I am pretty sure that there are a few of you out there in a similar financial situation, and looking for ways to conserve and/or save money...........get the most for less as it were. I am also sure that there are plenty out there in towns smaller than the one I live in and may not have a professional photographer around to take the image you need.
Fortunately, our town does have a great photographer in it, as do some of the surrounding towns, BUT..... they might not always be open when you need them, or like I said above...........money can be an issue. Well here is a pretty simple and easy way to get the picture when you need.
A good friend of mine ( Joe Vicas ) gave me this tip a few years back and I thought it time to pass it on.
These are a pair of painters lights . I do a lot of our home repair and remodeling of our house and have had them quite a few years, but they are the light source for setting up the photography session. You can get them fairly cheap at any number of stores..........I am not sure but they probably run anywhere from $10 to $15, I think when I got these they were even cheaper than that.
This tripod was my Dad's and I have had it forever.............I am not sure what the run, but you will need one to keep things steady and not have a blurry picture.
I use my easel to hold the image, sort of handy for that sort of thing, but I have taken a marker and written on the side 2 different settings.........one for painting and one for photography, for the picture taking I stet the easel in a more upright position.
There really isn't that much of a difference between the two settings, but believe me......it does make one. If I paint on the photo setting.........the board tends to want to fall over since it is more straight up and down.
You can use several different ways to set your lights up to take the picture, you can get some extending paint poles and have them run from floor to ceiling and clamp your lights on them, or like I have been doing, I sort of use the furniture around me to get them set up:
Do not aim your light directly at the surface of the painting or what ever it is you are photographing....you will get a hot spot or glare. You want to have the light just sort of wash over the area and not really have it hit directly.
Once your lights are set up, put your camera on the tripod and take the picture. My little digital camera has a little feature on it that allows me to bracket the photos........that is adjust the light/dark to help me get a truer image of the painting. I can go a stop or two above or below and then choose the image that is closest to what is on the easel.
Once I get the image, I go to the computer and do my photo editing in Photoshop..........you will have to use whatever programs you have.........and then I am ready to save it and send it off.
The painting used as an example in this blog is not a finished piece and so I really didn't take the time to set things up properly, but all the images for the past few years have been done this way so for better examples run back thru the blog and take a peak, look at these example 1, example 2, example 3