How to Photograph a Painting: Indoor Photography Guide
1. Prepare your art. You must photograph the painting without the frame, matting and glass.
2. Position the painting on a wall.
Note: Another option is to set your art on an easel, as upright as possible. Lean the color guide, if available, along the edge of the artwork. Tilt the camera to match the tilt of the easel.
Tip: For a large painting, place the long edge along the leveled tape or line, or tilt the camera.
3. Set up your lights. Position two 500-watt floodlights on either side of the artwork.
4. Select the camera settings.
5. Mount the camera on a tripod and place it in front of the artwork.
Note: Only tilt the camera if the artwork is tilted, such as on an easel.
6. Adjust the floodlights. Estimate the distance from the camera to the artwork, then:
7. Check the lighting.
8. Take three shots of your artwork. Make sure the art is aligned in the viewfinder. Use a timer or cable release to press the shutter, for best results.
Note: These three shots provide light, middle and dark versions of the image. F8 is often best.
9. Edit your image. Use photo editing software to resize, align and perfect your best image. There are several editors to choose from, but a few suggestions are:
Here is one method to photograph your pastel artwork. You may find other guides on the Web that you prefer.