Picture Perfect

When the winter issue of Fiber Art Now arrived in the mail, I couldn’t wait to take a look. As I paged through it, I found myself rereading each article and appreciating the photos as if seeing them for the first time.

I had seen PDFs of every article as part of our editorial process, but in print, the artwork, the detail photos, and the stories came to life. As impressive as the artwork had been on screen—and how stunning the layouts were—both were even more so in print.  

Although you can enlarge an image on your computer, unless you have a large screen, you only see part of an image at one time. Moving in and out on a page takes away from the overall effect of the art, as well as of the article itself. It’s just not the same.

It got me thinking about the photos. When we ask artists for photos of their work, we request high-resolution ones, but there’s more to it than that. Artwork shot in poor lighting or on a really busy background doesn’t cut it, even if it’s high-resolution. The photos in this issue were able to be shown so large because the designer had good-quality photos to work with. 

No matter the reason for taking a photo of your art, but particularly, if you hope to have it published, you   have to take great photos. In order to show your artwork in its best light (no pun intended), it’s important to think about where and how you’re taking the photo. Keep it simple. Also, depending on the type of art you create, you have to be careful about how it’s staged. Should it be hung, laid on the floor and shot from above, or are several angles necessary to do it justice?

You want the art to be the focus of the photo. When you look through the lens of your camera, what is your eye drawn to? If it’s not the artwork, reevaluate your setup. And make sure the lighting flatters your piece. It’s best to shoot in natural daylight, if possible, rather than using a flash. You don’t want to create shadows or a glare.

Once you have the setup just right and are happy with the photo, be sure to submit a large image. The perfect photo is not only at least 300 dpi, it’s also about 8 x 10 inches. A smaller photo limits how it can be used. Larger photos give the designer options: displayed as a full-page image, cropped to capture a great detail, or maybe even considered for the cover! 

If you are planning to submit your art for a Fiber Art Now Call for Entry, be sure to think about the quality of the photos you send. It could be the difference between seeing your art in print and not experiencing the excitement of having that happen. And remember, there are plenty of great online resources if you’re not confident about photographing your art yourself.



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