10 Ways Why Your Camera is As Important as Your Brushes and Paint

I usually carry my camera with me wherever I go.
It is my visual assistant, my organizer and my memory.
I can’t stress enough the importance of organizing your photos. Otherwise it’s like throwing thousands of photos into a big cardboard box and rummaging through it every time you need to find one.

painting in progress © Flora Doehler, 2017

I take lots of pictures of my paintings in every stage and I try to tag them all. I use iPhoto which lets me assign subject headings or tags to all my photos. You could also drag the photos into folders with headings such as “painting”,”painting tutorials”, “acrylics”, “sold”, “available” etc.

I’m rather lax with tagging most of my other photos, but it’s important for me to be able to find my painting images when I need to.

painting © Flora Doehler, 2017

7 reasons to tag photos of art-in-process:

  1. At day’s end I can see my studio progress and make notes about how to proceed
  2. I can see if I have improved the painting or made it worse by comparing it to past versions (which can be a tad depressing at times, but always a learning experience!
  3. Because I tag all of my photos [e.g.” Name of specific show”] I can find the entire body of work for any specific show. That is very helpful for identifying the show’s strengths, gaps, and overall theme.
  4. I can maintain an inventory of all my paintings.
  5. Easily put together a slide-show to share what I’ve learned ( tip: tag progress paintings”painting tutorial”)
  6. When a potential venue or a collector asks for a list of paintings for sale, I can put together a quick list of “Available” or  “Recent paintings”.
  7. I can track my own artistic progress and development.

4 ways I use my photos online :

  1. to create painting and printmaking tutorials and upload to youtube or vimeo
  2. to upload images to blog, facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram
  3. to create greeting cards – I use Moo.com because I can create 25 different cards/images per order
  4. to create graphics – to promote exhibitions. Canva.com is my favourite drag and drop design app for this.

Here is an image for a postcard that I created using Canva.com

There’s no perfect method for organizing photos. I’m curious about your favorite tool or method. Please share that with me in the comments section below.

10 thoughts on “10 Ways Why Your Camera is As Important as Your Brushes and Paint

  1. What kind of camera do you use, Flora? I have an orange Lumix that I take with me a lot of the time – it is waterproof and also shockproof, so I don’t have to worry about it! My favorite subjects in my art include small children and animals, also nature, so a camera is a great way of catching these subjects in that candid moment! I get the best pictures, outdoors, in good light and if I need something more special (like trying to do justice to the awesomeness of snow!) I get my husband with his fancy camera to tag along!

    1. Hi Hilda! I also have a lumix. Mine is turquoise and I bought it because it’s shockproof and can survive being dropped…which I can attest to! 😉 . It’s old though and the resolution is just 12mp. It also makes and records a grinding sound when it makes a movie 🙁 I loved that camera but now it’s the backup.
      5 years ago I got a coolpix Nikon, 16mp. Also shockproof and waterproof. Also blue, and has a sharper photo. The movie part is quieter too.
      Thanks for writing Hilda and happy painting!

  2. I love taking pictures of a painting in progress. It’s so interesting seeing a painting progress. Nice tip on making promotional graphics.

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