10 Tips for Outstanding Photos of Artwork with a Smartphone

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July 15, 2020

Do your photos of artwork turn out to look drastically different than the art you are trying to capture? I feel that every time I take a picture of artwork it seems to have a glare or look distorted. You might feel the same way and wonder what are those tips to get your interior artwork to look beautiful. I don’t take pictures of artwork every day but it’s.) almost daily that I am taking a picture to share with a friend. This can be an invite to a wedding reception or a card. We take a quick shot of a pic and send it off and sometimes it’s blurry and doesn’t send a very professional message. In this article, I will give you some useful tips to take photos of your artwork like a pro.

Mobile Photos Artwork

1. Capture your Artwork Like a Pro

Do you take artwork on your wall with a quick snap with your mobile phone and then you’re done? I bet it didn’t turn out as you expected. Was the lighting or color off? What about glare and image distortion. These are everyday problems that happen when taking photos of art on the wall. It can be hard with a DSLR but especially hard with your cell phone.

2. Take Note of Color or Texture of the Wall

The first tip is to note the color or texture of the wall. The color of the wall will impact the color displayed in the photo. The colors of the wall will reflect off the image and change the feeling. If you have a dark wall your image will look better if the image has high contrast. In monochrome rooms or rooms with gray tones, your artwork will look better if it has bright colors. If you like the traditional look, white walls to make any artwork look great. The wall texture and color can make an impact on the overall mood of the mobile photo.


You have a couple of choices of how you implement the wall into the photo. You can take the photo of the wall and environment showing the details and environment in a wide-angle. This is good if you want to show the decor or design of the room. Next, you can use the wall as more of a border around the frame. This can add an enhanced look and feel to the artwork. Lastly, you can choose to crop out the wall, either when you are taking the photo or when you are cropping the image. These pro tips will help you take better art photos with your smartphone

Taking Pics of Artwork smartphone

3. Liven up your Artwork with Natural Light

Notice the light in the room and the setting. How does the light hit the artwork? Recognize how the shadows in the room affect the look and feel of the photo. Are there reflections due to the way the light hits your artwork that make it look better? preparing to take photos of artwork with a phone notice where the window is. The light coming from a window brings indirect light. If possible, place your artwork facing the window and take a picture on your smartphone with the light being cast on your artwork. This creates defused light that will light your artwork evenly.

4. Tips to Correct a Distorted Perspective

So you have taken the photo of the artwork but something looks a little off. It’s a tiny bit distorted. This can be so frustrating, especially if you can’t get another shot. Here are a few suggestions to help you get the right angle.

5. Stand at the Same Angle as the Image

Make sure the angel of your panting is the same angle as your phone. Notice if you are standing straight on by looking straight up. What was the first thing you saw? If it is not the center of the artwork, then you are probably off just a bit. You might have to try a few times to get the right spot to take the photo.

Photos of Artwork Smartphone

6. Shoot Using the Grid

Getting the phone straight when taking a photo of artwork is hard. We often don’t need to be very precise about how exactly straight our pictures turn out. To quickly solve this problem start shooting using the grid. By adding the grid to your photos, you can tell if you have a straight photo.

7. Adjust Your Angles

Sometimes even with all your best efforts getting the image exactly doesn’t happen. I find that at art museums and public places there may be a person at the best spot. So, you have to just take the shot. After you get the image then you can edit it in an app or the default editing features that come with your phone. I prefer to use Snapseed and adjust the image with the rotate or the perspective options. This will allow you to fix any flaws you have with your photo.

Photos of Artwork Cell Phone

8. How to Prevent a Blurred Image

When taking photographs of artwork, it is vital that you have the proper gear. This will save you time taking the picture and editing the photo. If you forget the gear, your image may be out of focus due to camera shake.

Use a Tripod to Improve Your Artwork Photos with a Phone

Here are a few things to look for when buying a tripod. First is the size. With mobile photography, size matters, the smaller the better. Joby makes a small tripod for your smartphone that is 7 inches long and can fit into any bag or purse.

Next, look for a sturdy tripod. When taking pictures of artwork, a sturdy tripod is important to stabilize your phone so there is no blur. The Manfrotto Pixi is one of the best small tripods due to stability and strength.

Try a Wireless Remote

Camera shake equals blurry photos. Every time you touch the screen to take a photo, it creates camera shake. The smallest movement can affect the quality and sharpness of the photo and lose the tiny details in the photo. The Joby Impulse Bluetooth Remote works to take one picture or many pictures from a distance that are perfectly still so you don’t get camera shake.

9. Test to Make Sure the Color is Accurate

Take a shot of the artwork and look at the background and image. Take note of the whites and blacks in the image. Do the whites look warm or cool? Many times, the background is a way to indicate if the colors were correct. If the color is off you can fix it.

The first way to make sure the color is accurate is to go into pro mode or a manual mode app and adjust the white balance. If it is a cloudy day it may be cooler or have a blue tint. If there was a light on in the room it may have a yellow or tungsten tint. These are common problems. To adjust for this, choose the appropriate setting of light in the pro mode. For more information check out some tips on how to use the white balance.

Artwork Mobile Photography

10. Edit Your Photos of Artwork on Your Phone

The last step is to edit the photo. My favorite app to adjust the white balance, rotation, and perspective is Snapseed. I also like Lightroom if I am doing detailed edits of color to my photo. With artwork, you’ll want your image to look as close to the original piece as possible, so simple edits are all that is necessary.

Conclusion

Now you’ll take stunning photos of artwork that look professional with your phone. Going to an art museum or event will be a lasting memory you can keep. To recap, remember to take some time to plan how your photo will turn out. Take note of the color of the wall. Look around the room and notice the light and identify how you can use it to take beautiful Artwork photos with your phone.

Next, correct the distorted perspective by standing at the same angle as your phone, shoot using the grid, and adjust your angles using post-processing. Prevent a blurred image by using a tripod. Then take the time to test to make sure the color is accurate and then adjust the white balance. Lastly, take the time to edit the final photo in a photo editing app. Now you have photos on your phone of artwork that are as beautiful as the art.

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