How to photograph your artwork for Instagram

The way you photograph your Art can be the difference between a skip and a double-tap or even a follow. Mastering the Art of photographing your work for Instagram is more manageable than it seems. In this guide, we’ll walk you through a series of tips and techniques to help you showcase your creations:

  1. Choose your aspect ratio
  2. Show multiples
  3. Use props
  4. Include yourself
  5. Add a background texture
  6. Use a frame
  7. Use grids
  8. Steal like an artist
  9. Show the whole artwork
  10. Make a clear composition
  11. Avoid glare
  12. Avoid effects
  13. Only show your Art
  14. Don’t use watermarks
  15. Make straight shots


This article is a part of Instagram for artists split because it became way too long. In case you want to dig further the others are:
How to make art Reels on Instagram
Best art hashtags for Instagram

1. Choose your aspect ratio.

When you frame your shot, think about the aspect ratio. Depending on your Art, you can take 1:1 or 4:5 (longer photos, 1080px by 1350px). If your artwork is even longer, it’s better because it occupies more screen areas. But if your artwork is horizontal, don’t publish it like that. Among other square photos, it looks like a banner. Make a passe-partout white space around it, and upload it as a square photo.

2. Show multiples.

You can upload up to 10 photos in the same post. It allows you to show some details, such as close-ups of your painting, as one of these many photos. Yet, make sure your main image is the “passport photo” of your artwork.

3. Use props.

Use items to tell your story alongside your painting. Including some fine art supplies, plants, or anything is ok. For example, you can use seashells to decorate a seascape painting. Use color or light contrast, for example, and make the image pop and play with the composition. Don’t overdo it. If the props are too attention-seeking, they will distract your viewers’ attention.

4. Include yourself.

After seeing your Art, people would like to know you. Show yourself making Art in the photo. You can be either in front, behind, or holding it. Try to find a stylish way to present yourself. Imagine this is your art creation’s “behind the scene” photo. If you are shy, put it as the second photo in multiples. You will get used to showing yourself later!

5. Add a background texture.

It’s ok to have textured background like wood, sand, concrete, or fabric as long as it helps reflect the work.

6. Use a frame.

Frames can make your work look more expensive. Include a frame, especially if you give the option for the collectors to buy framed Art. Also, it helps you to convert a horizontal image into a square one in an elegant way. Make sure you take out the glasses.

7. Use grids.

Use nine photos to showcase a large canvas. Make sure your original photo is at least 3240 pixels on each side (3 x 1080). You can do it in Photoshop; also, there are some Apps for mobile. Take care: Most of these apps come with a watermark.

8. Steal like an artist.

Look at the top accounts in your niche and see what they do and how they make a photo of their artwork.

9. Show the whole artwork.

Either the photo is cropped wrong. Sometimes the missing part is so tiny that you might not notice it when you shoot. Show the whole thing, and only then can you share details.

10. Make a clear composition.

Showing your dirty laundry or random items in the background can be distracting. Don’t include anything that does not carry your message. Refrain from relying excessively on photo editing tools to care for the mess. Getting it right at the beginning is always better. (would you want to be born pretty or through plastic surgery?)

11. Avoid glare.

Take your Art out of the frame to avoid reflections from the glass surface.

12. Avoid effects.

It’s cool to take portraits with a filter, but not your Art. Show your Art as it is. The main reason is that if someone buys it, he must get what he sees.

13. Only show your Art.

Showing your Art, among other things, or showing too many pieces at once can confuse your audience. Make sure your Art is the star, not the co-stars competing against each other for attention. Publish the other artists’ artwork you shoot or repost on a different account.

14. Don’t use watermarks.

Don’t put big ugly watermarks! If someone steals your work, but you communicate it well, it will be easy to find you via reverse image search. So this is a free advertisement.

15. Make straight shots.

Avoid shooting your main image with awkward angles (actually, any angle at all). It doesn’t render your Art well. It shows how unnatural it looks, especially if you have a dark frame. Take your main photo square like a passport photo. It might not be the most creative way to show your work, but it’s the safest.

We wrote a longer article about art photography if you want to develop further your skills.

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