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As a visual artist, one of your biggest challenges is to convey your feelings and artistic intentions to a diverse audience. And, as if doing that isn’t difficult enough, you now are basically required to digitize your work to share your vision on the internet. Often times, this is where artists get into trouble.

Below you’ll find a big roundup of essential tips and guides for photographing your art, because even though cameras are as ubiquitous as unmatched socks, artists can still have trouble representing their work in its full glory. This is especially important if you’re selling digital art online. This list is organized by topic, and has resources for beginners and pros alike. With that, let’s get going!

Photographing your art is easy

Getting started

These helpful guides walk you through the initial setup of your shooting space, lighting, and artwork, and some even take you through to the final editing process.

Choose the right camera to photograph your art

The camera

Do you need an expensive camera to get professional-quality results? Can you use your phone’s camera? Check out the links below for recommendations.

  • Do more Megapixels mean better photo quality?

    • Good article explaining why more pixels don’t necessarily mean higher quality. – via Digital Photo Secrets
  • Best point-and-shoot cameras

    • Ranging from expensive to affordable, here’s a continually-updating list of the current best point-and-shoot digital cameras, according to Digital Trends. – via Digital Trends
  • Best digital cameras

    • A summary of well-reviewed digital cameras, from inexpensive to top-of-the-line. – via PCMag
  • Best digital cameras (part II)

    • Another roundup of digital camera reviews. – via Photography Blog
  • Phone camera comparisons

    • In-depth, visual comparison of actual photos taken with camera phones, including how they perform under various conditions. Don’t miss the page navigation below the article and above the comments, since there’s a ton to see here. – via Phone Arena
  • Resolution chart for printing

    • A simple chart to quickly let you know if your camera’s resolution can produce high-quality prints. – via B&H Photo

Lighting can make or break a photo

The lighting

Soft and even lighting is probably the most important aspect of a good art photograph.

  • Lighting matters

    • In-depth discussion (with audio) of different types of lighting setups and the results they produce. – via Photo Matters
  • Play this video DIY light tent

    • Soften your light with a light tent. Useful for small paintings or sculptures. – via Pam Sparks
  • Play this video DIY softbox

    • Soften your light with a soft box, on a budget. – via MediaFi
  • Play this video DIY softbox #2

    • A more in-depth, but versatile, DIY softbox. – via Auston Wilson

Avoid digital noise

Digital noise and artifacting

Noise and other sensor-related issues often plague digital photographers. The best option is to start with a high quality set up, but if you absolutely can’t take the photo over, these tools may help you correct some moderate quality issues.

  • Avoiding noise in your digital photography

    • What digital noise is, and how to avoid it. – via wikiHow
  • Play this video Remove noise using GIMP

    • If you haven’t heard of GIMP, it’s an amazingly powerful, albeit complicated, image editor. Best of all, it’s free. This tutorial demonstrates the Wavelet Denoise plugin. If you’re looking for a simpler solution, see the next link. – via Pixovert
  • Best noise reduction software

    • Reviews of popular noise reduction software (including one free tool) – via

Best free photo editors

The best simple and free photo editors

Hopefully by this point in the list your photos are almost perfect straight out of the camera. You still need to crop, tinker, and adjust things, though, which is where these links will come in handy.

In conclusion

Even though this list of art photography resources is a bit massive, hopefully you’ve seen that, in general, you only need a few things to get good photographs of your art:

  • A decent camera
  • Good lighting
  • Minor editing skills

We’re fortunate to have all of these resources available to us, so we can get professional quality photographs of our most deserving artwork, all while not breaking the bank.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it. Also, if you’ve learned something and have taken some high quality photographs of your work, you might want to consider selling it digitally via Foundmyself.