Mastering the Art of Capturing Your Art: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to presenting your artwork for online sale, the importance of high-quality photos cannot be overstated. Your goal is to showcase your masterpiece in its truest and most captivating form. After dedicating your time and effort to creating your art, you wouldn’t want to falter at the final step. Fear not, as we provide you with valuable tips that will have you photographing like a seasoned professional in no time.

Let There Be Light: Illuminating Your Photos


Listen closely, for lighting is the pivotal factor in capturing stunning photos of your artwork. Editing can only do so much to salvage poorly lit images, so it’s crucial to ensure that your initial photo is bathed in ample, high-quality light.


To achieve a beautifully lit photo of your painting, it’s essential to avoid direct light reflections. These reflections result in distracting hot spots or glaring white patches that draw the viewer’s attention away from the artwork itself. Seek out areas with evenly diffused light, such as patches of gentle shade or soft window light. If you find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to explore various spots within your home or even venture outside.


Should the search for evenly lit spaces prove futile, you can experiment with setting up lamps as an alternative. When using lamps, direct their light towards a sheet of white paper positioned in front of the painting. This technique diffuses the light and produces a softer reflection. Keep in mind that household lamps typically emit warm tones, so unless you make a few adjustments (as explained in the “white balance” section below), they may cast a yellowish hue onto your artwork.


Focus and Clarity: Bringing Your Art to Life


Ensure that your image is sharply focused, allowing every intricate detail of your artwork to shine through. Most cameras feature autofocus capabilities, simplifying the task of achieving precise focus.


White Balance: True Colors Unleashed


When using household lamps to illuminate your artwork, a custom white balance can come to the rescue by eliminating the yellowish cast they may impart. Although the white balance setting is typically left on “auto,” you have the option to switch it to “custom” to adapt to your surroundings. This ensures that the colors in your photos remain faithful when you upload them.


To achieve a custom white balance, take a photo of a pure white piece of paper in the same setting where you’ll be photographing your artwork. Access your camera settings, locate the custom white balance option, and select the photo you just captured of the paper. By doing this, your camera will establish the color of the paper as its reference for pure white and adjust the other colors accordingly. Investing this extra effort guarantees that any yellowish lights, like those emitted by lamps, won’t compromise the meticulously crafted colors in your artwork. Be mindful of the background’s color as well, as vibrant surroundings can influence the perceived colors. Neutral shades, particularly white, serve as the ideal backdrop for your art.


Composition: Focusing on the Essence


Crop the background out of your photos either during the capturing process or in a simple editing program before uploading. While your house may possess its charm, we want the spotlight solely on your art. Capturing great shots can be more challenging with a phone, but if that’s your tool of choice, avoid using digital zoom as it can degrade the image quality. Instead, take a few steps closer or farther away until the composition feels right.


To minimise shadows, ensure that your artwork is positioned as straight as possible, without leaning against the wall at an angle.


Required Photos for Each Auction Lot


Artbid requires that you upload three photos of each artwork that you are selling. Details of the three shots are listed below.

1. Hero Shot

1. Hero Shot

Capture a crystal-clear, high-resolution photograph solely focusing on your artwork.

2. Art in Context

2. Art in Context

Artbid offers a selection of stock images here to serve as backgrounds for integrating your artwork. This in situ shot serves the purpose of providing scale and context to the artwork. For a natural and authentic placement, consider adding shading and shadows to enhance the overall effect. Feel free to crop or edit the stock image of your choice so that it suits your artwork.

3. Detailed Close-Up

3. Detailed Close-Up

Capture a close-up photograph of your artwork, whether taken head-on or from an angle. The objective of this shot is to offer viewers a more intimate view of the artwork, highlighting its textural quality and a faithful representation of colours.