How to photograph a wool painting?

You’ve just created a beautiful wool paining, framed it nicely, and you want to share your creation with the world via a social media post on Instagram or Facebook. So, you take a photo and … it doesn’t look good.

Most people take a photo of their creation framed and covered with glass, but want to show it in their home hanging on the wall or standing on the table. And when they take photos with the glass they usually encounter a problem with the reflection of themselves or surrounding objects. In this case, the artwork loses it’s charm and it gets hard to see the real picture with all colors and feature of the texture. So, what to do?

The problem has a simple solution – take a photograph without glass. This is the best way to keep the volume, texture, softness, tenderness, and mystery of your masterpiece. But you should be very careful in handling your artwork without glass. The freshly made picture is very fluffy and the wool fibers are very mobile. Unintentional treatment of painting might cause harm. The best way to take a photo of the wool painting is lay it down on the table, stand on the chair, and take a photo above it. If you would like to take picture hanging on the wall or standing on the table, it better wait at least two weeks after you’ve placed the painting under the glass. During this waiting time, the wool fibers lie down and stack together.

If you would like to take good photos of wool paintings:

  1. Take a picture in the morning. Good scattered light is needed, not direct sunlight. For example, you have a table in the kitchen near the window. Open the curtains, so there will be more light, put the artwork on the table, stand on a chair, and take a picture from above.
  2. Turn off the flash, so there won’t be glare.
  3. The photo needs to be processed – your should at least crop out the excess edges, especially if the background is not very pretty. You can attend to this by taking a picture on a homogeneous background, such as using a white sheet of paper to create a neutral white background. You can also use a software to change sharpness, contrast, or color.
  4. Glass always reflects and when you take a picture from above, the camera and your hands will be seen, but not as much as in mirror. If you must take a picture with glass on, just find the position or angle where your reflection is minimal. For example, if you take picture from above, try to increase the distance between you and picture.
  5. If you take a picture which is hanging on the wall, it will be a little bit harder. You should find a wall with good light and neutral texture and find the position where you and everything else won’t be reflected or it will be minimum. Find a position where this is minimized.