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Photographing Your Artwork

The piece is made, it's fired, it's glazed and re-fired the bottoms are smoothed and it just looks gorgeous. Another piece to be really proud of making.  Now it's time to set up the light booth and the camera, take a bunch of pictures from different angles, upload them onto the computer, maybe correct the lighting or white balance in photoshop so they look like the actual piece, crop, resize (are they ever the right size?), name and organize.  It can drive you crazy.  It almost seems like more work is put into taking good pictures of your art than in making the actual piece.  Of course I find throwing pots much more fun than doing this kind of photography which could be why it seems like less work.

Horse Hair Raku Lidded Jar
Horse Hair Raku Covered Jar

Having a good photo booth is one way of making things easier and a lot of artists have shared their set-ups on line (see the list below).  I'm grateful for that, I've learned a lot from them.  I have also set up some automation in photoshop to make some steps easier, like resizing the photos for my Etsy store or the web but it still seems like a bit of a drudgery.  Yes, it's not as bad as paying taxes or having teeth pulled but it's not something I tend to look forward to doing, even though I usually am very happy with the results.

What do you do to make this task easier and more enjoyable?

Other Stuff:

Emily Murphy's Studio and Photo Setup
D. Michael Coffee, Low Tech Photo Setup
How to Photograph Pottery on the Kitchen Table
How To Automate Anything in Photoshop
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. Thanks for these sites, Lori. I got a lot out of them...and will need to change some of the things I'm doing, within the limits of my new camera with learning its new settings. I sure can improve the lighting on my set up...but will probably continue using Picasa for editing since I don't have Photoshop.

    1. You're welcome Barbara, I'm glad you're finding them helpful. Picasa is free which is a really good price for everything that it does so why not use it.

  2. John Glick has or had great photography info on his blog "Fresh Plums". It seems to be down now and can't find it, I tried to include a link.
    Photography is time consuming, I don't mind doing it when I have the time but I am not great at it and have lots to learn. Right now I edit with either picasa or the tools I have in iPhoto.

    1. Thanks Michele, maybe his site will be back up soon and we can post a link. I've used iPhoto for doing much editing but the newest version will make posting images to Facebook even easier.

  3. Funny that Michele mentioned John Glick's site, when I first started to try and figure out how to shoot my work, that is where I got my info too. Well, that and the fact that I live with a professional photographer :) but Gerry isn't always around to help. I have recently gotten very lazy and I just set my work down on a gray piece of poster board outside on the deck. I have the photo booth and everything, but clearing a spot, setting up and all that stuff gets so tedious and I am lazy. You are so right, the work that goes into selling work is harder than making the work some days, haha!

    1. It's sad that his blog is down, but some other good articles can be found at
      The more matt the finish the less glare which seems to be the biggest issue we face as potters. Tracey, your work has very few surfaces that will glare which is why your simple method still works so well. When I do that I get reflections of the trees and the dogs and who knows what else.

  4. Great tips, I agree taking photos can be a pain in the neck sometimes. A few years ago I posted about taking photos out of doors with poster paper before I got a light box which is a low cost way to get fairly nice photos of work.

    scroll to the last photo to see my 'professional' set up. Ha.

  5. Thanks for including a link to my post. I am due to do take more photos soon, so I am hoping to do a more in depth blog post when I do that!

    1. You're welcome Emily. I'm really looking forward to your more in depth post about your light box setup, I'll be watching for it.


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