting the camera angle and keep it parallel to the artwork. This will avoid any unwanted distortions.

I don’t know how to use the background to my advantage; hence, I avoid them. See what kind of photography angles you like and try different tips for your photos till you get what you want.

Depending on the kind of artwork different photography angles can capture a lot of details. This will help you show the artwork in a better way.

  •  Take help of available resources

A perfect place to learn is from seeing photos of artwork. You can use Instagram, Google images, or Pinterest for this. There are some YouTube videos as well that are very helpful. 

I have mentioned few helpful articles at the end of this blog. 

Note – Search websites like Unsplash or freepik for mockups, and you will get an idea of how to use /place artwork for a photo.

3)How to Efficiently take artwork photos

  • Take art photos in one sitting

Initially, I wasted a lot of time setting up the area and taking only one photo at a time. Now I shoot 5-6 artworks together. For photos taken at the same time, even basic editing is similar and saves you more time.

 I used to take 5-6 photos of each piece. Now I get the desired frame in 1-2 clicks. You can even switch props and photograph multiple artworks in 1 sitting. This saves a reasonable amount of time. 

Shoot multiple artworks in one sitting


  • Click & Check your art pictures

Earlier I used to check photos after wrapping up the photo shoot. Often I didn’t get the desired shot. My only option was to repeat the redo the full setup to get the right pictures. This wastes time; hence it’s best to take a minute, go in a shaded spot or indoors and check your photos before removing the setup. This gives you the bandwidth to correct your mistakes.

  •  Unwanted tint in art photos

I can’t count the number of times my t-shirt colour gives my photos a weird tint because my shadow fell on my artwork. Use tip numbers 1 &3 to avoid this. 

Check photos for TINT (Unedited photo)

5) How to edit Artwork Photos

Some free tools are Adobe Lightroom (free trial), Snapseed, etc., for editing photos. Most of the time, the camera doesn’t capture the true colours of an artwork. 

Editing tools help you to bring out details. You will get better at editing with time. There are a lot of tutorials on Youtube discussing how to use editing tools. You can learn from the video tutorials for a better understanding of the app.   

I, for one, really like Snapseed. Before that, for three years, I used the Lightroom trial version.

Basic editing of a picture

Artwork picture editing tip –

I edit the photo keeping in my mind how it looks in person. I try to keep it natural and avoid changing the real colours.

 Basic editing like adjusting the brightness, contrast and highlights works in most cases. 

Greenery as a prop for art photos

Hurray !! We have managed to cover a lot of basics with this article. Time to write the last 100 words. 

I like pretty pictures, and that’s why I wanted to improve photographs of my artwork. I feel happy about the progress I have made, and I hope to keep getting better.

These beginner-friendly tips have almost everything I learned in 2 years on taking pictures of artwork without a professional setup.

Learning about basic photography might seem irrelevant for an artist. But it matters for showcasing your artwork to the world. Good pictures do justice to beautiful art. 

Wrapping up, I hope you like these pictures I have taken during 2020-2021. I hope you find these tips helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Disclaimer – Please note, these tips are based on my personal experience as an artist trying to take pictures of my artwork. Photography is not my profession. I  case of conflict or difference of opinion, I request you to prioritise the advice of a professional photographer over my suggestion. 

If you like the article, please do share it on your social media with some wonderful  cover images I have made just for you :


Helpful Articles by other authors – 





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