Photographing Sculptures

Photography is key to my sculpting process. I use photos to document the phases involved in creating a sculpture and for documenting in portfolio collections. When I decided to sell online, photos of all my work were key to sales. Therefore, this required that a section of my studio be dedicated to photography.

So, while I was selling on etsy, I read a few articles on how to photograph one’s art work. A particular article caught my eye: “making a light box”.

Apparently there are many ways to go about this, but the easiest involved a cardboard box, tinfoil and two LED white light lamps. I also needed to cover the interior with a solid color, so I used foam sheets just for that purpose.

The light box has become a crucial tool for taking pictures of miniatures and larger sculpts alike. Moreover, I can change the blue background to white by simply removing the foam sheets that cover the interior. Thus, replacing the blue back ground with a white one to create nice clear photos of a piece.

I use a GE 14.1 mega pixel digital camera with 15x wide zoom, it is an older camera that I borrowed from my brother to get the work done. A new camera is on the wish list but for now I make due. I take photos of different angles and save them to an external drive, a digital collection that is rapidly growing.

Documenting my work with photography is not entirely new to me. I have files of some of my older sculpts which helps me to see how much I have indeed progressed with sculpting.But these pictures are often under poor lighting which obscures details and makes the piece look worse than it was.

The light box is a new addition to my tool set, thanks in part, to the needs of my online shop. A photo of the product is all a potential client has when buying online, so pictures have to make the art work shine.  In fact, the light box helped to increase sales on etsy as photo quality improved.

Photos of figures inside the box were simply better, especially those of miniature sculpts. The box eliminates distracting shadows and enhances those fine details on a sculpture.

Of all the tools I use in my craft, this home made box has become vital to promoting and cataloging my work. While my photos are not the best quality, they are an improvement over past photography. It is fun to think that not only are my figures handmade, but so is the tool used to display them for everyone to see.



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