By Vanessa Norris
If you want your work to be seen by those other than your studio mates and your cat, photo documentation is a crucial part of the process. The images you use matter! Photograph quality can make or break a sale if you sell through an online platform or simply post images on your social media account(s). You spent a great deal of time and effort making your work; put as much love into the photographs as you did to make the object itself.
Light is extremely important. If you don’t have enough natural light, you will likely need a pricey lighting setup and/or camera. A phone might work perfectly fine at noon on a sunny day, but as soon as evening rolls around, photographs will start to look grainy and the white balance will be off due to unnatural light sources. You can absolutely take great photos on a smartphone, but you need to know the limitations of your camera and plan accordingly.
When taking lifestyle shots, the background is just as important as the foreground. Eliminate clutter! Move things that could be distracting. Anything too bright, too dark, or too colorful will stand out and take away from the focal point--your work. Minimalism is generally key when taking lifestyle and documentation shots. Once everything is in place and you’re ready to shoot, take a ton of photographs--many more than you think you’ll need. Sometimes I will take three hundred shots and only end up using twenty. Vary the angles and switch up the position of your work. You might even want to photograph in several different locations and/or times of day. Think about where your work will live in someone’s home and how/if it will be used. Show off the details of your piece that you love and want others to see!