Just call me David Bailey…

I’m guilty of massively underestimating how difficult something is until I try it for myself.  I used to complain that it cost £40 to have my artwork photographed by a professional.  I would say ‘it’s a bit expensive’ to be met with the confused, judgement covered faces of other artists who sell prints.

There is this guy in my studios who takes photographs of art, it’s his thing, then he turns them into prints.  How hard can it be?

Before going into his studio and watching him at work I’ll be honest…I thought it was going to be a 30 min job.  But then I sat there for two hours whilst he tried three different lighting options to make sure that the exposure was perfect and the resolution high enough for the largest of prints.  I watched him agonise over the colours on screen to guarantee that it was a perfect colour match and retouch out the tiny bits of dust that had settled on the paintings that I hadn’t noticed.  He basically gives your paintings a facial to make them look their absolute best without compromising the integrity of the piece.

Today I had two hours to photograph two paintings before they went off to be framed because the guy above wasn’t available.  It was a complete disaster.  Not only did I not know how to use the camera properly, the light in my studio was so depressing, and the result is quite embarrassing.  They are going to require a photoshop face-lift.  My guy might even refuse to take them on as a client :-/

So it turns out that photographing artwork for print quality files is bloody difficult.

Exhibit A:

These look nothing like my paintings. Dirty, dull and lifeless.

If we compare with

Exhibit B:

These look exactly like my paintings.

So the moral of the story is…

Always pay a professional.

with love,


Written by Kate Dolan

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