Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How to Photograph your Face Painting

Taking good pictures of your artwork is an essential part of your marketing strategy. More often than not your customers will find your website or your business card before they get to actually see you painting. The pictures that they get to see when browsing your website or holding your business card can determine if they hire you or not.

You don't need a $1000 camera or a whole studio set to get great pictures for a website or business card, but if you do have access to such equipment, great!

Below I will go over a few important things to look for when taking pictures and processing them.

1- Get the right lighting. 

The best lighting situation is the one found at a photography studio
because they are set to prevent shadows on your face and to enhance your work. If light hits the subject from too close it will wash out the colors and create reflections that will reduce the quality of your work.
The ideal setup is one where you have 2 light sources on each side of your subject (facing them at a 45 degree angle) and one light source can be in front of the subject, far enough so that is doesn't wash out your design.

If that is not possible, try taking your pictures outside. Morning light is great. Make sure that the subject is facing the sun and that no shadows are cast on the face. Choose a plain background, like a plain wall. Do not photograph when the sun is high up in the sky, it will create a lot of shadows under the eyes, nose, chin, and it will make your design look bad.

Try to avoid using incandescent lamps to photograph, they have too much yellow light in them and it will change the colors of your design. I love Bright White LED lights, OTT lights are great too.




2- Choose the right background

Keep in mind that you are trying to promote your artwork, so all the focus should be on that. The best option is a clean background that can be easily cropped afterwards.  The more contrasting with the subject the easier it will be to crop.

If you don't know how to crop the background try photographing in front of a wrinkle free white fabric, or wrinkle free white paper. A clean white wall will do too. You want to make sure though that if you are not cropping out the background then it should look clean and free of shadows.

As an option you could have a background that somehow matches your design. For example, if you painted a butterfly face, you can have the subject pose in front of a nice set of flowers or trees, etc, as long as they don't take focus from your art. I would suggest to change the settings on your camera so that the subject is the only part in focus and the background looks blurry.

3- Get the right pose


Take your time to get a good looking face. A smile for pretty designs, a scary face for scary designs, etc. Make sure that your entire design can be appreciated and that the subject's face is the largest thing in your picture.
Keep in mind though, to prevent distorting the face, your camera should be set at a good distance from the subject and then you can use the zoom to approach the face until it takes up around 2/3 of the photograph area.

4 - Crop the background out


If you have a clean picture with good lighting and a clean background, cropping the background out is pretty easy. You don't need Photoshop, you can do it with Microsoft Power Point 2010 and over. Just double click on the picture and on the top left corner you should see the option to Remove Background.

5 - Don't over do it with editing


Again, your art should be the focus. Avoid using tons of clip-art images, frames, effects, etc. A clean picture allows your customer to look at what matters, YOUR art. The rest can distract and even make it look like your art is not good enough on its own.







Now get some great pictures and post them on our Facebook wall at www.facebook.com/jestpaintcom