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What's the Right Way? Does a Right Way Even Exist?

This question has vexed many of us. Keep lowering your prices until something sells? Use the price per square or cubic inch of works in a high end gallery?  Ehhh, maybe not?
We've come across something that we think will do just that. It's not easy, there is a bit to read and it does require you to honestly assess your own abilities and capabilities. Here's the scoop:

Alyson Stanfield has been engaged in art business and career consulting since 2002.  Her blog,  ArtBizSuccess is well worth checking out as it contains lots of helpful art related tips and stories.  The following one really caught our eyes and we recommend that all our artists give it a good look.  Her article on pricing artwork walks you through the process and includes 9 pricing factors, 3 methods for pricing art, and 2 golden rules.  We've emphasized the latter, as we believe that many beginning artists may not be aware of them.

Download The ArtBiz Success ART PRICING GUIDE

P.S.  Some of you are going to read parts of it and right away say Yeah but,  . . . . . because you're situation is different.  Tippy's response to Yeah buts is:" "But indeed - think little artist!  Do potential customers really care about that?  Whoo- Whoo-Whoo!"  (Sorry about this - Tippy sometimes does tend to overdo the drill sergeant thing.)





We all want to show our artwork as optimally as possible.  Extraneous background detracts from the artwork.  2D artwork (such as paintings. drawings and photographs) that are distorted by images taken at an angle don't have that professional look.  Any image that shows reflections from windows or lighting detracts from the impact of the artwork.  Below are a few hints for how to make better images of your artwork.          



We have a new initiative which includes our exhibiting artists' assistance in providing images for our website's Artwork Portfolios.  To assist those without a lot of experience in doing this, we are including below a number of videos and tutorials which may be helpful.  


Most of them include ads.  There is usually a way to skip them, so look around each one a bit.  While we have not run into problems while accessing them, several layers of protective software were active while doing so.  If you access them, make sure your computer has anti-virus, and other protective software and that it is active.   Please note, we cannot endorse them as there was very limited review time and there may well be better examples available.   


The specifications for this are still being developed.  Small images as shown to the right don't require a lot, however, each of those images can be viewed at a much larger size.  In addition, some images may be used for other media where the requirements are greater.  These specs will be included here as soon as a reasonable set has been worked out.   


Latter this spring we will be giving a short class on this.  It is currently under development and will be included on our website's Calendar when available.


A light box or tent provides a means of controlling light sources when photographing objects.  It is mostly used with small to medium sized 3-dimensional shapes and allows control of the direction and contrast provided by the light source(s) and shadows produced by them.  This lets the photographer choose the most optimal lighting conditions for making images of each subject.  Light boxes are available commercially, but can also be made at home.  Below are a few website instructions/videos that provide guidance for doing so.  These vary from plain to fancy and fit a wide range of needs. 

How To Build A Light Box For Less Than $10

DIY Lightbox Tutorial

DIY Portable Folding Lightbox  

Easy & Cheap Photo Lightbox DIY Tutorial

DIY Product Photos - Easy, Cheap & Good-Looking - This contains good examples of different lighting affects.


You  may want to view the jewelry ones for the lighting and subject setups  used.  While the examples are targeted at pro-level photography (and  cameras), they contain helpful ideas for producing better jewelry  images, even when using less capable cameras and regular (instead of  macro) lenses.  

Two others address other types of products, are more home-use centered

with  a lessor technical level.  Again, the lighting and subject setups may  be useful regardless off the level of photography needed.

Some  also utilize high end expensive software to provide an optimum image  for commercial level photography, which may be way beyond your needs.  A  free, lesser alternative is available under the Photo Software  Alternative section.    

Jewelry photography Tutorial

Ring Jewelry Photography Tutorial

A Non-Photographers Guide To Photographing Sculpture

How to Photograph Products - Etsy Product Photography

DIY Turntable for 360 Product Shooting

Product Photography w/Inexpensive commercial lightbox & turntable 


While getting the best image possible in the camera is the goal, that may not always be possible,  due to camera or lighting  limitations.  There is software available to help correct those situations.   The best known are those such as Adobe Photoshop (and Lightroom).  Both are now available using only a subscription fee and involve a significant learning curve.  Others include DxO PhotoLab,  Luminar,  Capture One, etc.  However there are a number of free software packages available (just search for best free software for photos).

Two of the most typical challenges faced for less experienced camera users are distorted images and unwanted reflections.  For those unfamiliar with photo editing software an additional challenge is learning how to use it.  The latter can be significantly shortened by using on-line tutorials/videos that address only these specific tools needed, if available.  Those are commonly referred to as Distortion and Clone (or Clone Stamp) Tools.  To test availability, we looked for them in one piece of free software called GIMP, which is open source software (available for download from https://www.gimp.org ).   The tutorials below are some of what we found.  Note that these tools work much the same way in some other software, only being in different locations (or possibly having a different name).  So what can be learned from them may be appropriate elsewhere.    

Distort  & Free Transform in GIMP Free Photo Editing Software (online tutorial)

How to Use GIMP Clone Tool

GIMP 2.8 Clone Tool

GIMP Clone Tool Tutorial