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How can I properly take a picture of the main image of my artwork?

The quality of your artwork's main image is paramount to getting it approved by our review team and most importantly to ensuring that potential buyers get a representative view of your artwork.

Here are the requirements to consider for your main image to be approved:

Take a photo of your artwork in its entirety.
Take a straight, front view picture of your artwork, without angles.
Have a minimum resolution of 800 pixels (7.790174 Inch) on the widest side of your artwork.
Avoid overexposure to light (flash or intense sunlight).
Avoid any shading or reflection.
Frame and crop your image properly (no visible background or context).

Note 1: You can use our cropping tool when uploading your main images.

Note 2: Your images will be used to create custom contextual images. (add link for contextual image)

Here are some tips on how to successfully meet the requirements listed above.

This guide is intended for artists who are not photographers. We want to help you take the best possible photos according to our requirements, at home, in your studio, with your phone, your tablet or your digital camera.

Here are some tips:

Lighting

You probably don't have the lighting of a professional photographer on hand. Therefore, here are several things to consider for successful photos.

Always take your pictures outside. Lighting inside your home or your studio will invariably produce cast shadows or reflections. It is almost impossible to eliminate them. The quality and diffusion of daylight is far better than any artificial lighting.

Note that it is even easier to take pictures on a cloudy day since bright sunlight can create reflections or cast shadows. A cloudy day will produce a neutral and diffuse light. If you can't wait for the right day and it's a very sunny day, here are the points to remember: make sure the light is even throughout the artwork, that there are no reflections and that the image is not overexposed. To avoid all of this, you will need to place the artwork in the shade and on the ground. Take the picture from above (understand that by placing the work vertically, it is likely that the top of the artwork will be much lighter than the bottom).

If you can't shoot outside, you can still use daylight by positioning yourself in a bright area near the windows. Ideally, wait for a bright day.

Place the artwork in front of a large window, the one that lets in the most light.
Turn off all artificial lights. Do not use the flash.
Move the artwork around until you find a place where the light is evenly distributed over the entire surface of the artwork, from top to bottom and from left to right.

Be patient and take several pictures with each move. You will soon see the differences from one photo to the next and be able to choose the best one.

If it is absolutely impossible to use daylight and you must use artificial light, use at least two identical lamps, and even four if possible.

Position the lamps symmetrically on each side of the artwork.
Project the light onto the artwork so that it is evenly distributed from top to bottom and from right to left. Avoid creating reflections.
Change the positioning of the lights until you find the ideal lighting.

Be patient and take several pictures with each change and choose the best one.

Cropping (set up)

Once you have found the perfect location and lighting, make sure you have enough distance to frame the work properly. Be sure to create right angles as you want to avoid any perspective effects. To do this, hold your camera perfectly parallel to the angle of the artwork.

Take several shots at different distances to ensure that you have the perfect angle and a perfectly sharp picture. You don't need to get too close in order to frame the artwork perfectly in your viewfinder: everything around the artwork (decor, wall, etc.) will be cropped out. That said, don't be too far away when taking the picture! You don't want to have to shrink the image considerably, as this will somewhat diminish its quality.

Focus

Make sure the picture is perfectly in focus. If you're using a digital camera, it's probably set to auto-focus and you won't have a problem, especially if you take a few pictures to account for the adjustments the camera makes.

If you're using a tablet or a phone, it will also have auto-focus built in, but it's not as reliable. Take a few photos, at slightly different distances, each time waiting a few seconds before taking the photo (to allow the camera to adjust).

If you're using an iPhone or an iPad, press and hold your finger on the object onscreen that needs to be in focus.

Touch-ups

It's normal to do some retouching to make your photo look like it was taken under ideal conditions. Here are the touch-ups you can do:

Crop the edges and rotate the image if necessary.
Increase or decrease the brightness.
Increase or decrease the saturation.
Increase or decrease the contrast.
Adjust the "temperature" or hue.

Please note that these adjustments should be made only to improve the resemblance of your photo to the original artwork and not to change its appearance! For example, if the whites appear blue in the photo, it is important to adjust the saturation and the contrast. As another example, if the blacks look lighter than they really are, use the contrast tool.

It's against our policies to alter the appearance of your artwork by using filters or any other digital editing tools that may distort the photo of your artwork.
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