Are You Making These Art Website Mistakes?

By Carolyn Edlund and Kelly Heck


Want to sell your art online?

Making virtual sales is all about presentation. When the customer is not in front of your work, they don’t have the chance to experience your art in an “up close and personal” way, or to speak with you as the creator.

To make online sales, you must give potential customers a lot of information to make up for the lack of that in-person experience and instill a level of confidence to buy. This includes information about the artwork itself, your inspiration and technique, and why they should care enough to take a closer look and possibly make a purchase.

Some of that information will be in the form of written content on your website, but mostly you must make a compelling visual presentation in the form of outstanding photographs of your work. Artwork photography is so important, in fact, that it can make the sale – or lose it.

Are your website photos ready for prime time? Do they wow the website visitor and make them want to know more? Do you share multiple photos to give a deeper understanding of your art? Or do your photos need some improvement in order to give the very best impression of your art?

One solution is to hire a professional photographer (who is experienced in this area) to shoot your portfolio and deliver digital images for you to place in the Artwork section of your Artspan website. Another option is to take photos yourself. If you choose to go the DIY route, you must understand the pitfalls and problems up front so you can plan for the best possible result.


Do your artwork images suffer from any of these common mistakes?


Poor Focus: Many elements can lead to soft-focused photos. Camera shake, slow shutter speed, inaccurate focal points, and wide apertures are all danger areas when your goal is a supercrisp photo. Keeping the camera still and using appropriate settings will help solve this problem.





Inappropriate Background: It’s amazing how many artists don’t consider the importance of the background when shooting their work. This can be distracting or even fight with the work you want to show. Finding a simple setting in your home/studio or learning how to set one up is easier than you think! Designating a plain wall or investing in an inexpensive backdrop such as white/gray seamless can solve your problem.



Exposure Problems: Exposure settings play a huge role in the crispness, color-accuracy, and overall artistic feel of your final photos. Understanding the basics of Shutter Speed, Aperture (F-Stop), ISO, White Balance, and Histograms will give you the cutting edge when photographing your portfolio. Mastering this will give your work clarity and that professional edge.


Glare and reflections: Sometimes glare and reflections are unavoidable, but there are some hacks to reduce or eliminate distracting reflections. One of our favorite tools is a "Circular Polarizing Filter" accessory that can be used with any SLR camera lens. Multiple light sources can also help, and they reduce harsh shadows that can distract from your artwork.


Artwork by Marti Leroux

A group of excellent portfolio photos puts you in a strong position to share your work on your website, through social media and email marketing with potential customers. Build on that core portfolio with written content that reaches your audience emotionally, and you will be in a great position to develop interest in your work and relationships that lead to art sales.



Does your visual presentation need help?

Carolyn Edlund is co-author of the comprehensive e-course “Sell More Art with a Dynamic Portfolio” which will help you select, photograph, organize, manage and share your best presentation.

This course is accessed online, is self-paced and once purchased, belongs to you forever!


Link to the course


Artspan members get a 20% discount by using coupon code ARTSPAN20 when checking out.


About Artspan -

Artspan fosters a community of contemporary emerging artists.

Each artist website is independent but also part of

Sell to buyers who go directly to your website plus sell through the Artspan Marketplace. 

Learn why more artists choose Artspan to showcase and sell their work here.




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