December 2, 2023

Quick (and easy) tips for photographing your artwork

3 min read
Quick (and easy) tips for photographing your artwork

artist tips

Quick (and easy) tips for photographing your artwork

For our next artist tip (alternatively, this series could be titled “ So you made a painting. What now?), let’s briefly dive into the world of photography. A key part of selling artwork online is capturing it at its best. You want to make your work shine, but you’re not necessarily an expert in lighting and editing. We get it.

Capturing your artwork doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t need expensive software or tons of equipment to help you. We’ll go through the basic elements of taking a flattering photo of your work, as well as a few specifics we need for Saatchi Art photo uploads. For everyone else: jump all the way down for a helpful video that sums it all up.


Perhaps the hardest part is making sure the lighting is right. The color of the room, the temperature, and the use of flash can skew the color balance, resulting in blues, yellows, and grays that should actually be closer to white.

Natural light is your friend. A cloudy or overcast day in particular can produce great results as clouds act like a giant softbox.

Tommy Ingberg edits in his studio. Image: canvas


Make sure your camera is recording at the highest quality settings and set the ISO between 100 and 200 to avoid excessive noise. If you don’t have a compact camera or other higher-end option, your cellphone may do the trick. The iPhone offers a lot app which give you a wide range of editing options. Adjusting the color, brightness, or contrast can help your image more closely resemble the actual artwork. But don’t overdo it – files that have been heavily post-processed and add to the confusion as to the medium or quality of the artwork are not only a strain on the eyes, but can also be disabled.

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Avoid blurry photos by using a tripod or a makeshift tripod by simply placing the camera on a stable surface. Tip: You have a much better chance of avoiding blur and camera shake if you lock down the lights.

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Create a makeshift tripod by placing your camera on a stable surface

A note about signatures: while it’s important to show ownership of the creation, digital watermarks or in-camera-captured dates and times make your work seem less valuable. Instead, make sure the work is signed and upload a detailed photograph of it via our Function for multiple images.

composition and size

This part is relatively easy (hint). A few points to keep in mind:

  • Capture the art parallel to the camera lens
  • Crop excess white space, image edges, mats, and padding. This creates a clear and focused image without any distracting background
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All the intricate details and colors of Marcela Montemayor’s hyper-realistic painting is preserved with dense trimming.

As a handy reminder, here are our file details to keep in mind when uploading to Saatchi Art

  • A JPEG file in RGB color format (not CMYK)
  • At least 1200 pixels x 1500 pixels
  • Less than 50MB

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