Chapter 16: Shooting My Artwork by Judy Vienneau
Photographing my artwork has always been a challenge. Since ALL exhibition opportunities require the submission of photos of the work, it is essential to get decent images. Some of us artists that have been around for a while remember the days of SLIDES…at least we have digital photography now and don’t have to go through the expense and hassle of film processing to slide format.
My work in particular is difficult to photograph because my wire sculpture tends to look like a line drawing when it is reproduced in a flat, 2-D format. I try to get some shadowing with the lighting, but at the same time, I need to make sure the entire piece is properly lit and there is not too much shadowing, which competes with the actual wire (argh). I did invest in some professional photography lights which help, and I have a decent digital camera with a good lens that can be set for wide angle for large works. Also, I have found if I use the bounce lighting technique, where the light is bounced off of a white surface, that tends to help with any glaring hotspot issues. I also have rolls of seamless photo paper for photographing 3-D pieces.
Ultimately, I do have to take several views of each piece so that the dimensionality is somewhat evident. This continues to be a constant challenge, and I have to make sure to allow enough time for this when I am facing a submission deadline. In the business of art, the artist needs to not only to create the work, he/she has to photograph it, write about it, market it, sell it, and sometimes ship it. Every artist needs a staff!