As a creator, you will need to take photos of yourself and your art. This isn’t the nice professionally documented images of your art that you submit to art exhibitions or print in magazines. These kind of photos are process images, work in progress pics, studio shots, selfies, and other creative candids.
What to use these photos for: These types of images show the real side of what you do and are great for a variety of art related purposes:
- press releases and publicity
- artist biography images
- Instagram and other social networking content
- art website
- other promotional images
You can oftentimes take these shots on your own, or have a friend come to your studio and take a few photos of you. Here are 10 tips to help capture the best images.
1. Technology Requirements: You don’t need a fancy DSL camera. Camera phones are nice enough to take pictures and can give the most amateur photographer some nice images to work with. Be sure to use the photo taking feature on your phone rather than using an app to take the photo. This will give you the best quality and biggest size image.
2. Watch the Light: Make sure you are not positioning you or your subject in front of a light source. This will create back-lighting and will cause your face or the subject to be shadowed. You can always use a piece of white foam core to help bounce some light towards the subject of the image if you need to adjust the lighting. Using natural light is always better than artificial light (which can often give a yellow hue).
3. Take lots of photos: Take 10-20 shots of the same image from slightly different heights and angles. Some photos will be blurry, look off balance, or won’t capture the subject right. The more photos you take more likely you will nail the shot and get a good image.
4. Portraits and Posing: If you are being photographed, keep moving between the shutter clicks of the camera. Slight changes to your positions, smiles (with and without teeth), and looking in a variety of directions can give you very different looks to the images. Also considering a few outfit changes too.
5. Choosing Subjects: When planning out your content think about photos that cover all aspects of your creative career: progress shots, studio spaces, close ups, overviews, you in your space, etc. When taking photos, work with whats already in the space and play around. You may want to leave your studio and go outside or try putting some materials on your face for a playful messy portrait.
6. Plan Ahead: If you are having a friend come click a few photos of you in your space, plan ahead. Know how you want to have a few pictures taken and a few angles so they can capture the image that you are envisioning. Clean up and stage before hand so your “photographer” doesn’t have to wait for you to clean up and set up.
7. Tell a Story: Show whats unique about you, your creative practice, and your space. Use your collections, tools and other possessions to help tell your personal story in your images. Be sure to document the real version of you.
8. Look at the Details: Clean up the area and stage the space a bit so you can get a good shot. Tuck the extension cords, move the chair that’s in the way and place something into the shot that adds a nice element of personalization. Its okay to move the space around, merchandise and compose the image.
9. Relax: Being relaxed and having a bit of fun will definitely come off in your images. Play some tunes or maybe uncork a bottle of wine. A slightly opened mouth, and slightly bent legs and knees can make you look more relaxed if you are stiff in photos. Candid photos and outtakes can also be fun to share too.
10. Editing: Don’t think you need Photoshop or Lightroom to adjust your images. You can do most of the necessary editing on a simple photo program already uploaded on your basic computer or the editing software on your phone. You can also do editing through some apps. Don’t forget, filters on Instagram can adjust your social media images too.