Photographing Your Art

Clear, crisp, high quality photos are essential to your Art Doll Business.  If you can’t afford a new camera, search eBay for a pre-owned reputable brand name.  Plan to spend about $100 for a used camera.  It’s an investment in your art doll business and it’s tax-deductable. Nikon, Olympus , Canon and Sony are excellent cameras.

Pay attention to your background.  If you’re using cloth it should not be wrinkled or creased and should be free of stains and pet hair.  Do not use a “busy” pattern.  Select a simple color that complements your doll. Gray backgrounds, similar to the color of this page, are the best for photography. It shows the best color spectrum. White washes out your subject and while black is an attractive color for the web, if people are printing out photos to save for their own use, black uses a lot of printer ink so most customers would prefer a neutral color background.

Don’t use a flash!  Instead use indirect afternoon sun or create a light box by tenting a white sheet around your doll using an open frame. Place 2-3 lights behind the sheet (on each side and the top if possible) and the light will be evenly reflected around your doll.  It shouldn’t cast shadows.  There are also many photo box settings you can purchase on ebay that will work wonderfully and often come with a camera tripod , lights with several backdrops.

Use the ‘macro’ setting to photograph your dolls.  If available, use a tripod for the clearest pictures.  Take many pictures of your doll so you have a large selection to choose from. Take pictures from many angles. Collectors want to see all  of your doll. They can’t pick her up and see how she looks from all angles. Also make sure to clearly show her size. For some collectors, it’s not enough to have the size stated in your description.

Adjust the lighting and crop as needed in your photo editor. Most new cameras take large file sizes and people with slower internet connections can’t open large file photos. So re-size and color correct all your photos before loading them on the internet. An appropriate size for viewing would be 400 x 600 px at 72 dpi, no larger than 150 dpi. (or 600 px x 400 px) Here is an example of a photo 600 px x 400 px at 72 dpi, taken in natural light (no flash) with the macro setting. You can see lots of detail and the photo is a good size for the internet.

Another great resource is the ‘Guide to Digital Photography‘ by our very own President Emeritus, Deb Wood. This class began as a much requested lesson on tips and tricks to getting great photos of your artwork, but grew into so much more. It is jam packed with information about digital photography, what adjustments to make on your camera for the setting you are using as well as simple tools you can make to help you get the very best shots of your work.

View Class Info.