Photographing Arts, Crafts & Collectibles by Steve Meltzer is a one of the most important books for any artist or crafter.
We’ve all read webpages, magazine articles, or chapters in books that provide valuable photo tips. However, few of those articles provide enough information–especially about digital photography–for professionals in arts and crafts.
If you need photographs of your art or crafts for a juried show or competition, the quality of your pictures can be more important than the quality of your art. That’s why you need to read this book, and–if you are like me–you probably need to own a copy of it
First, the author explains how to select a digital camera and how to use it. The camera that you use for family photos or your travel pictures may not have the features that you need to competently photograph your artwork.
Many of us only know how to turn the camera on, push the button to take a photo, and then transfer the digital image to our computers. That’s not enough for photos that juries will see.
In this book, the author talks about image sizes and file types, and the differences between photographs for online use, for slides, and for print.
He provides a list of the minimal amount of equipment you’ll need to take pictures of your artwork. He suggests seven items. (The first three are a digital camera with a zoom lens, a memory card, and a tripod.)
Then, he provides a full page illustration showing exactly how to set up your studio for professional quality photographs.
Until I read this book, I had no idea how to light my arts and crafts to look their best.
The author not only tells you how to take successful photos, he explains it in plain English. Even better, he has illustrated the book with drawings and photographs that will appeal to visually oriented artists.
One of the most important features of this book is the section that discusses the specific needs of different kinds of art and crafts. For example, if you are taking a picture of your glass or ceramics, you will use a different approach than when you are photographing quilts or art made with fiber.
In my opinion, this is a book we’ve needed for a long time. A copy belongs on the bookshelf of every professional artist and crafter, and it should be referred to often.