Email Marketing Seppuku
Space Available in Upcoming Workshop

Can Photos of Your Work Compete When Surrounded by Visual Pollution?

This photo is a great metaphor. The wires pull in all directions. It is an example of our "visually polluted climate dense with optical smog" (quoted from Suzanne Ramljak's lecture in Photography in Flux- Editor's Perspective.) We look at, look through, look around, and/or simultaneously overlook these kinds of scenes every day.

Can the photos of your art or craft work compete with the exceptional images on consumer packaging, in advertising, magazines, signs, billboards, television, and online?

What makes a good photo for our art or craft?
In the past, the graduated gray background was the standard. Now some makers prefer complete white or solid black backgrounds for the photos of their work. The influence of the highly charged images in advertising includes colored backgrounds.

Black and White Identity Bead Necklace by Harriete Estel Berman Black and White Identity Bead Necklace by Harriete Estel Berman & W Black and White Identity Bead Necklace by Harriete Estel BermanWhat is a fabulous photo? Is there a new standard? We all want one direction, one recommendation, one correct answer.


REALITY CHECK: There is no ONE answer for everyone. No straight path to exceptional.


A photo of your work needs to fit the art/craft and the situation.

The style of the photo for art and craft needs to fit BOTH the style of the work and the context. One photo is unlikely to fit all situations. If your photo goes beyond the standard graduated background using white, black, colored, a stylized background, or a model, the context for the photographic image becomes even more important.


The key issue:
Does the photo convey the message intended or is the intended message distracted, confusing, or lost?

Other factors to make your photo amazing . . .

Is the composition dynamic?

Is the image of the work memorable?

Does the image describe work accurately?

What other criteria would you add?

Send me one photo of your art or craft.
Describe the audience for your work and the context for using the photo. Let's talk.

P.S. All images above by Philip Cohen, Oakland CA.

PPS. This discussion also assumes that the focus is perfect and exposure is 100% correct.

This post was updated on February 27,2023
Philip Cohen photographing my installation Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin. Photo Credit: Aryn Shelander