Photographing Artwork: What You Need to Know

Posted by Zoe Papas on Sep 22nd 2023

Have you ever thought about getting high-resolution photos of your artwork? Whether you are applying to shows or creating giclées, high-resolution photos are necessary for presenting your work in the best light. Here's a run-down of the process.

Digital Capture

When you get photos done, you want to make sure they will be a high enough resolution for your purpose. If you are getting prints done, think about the size of the finished print and what your printer requires. The ideal resolution for our printers is 150dpi, or dots (pixels) per inch. If you are getting a 16" x 20" print, this would mean your photo should be at least 2400 pixels by 3000 pixels. If you plan on using the photo only to put on your website or apply to shows, you may not need as many pixels. Around 1900 pixels on the longest side is standard for applying to art shows. However, it is still good to have a large photo in case you want to make giclée prints later or if your work gets published in an art magazine. We use a medium format 100 mega-pixel camera, which ensures you will have plenty of pixels to work with. For reference, 100 mega pixels is 100 million pixels! For a digital capture only, we charge $35 per artwork. If you bring in 4 artworks at a time, we bring the price down to $30 each. For 5 artworks or more at a time, the price would be $25 each.

Color-correction and Proofing

We offer additional services for making your giclée prints look their best. Proofing is printing small images of your art photos (ours are usually around 8" x 10") in order to see what the colors will look like before printing a larger image. The colors can be adjusted through a process called color-correction. Color-correction involves editing the photo after proofing in order to match the original artwork as best as possible. As our customer, you will be involved in the proofing process. Once we do the initial color-correction and proofing, we have you come in to look at the proof. You will then either approve the print or suggest changes. Things we can change include the contrast, the saturation (color intensity), and the overall tone of an artwork. It may be harder for us to change an individual section of an image, but we will work with you as best as we can. For color-correction and proofing, we charge $40. So if you have exisiting photos that you need color-corrected, this would be your price. For the whole process of proofing and color-correction, it would be $75 per artwork.