SchoolArts Room

Photo Tips for SchoolArts Authors

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Aug 19, 2012

Often at art education conferences, as the editor of SchoolArts, I give presentations on getting published. If an author has a good idea and good images, that will greatly improve the possibility of publication.

I thought it might be helpful to share some examples of good photographs here. Photographs must be high resolution images if they are digital. This means at least 300 dpi and the "high" or "fine" setting on the camera. (We also accept actual photographs as well).

If you are photographing 2D artwork, shoot straight down on it so the corners are square, as shown in this first photograph. Natural light works better than artificial (no lamination). Do not use flash. Check your images as you go and don't be hesitant to photograph artwork multiple times. I rephotograph things all the time until I am satisfied with the image.



What about 3D work? This is often more challenging but you definitely need a plain background. If the work is small, I take a piece of 22" x 28" construction paper or poster board and roll it up under and behind the artwork to create a seamless background (you might have to tape it the table in front and support it with a box in the back).  Check to see that your shadows are not too dark - you want to be able to show details.


Photographing students: In general, try not to show the student's face. We want to focus on the artwork, not the student. I try to shoot over a student's shoulder or down on their hands and the table top. Photos like this are good for advocacy or point of view articles. If the focus of the article would have been on the artwork you see here, then I would have taken a closeup instead.

I hope this is helpful - let me know if you have any questions. I want everyone to be published!