As a crafty parent of three children, our garage could quickly become over-run with craft projects, artwork and clay sculptures. Here’s my trick though. I photograph it. We have dedicated one wall in the kids’ play room; it has two ropes and large clothes pegs on it. Artwork is rotated as it comes home from school. The artwork that comes off is photographed and recycled or used as gift wrap or gift tags. Some larger creations and craft projects are used to decorate their bedroom or play room. For example, the butterfly below is currently clipped to the blind cord in the play room.
At the end of the year I make a book of artwork for each of the kids. I choose photographs of a variety of craft projects created using different mediums – paint, clay, beading, and craft kits to name just a few.
I would like to give you a few simple photography tips for photographing your child’s artwork and craft projects. You don’t need a fancy camera or gear, just a few simple things. Natural light will make for the best photographs. Stay out of the sun. Either head outdoors to a shaded, but well lit area (I use my front porch), or to the lightest room in the house.
CRAFT PROJECTS AND SCULPTURES
These can be leaned against something like a white bi-fold board. Get down so your camera is directly in front of the object and take a couple of photographs.
Lay something flat and white, such as a canvas, large piece of card or project board on the ground. Place the artwork in the center and standing over the top to take a photograph looking down directly over the top of the art.
EXPERIMENT WITH ANGLES
Take photographs of works in progress or completed projects at different angles. Move around, you will soon discover which angles work best for you, and which ones don’t, when you go back through the photographs later. That’s the beauty of digital. It can always be erased. Don’t force your child to look at the camera and smile. Sometimes you will get the best photographs when you capture
them in a moment of creativity.
Get down to the same level as what is being done.
Or put your object on an angle and look slightly down toward it.
If Photoshop confuses you, don’t worry, you are not alone. I use a very simple on-line service Picnik.com to edit photographs. They offer both a free and premium (paid) service. You can sharpen your images, crop them, play with the colors and textures, add borders, and even add text or clip art to your photographs.
Experimenting is the key to capturing a great shot.
Photograph your child’s art, create an art book for them, and clear the clutter.