How to photograph artwork

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How to photograph artwork

February 05, 2019

How to photograph artwork

Once you’re created your masterpiece, there’s a good chance you’ll want to celebrate it with photographs! However, this will present many challenges of its own.

We have a perfect guide here on exactly how to photograph your artwork.

Consider the material used

Canvas is great to photograph, however any work on loose paper will need to be hung or leant against a wall.


Choose a location with soft, bright lighting to capture your painting. Harsh, direct light will create reflections, shadows or even change the colouring of your painting. Preferably, use natural lighting through a large window. If you want to shoot outdoors, pick a day where the weather is overcast to avoid direct sunlight.

Camera settings

Consider the ISO setting on your camera. It should to be set to either 100 or 200, depending on the camera model.

Clean the lens of your camera with a microfibre cloth.

Make sure flash is turned off.

Adjust the white balance in your image to match the amount that your eyes see. Try  using a preset - ie daylight- and turn the lights off in your room.

Setting up

It’s best to use a tripod when taking your photos to stop the camera from moving during exposure. If this isn’t an option for you, a flat, level surface will work just as well, such as a box.

Make sure your work is parallel with the lens of the camera. Tilt your camera to match the angle of your work (a tripod is best for this). Position your camera vertically or horizontally to match your painting.


You want your work to stand out, right? Use a clean, simple background to display your art for photographs, such as a white or brick wall.

Keep the space around the edges of your work minimal in the camera display. This will improve the resolution.

Taking the photo

Use a self timer to make sure that your camera stays perfectly still.

Zoom in a small amount to make sure a sharp photo is taken.

Try setting your camera’s aperture to F8.

Check your image

If the image you’ve just taken is too dark or too bright,use the exposure feature in your camera to correct it before thinking of taking another photo.