8 Tips for Photographing Your Design Work

On: February 6, 2014
In: Design
Views: 599
As a designer, I get tired of hearing that anyone can do what I do… all they need is a computer and bam! they’re a designer. I’m sure photographers often feel the same way… just because you have a camera doesn’t mean you’re a great photographer!

Unfortunately, this is the sad truth. I love taking photos wherever I go (and I take tons of them too) but that doesn’t mean I take great photos. This is evident when I try to take photos of my design work – and let’s face it crappy photos of your work make your work look crappy!

Though they won’t help us to become world famous photographers, here are 8 tips to help you photograph your print work in a more professional way:


  • Get the Lighting Right: Try photographing your work in a room that gets a lot of natural sunlight. If you need to ad extra light, use “daylight bulbs.” In addition, don’t be afraid to use more than one light or move your light around do create the perfect shadows.
  • Choose the Background: You may decide to get daring and use color backgrounds for your photos. If you do, make sure to choose colors to compliment not distract from your work. If all else fails, use white… it’s easy on the eye and less distracting than other colors.
  • Use a Tripod: Though this is a pretty simple tip, it’s also very important. You’re hand will never be as stead or reliable as a tripod to take sharp, crisp photos.
  • Pick the Perfect Position: If you wanted your pieces to be displayed flat, you would have just mocked them up in Photoshop. Use this opportunity to show your work in a different way… prop it up, view it from above or maybe at an angle.
  • Find Your Focus: To make your photos more dramatic, pick a certain part to focus on. Bring that item to the fromt and soften the background items (WARNING: Don’t soften too much… it defeats the purpose of showing off your work!).
  • Decide to Bleed (or Not): More than likely your first instinct will be to contain your entire piece of work in the photograph. This isn’t always the best choice though. Making your items bleed outside the photo can make for a more dramatic image – try coming in close with your camera rather than cropping later in Photoshop.
  • Repeat: Don’t be afraid to show more than one of the same item in your photograph. Repeating the same piece of work only intensifies the impact.
  • Less is More: Even if you’re photographing an entire campaign, don’t include too many pieces in one photograph. This will cause you to back up with your camera just to fit everything in and will make for a more busy, less impressive photo.

   Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer

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