The Fine Art of Photographing Art

June 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The past few weeks have been full of challenges and photographic diversity. While in the process of trying to get a bunch of little details buttoned up before wedding season ramps up, I received an inquiry from a former wedding client asking if I ever do real estate photography. I said sure. The very same week I received an inquiry from her daughter in law (a bride from last year) asking if I could do some cataloging for a gallery she works for. I said sure. 

A few weeks ago I was at Artemis Global Art in Woodstock, VT. It is a beautiful space inside an old New England style building. The space is bright and airy with gorgeous light wood floors and crisp white walls. The colorful pieces seem to glow in such a bright space and the zen like experience is only heightened by the option to appreciate the radiant art from strategically placed leather couches and chairs. 

I entered the gallery not fully knowing what to expect. My previous experience photographing art has been limited to smaller privately owned pieces. This was very different. The challenge came in three parts. Part 1, the gallery is full of beautiful, natural light. It looks amazing as you stand and experience the gallery as a whole but from a photographer's view window light = glare on glass, metal and even shiny paint. Challenge part 2, squishy corners. Some of the largest, most beautiful pieces are situated in stairwells and hallways no more than 3 feet wide. It is tricky to photograph a 5'x7' painting in a 3 foot hallway on the stairs. Part 3, white balance and color correction from 3 different light sources.

After two days of shooting from odd angles, setting up, breaking down, and setting up a screen to block the windows, balancing precariously on stairs and ladders, and taking small images for composites to later be pieced carefully together, the art on the walls had been photographed. Now, two weeks later I am in the process of editing. I returned to the gallery one more time to color check my images against the actual pieces with a little help from the gallery manager Jacqui, who has an amazing internal color detection system (more sensitive than most of us).  I also got some background info on the Dutch artists and the stories behind some of the individual pieces, which gave me a greater appreciation for their work. 

I love my job. I never know what is around the next corner. I love being challenged. I love doing something different every day. I love the people I get to meet and work with. 

I highly recommend a trip to the gallery. If you are in the mood for a little quality story time make sure you go when Jacqui is working. She is the best!

You can also check out www.artemisglobalart.com

 


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