It did make me think about whether I'd any tips for taking pictures, and I thought I'd share here what I shared with Angela.
I'd welcome any tips you might have too....
I share your pain with photographing work - and I too am guilty of the “hang on, can I just take a photo before you take your commission with you…”!!
My images are nearly all taken with a compact camera - either a Fuji Finepix or my new camera which is a Panasonic Lumix. I’ve not had any done professionally.
I’m trying to think what my top tips would be (I certainly don’t consider this to be a strength of mine at all but would love to help you out!)
1. If at all possible I scan my work - even if this involves scanning it in several pieces and sticking it together in Photoshop.
2. My best photo results are taken outside in natural light - sometimes sunshine, although white pieces in sunshine doesn’t work well - need a day with high white clouds for white paper.
3. If I’m photographing inside I have a couple of pieces of A4 mountboard covered in tinfoil which I prop up somewhere near the item being photographed - definitely help improve the light on an object.
4. I really try to photograph in daylight - while it’s possible to get quite a good image under artificial light, the true colours are never right.
5. I’d like to say I always use a tripod but it’d be a lie - because I’m always in a rush!
6. For big pieces like my family trees I put them on my drawing board and then stand on a chair so that the piece has 4 straight edges parallel to the edge of the view finder in the camera - it can take a while to find the right place/angle from which to take the photo, but it’s worth it. (I do use a tripod when I’m doing this).
7. I try to take shots at strange angles - especially if the piece is large. Sometimes this makes a better photo than simply recording what the piece looks like.
8. I can do basic bits and pieces in Photoshop but I agree with you that it’s easy to end up with something that looks “messed about with” so I keep it to a minimum.
With all that said and done, many of my photos are just “snaps”, so I think there’s a bit of that calligrapher’s behaviour creeping in, of admiring everyone else’s work and only seeing faults with your own- I suspect you have many photos that would look lovely on a website, and there are plenty of my photos where I could point out what’s wrong….!