Any tips for artists’ portraits/photos?

Yeager10small_1I kind of leave you hanging in today’s Art Marketing Action newsletter, which encourages you to get and use a good photo of yourself. It’s a terrific marketing tool that so many artists neglect.

But I don’t have tips for taking the photos. I’m hoping some photographers can help us out here with the comments below.


In the meantime, here’s a photo of Richard Yeager (there’s a link to another in the newsletter) that I really liked when I saw it on his brochure. He looks every bit the artist in it.

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9 thoughts on “Any tips for artists’ portraits/photos?”

  1. yes … photos are important. i had one up when i started my blog, then i took it down because i had a blog stalker for about a year. taking the photo down didn’t mean that this mean-spirited person wouldn’t know what i looked like. it just made others who followed the blog want more of me … like that picture i had removed. so, the picture is back now. i blog almost daily. i have disabled comments, so that people have to respond to my email directly, and life (and art) are good. light! Cherryl Floyd-Miller

  2. Casual, informal portraits feel better than the posed portrait studio type. They end up looking more like high school yearbook pictures. Use available light, either indoors or out. Outside overcast days produce a more even, flattering light than overhead direct sun which makes eye sockets look like black holes. Avoid direct flash on camera. It’s the most unflattering light of all. Caveat: A good professional photographer can do all the things I don’t recommend, because he/she will know how to comensate.

  3. A photographer friend told me that the secret to relaxing in front of a camera is alcohol 😉 But seriously, I had a ton of photos taken with my husband behind the camera, it took a while but taking lots increased the odds of getting one I liked. My Blog photograph has copped a bit of comment, good and bad, I chose a cheeky photo which people either love or hate. I think it works with my style of artwork, but I guess it isn’t for everyone – do you think an unusual photograph can adversely affect your career as well?

  4. Photos of you being with or doing what you love are the most compelling to me. (Todd and Jasper). People seem to connect with me because of the photos of me doing yoga, in France, etc.

  5. I’m not a photographer, but my husband is and I’ve learned a lot of good tips. Keep your chin down and look up at the photographer. That positioning hides your neck and will make your eyes look bigger and helps prevent that closed, squinting wrinkle. (If possible, have the photographer positioned a step above you, which results in an attractive angle.)Pay attention to your surroundings. We like props. I’m a writer, so we positioned me at a desk with a pretty print, my journal and a pen in the shot. ( did a press kit photo of my husband signing prints at the same desk (it’s an antique rolltop), which was picked up by several local papers and magazines and is now on his website as well ( The tips above about natural light and taking lots of images (no big deal with a digital camera) are good advice. Dress appropriately. Artists are creative; no one expects to see you in a business suit, but you want to look cool, not crazy. No need to smile, either, unless you want to. If you can be engaged in an activity, it will make you less self-conscious about the camera. One last tip: go to other artists’sites for ideas–you’ll get a much clearer idea of what you want and what you don’t. Good luck!

  6. I’ve taken some candid photos of a few artist friends for their sites. Generally I sit and chat with them and take photos continually as we talk. That way I catch a lot of interesting ‘poses’. And a lot of awful ones! but that’s the joy of digital. I hold the camera near my chest, use the screen to compose the picture, which means I can still glance up at them and keep the conversation natural. Then we go through the images and pick a few.

  7. Pingback: How to get your universal avatar — Art Biz Blog

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