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How To Photograph Art To Sell

There are thousands of art lovers looking at art online every day. The art shared on social media and purchased by art enthusiasts is often not the best work online, it is mostly the art that has the best-quality images. The critical thing to remember is that people can not see your art in person. They judge the quality of the work you create by the image you are posting online.

The image you display on your website or social media will determine if a person will purchase from you or not.


So many artists struggle when it comes to photographing their artwork.

Artists spend many hours on the delicate details of a painting or drawing, and when it comes time to create an image to share online, they become impatient and frustrated.
Some artists do not have the extra funds to invest in professional gear or do not know what they should be looking for when it comes to purchasing photography equipment.

Using a smartphone to take images is something many artists do to promote their artwork on social media sites. It is quick, easy, and the quality of mobile device images has come a long way.

But are the images taken from a smartphone good enough?

Will the images represent the artwork accurately?

Luckily for us, the answer to this is yes. The camera quality on the newer iPhones is exceptional. The most important thing to remember is to get the image to look as close to the original artwork as possible, so it is an accurate representation. If you know what you are doing, then this is easily achievable.

Convincing potential buyers they can trust images of artwork from their computer or mobile device can be challenging. Low-quality images will not only lower the chance of landing a sale, but they could also damage an artist’s reputation.

Ask yourself the following questions before you post:

  • Does the image accurately represent the original art?
  • Are the colours accurate? (All computer monitors will display colours differently. The colours of your images must be 100% accurate (or as close) to the originals.)
  • Is the lighting correct?
  • Is the white balance correct?
  • Is the image cropped and aligned correctly?
  • Is the surface straight on with the image, or has the picture been taken at an angle?The proportions of your art will be distorted if the photo is taken at an angle.
  • Is the image free of glares or reflections?
  • If displayed in a digital interior, is the artwork to scale?

Unless you can answer yes to each of these questions, hold off on posting your art for sale.



  • In a room with controlled lighting, mount your painting on a wall or easel facing a window or source of natural light.
  • Make sure the painting is level.
  • Position your camera or phone five feet away on a tripod.
  • Position the camera so that the plane is parallel with your art.
  • Aim directly at the centre of the painting.
  • Adjust the white balance and exposure accordingly.
  • Take a few shots with the flash turned off.
    Upload images to Instasize, crop and adjust the contrast and brightness accordingly.
  • For 3D art such as sculpture and ceramics, you can use a white box to create a neutral background or take pictures outside in natural light. 


The quality of your images will be a key factor in whether you make a sale or not. Become your biggest critic when you are photographing artwork for your online shop or gallery. Don’t settle and only publish high-quality images.



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