Written materials are key to helping you attract people to your work and connect with it, hopefully leading to more sales. But having high quality images of your work for your potential clients is of course of the utmost importance. They have to see the image to consider purchasing it, let alone falling in love with it. It is imperative that you have high quality images of your work for your website, marketing materials, and to send clients and exhibition organizers.
I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to digital artwork images. Blurry images are the worst since they disregard all of the detail. Miscolored images show that the artist did not take the time to quality check the images, and they deceive the viewer because it is not truthful in appearance. The same goes for badly cropped, or uncropped images. Pixelated images on a website are not going to make a potential client purchase the work… So here are a few pointers to ensure you have what you need to make great images of your work.
- Use a digital camera with at least 10 megapixels to photograph your work, this will provide more clarity and detail.
- If you do not have a lighting system that evenly distributes illumination on the work, take your photographs in natural light – in the shade on a bright day or when it is overcast is perfect.
- Use a tripod to ensure no camera shake that causes blur.
- Crop your images to the edges of the work for square 2 dimensional pieces; if the work is not square crop a square around it with equal gaps around the edges closest to the frame of the image.
- 3 dimensional pieces can be photographed on a plain stand with a neutral color, white, or black background. Use a color that the work will stand out against.
- Color correct and level correct with a post production program! Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. will make a big difference.
- Quality check each image to ensure clarity and no blur.
- If it is not right retake it!
- Most cameras capture images at high dimensions, resize you images to 8 inches at the longest side and 300 dpi – this size is good for print materials
- Resize and save a copy at 72 dpi – useful for sending in emails to press, galleries, and clients.
- Resize and save a copy at 6 inches and 120 dpi – this should be your web size for posting on your website. Still decent clarity but not great for printing. This keeps anyone from stealing the image for any useful purposes. You may even want to add a watermark or copyright to the photo.
- Create folders for each size and title the images with your last name, title, and dpi for greater organization.
If you are not comfortable with your photography skills or do not have the tools needed, camera, lighting, photoshop, etc. it is in your best interest to hire a professional. In the long run the cost will far outweigh the loss of sales due to bad images. I offer full service image capture and post production for $65 per hour, including post-production.