Photographing Art

Photography Day

I used to try to photograph my own work using a good camera and lighting, but the images were never as alive, the colors never balanced as a professional photograph, and the large scale of my work added to the complexities. How can I expect someone to select work off of the internet without a near perfect reproduction of the painting?

It takes this team: A steadfast and cheerful studio assistant and I measure, title and pin the canvases perfectly smoothly to the wall. Kansas City’s premier art photographer, E.G. Schempf, brings massive high quality equipment, sets up, shoots, color corrects. Another professional photographer joins us out of kindness, friendship and a greatly appreciated fine eye for color balance, and assists in every step.

I sometimes am working just ahead of the photograph, with a paint brush or spray can, tweaking the painting before it’s frozen (snapped) in time.

Immediately after photographing, each painting is color corrected. This involves commitments by each of us (four) individuals dedicated to accuracy in color, tint, contrast and clarity, to truthfully represent the work’s luminescence, intensity, saturation, depth, brilliance, muddiness, agitation, peacefulness.  Sometimes it takes over an hour to get a heavily pigmented painting to come into color balance.

All specs are then put into virtual and physical inventories.

The above 1 minute video covers a 7.5 hour shoot for 10 paintings.

Music: James Cotton with Joe Louis Walker & Charlie Haden playing Vineyard Blues.

Note: 2 of the last 3 paintings are vertical; we always shoot horizontally.