Photographing 2D Artwork

Learn to capture the fine details and true colors of your flat artwork.
Upcoming Workshops

No workshops currently scheduled

If you’re an artist you know how important it is to get excellent, accurate photos of your finished pieces before they leave your studio. At the least, you want a record of your work and a way to include sold pieces in your portfolio. Or maybe you’d like to print cards or reproductions of some of your creations.

This is the same piece of art lit using flat versus raking light.

Taking detailed, color-accurate photos of your work requires a DSLR or mirrorless camera that can shoot in the raw file format, a tripod, some inexpensive but careful lighting, a color calibration target and Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Your initial setup is done carefully, one step at a time, but once you’ve nailed it down the next photography session will go more quickly. The result will be consistent, professional images of your artwork, taken when you need them!

Color calibration and correct shooting geometry are important parts of the process.


  • A demonstration of needed lighting equipment, continuous vs. strobe lights, lighting on a budget.
  • Flat vs. grazing light to hide or accentuate texture.
  • How to achieve and repeat even illumination, learning about distance, angle and spread.
  • When polarizers might be needed and how to use them.
  • Getting the geometry right so all your right angles are square!
  • Calibration of camera and monitor for accurate colors.
  • Lens choices.
  • Resolution and sharpness concerns for reproduction quality images.
  • We’ll also look at how to achieve decent results with a smartphone or compact camera.


  • DSLR or mirrorless camera with standard kit lens or anything longer than 50mm. Email us if you aren’t sure.
  • Basic knowledge of camera operation, shooting manual mode, control of f-stop and shutter speed.
  • Tripod.
  • One piece of flat art to photograph, any medium or style up to 30″x40″.

You’ll learn how to control glare using polarizers.

  • Cost per person is $195 early registration, $215 late registration.
  • Lunch is included in the registration price.
  • Doors open at 8:45am.
  • Class starts promptly at 9am and ends at 3pm.
  • Classes may be held in the upstairs classroom, up one flight of stairs, no elevator access.
  • Advance registration and payment is required.
  • Maximum number of students is 12, minimum number to make a class is 8.
  • Parking is available on the street or in the adjacent lot at Electric Light & Power.


Q: Is lunch included in the workshop?
A: Yes, we will be bringing in lunch.

Q: What do I need for this workshop?

  • A DSLR or mirrorless camera with standard kit lens or anything longer than 50mm as well as a full battery and empty memory card.
  • A tripod.
  • One piece of flat art to photograph, any medium or style up to 30″x40″.

Q: Are there previous requirements for this workshop?
A: You should have a working knowledge of your camera settings including shooting manual mode, control of f-stop and shutter speed. It’s recommended that you’ve already taken the DCP Beginner DSLR WorkshopDSLR 1 & 2 classes or equivalent training.

Q: Will we be learning how to photograph 3D art like sculpture or mixed media pieces?
A: No, this workshop is for flat, 2D art only.

Q: How will I know if a workshop makes or not?
A: If a class doesn’t make and has to be cancelled, you will receive an email no later than 2 nights before the scheduled class date.

Q: What if I have to cancel?
A: If you cancel 3-7 days ahead of the scheduled date of the class, you will receive no refund or 50% transfer credit toward another similar class within 3 months of the cancellation date. There is no refund or transfer credit for cancellations within 48 hours of start time of the class or workshop. Full details on cancellations are on our Policies page.

Q: Where is the workshop held?
A: At Dallas Center for Photography, 4756 Algiers, Dallas, 75207.

Steve McWilliams

Steve has over 30 years in film production and media creation and is known for his depth of knowledge and willingness to share his experience with others. Steve ran his own commercial production company whose client list included American Airlines, Garmin, Paramount Amusement Parks and numerous food and big box stores as well as banks, non-profits and hospitals.

He was a top selling contributor to Getty Images in both still and motion collections and ran a successful still portrait business with an emphasis on high quality images and deft retouching. He has extensive experience photographing flat and 3D art for Heritage Auctions and other clients. He is the inventor of the patented EyeDirect Focusing System product, used by hundreds of producers and camera people around the world.

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