135 Getting a professional photo

The thicker the paint the harder it is to get a good photograph in the studio,

especially if the paintings are large. Shown here is a professional shot of my oil painting Between Earth and Sky, 30″ x 40″ (click image to see detail). In the new photograph you can see better hue shifts as well as more visible texture.

It is expensive to get professional photos but in some cases it is the only way to accurately communicate the depth of your work. Fellow painter Robert Britton suggested I get a light tent which I did until I realized it would take up too much of my studio.

I find that the smaller paintings are easier to photograph despite thick texture. Until I expand my studio I will use the services of a professional photographer for my large abstract paintings. Note that 90% of the photos in my book (see below) I shot in my studio with conventional studio lighting.

Another great tool I use to get great shots both for still photography as well as video is the StudioBoom–a boom that conveniently holds the camera in any position I need. Many have asked how I get the camera so close to the painting without interfering with the painting process and this boom is key. I will often film with the camera hanging upside down on the boom and reorient the footage in iMovie. With the StudioBoom I can easily take an oblique photo of a heavily textured painting–to avoid glare–and square up the resulting photo with the Photoshop Perspective Crop tool.

Brad Teare September 2013

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Updated: 20th June 2024
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