2D artworks-specific questions

My pictures have highly reflective surfaces and the images I have had taken in the past are really confusing to look at: can you get rid of these?

When copying oil paintings or highly varnished textured surfaces, the light sources used to illuminate the picture often throw up many random specular highlights, which, while giving an indication of the surface qualities of the painting, mostly detract from the viewing experience. I use a complex but highly effective lighting and filtration technique called cross-polarisation, which all but eradicates these stray reflections and imparts a rich but natural saturation to colours. So often photographs of oil paintings seem to display glare or a “veiled” low contrast effect: using cross-polarisation techniques we can represent your paintings with the impact they deserve. 
Please see this article to find our more about cross-polarisation lighting techniques.

My pictures are mounted behind glass: do I have to remove them?

This should not usually be a problem: you will not need to remove images from glass frames. Reflection-free images can be created and any colour distortion, e.g green casts caused by older glass, can be corrected in digital post-production.

My pictures are framed with very thick frames which can cast shadows on the copied image: is there any way to photograph them without removing the frames?

Using special processing techniques, involving a composite of two or more images, we can largely eliminate the shadows cast by thick frames, so that your supplied file represents the entirety of the actual image area, but unit costs are likely to be a little higher than standard copying, due to the additional processing time. 

My painting is in a hard to access location and cannot be removed from the wall: can you help?

Yes! There are things we can do to photograph and post-process paintings that are in a fixed position (or murals) such as over stairwells or high up, in such a way that vertical and horizontal lines are maintained and illumination appears even and reflection-free.

I have a small number of 2D items  to be copied? Do you have a minimum order requirement?

It takes a certain amount of time to travel to a shoot and set up the lights and workstation: I therefore need to set a minimum of pictures to make a trip financially viable. But I am happy for artists to bring items to one location in order to share costs.

Do you offer large scale Giclee printing for limited edition print runs?

I can provide portfolio prints in-house up to A3+ size maximum. For large runs, I can recommend professional laboratories who can output to a wide variety of interesting paper types. We concentrate on generating the very best digital image of your artwork at an output size which will match your requirements. The colour reference file which we supply as standard with each set of images will enable a professional lab with a colour managed workflow to match colour very effectively according to the paper and ink combinations that they offer.

My images look fine on the reference prints you sent but the colours are all over the place when I view the images on my computer or the web: what’s happening? How do you manage colour?

We always supply a reference print for the shoot as we can display a properly colour-managed workflow, which follows rigorous testing and calibration to industry-agreed guidelines. If your viewing device, be that desktop computer, latop or handheld device, has not been properly calibrated with a third party colour calibration device then colours are going to be poorly translated: distortions can include a blue or yellow cast to what should be neutral greys, or a magenta or green colour cast overall. In addition, only the most expensive monitors can display the entire range of colours in some digital files. Colour representation on monitors is subject to a number of variables and unfortunately there is no way of knowing whether the person viewing your images or website on their device is seeing colours as you intended them to be viewed. If you wish to show your images on a laptop we can advise re getting your system properly calibrated. If you show prints, then the problem does not arise.

Do you copy paintings on transparency/film?
No longer:  digital imaging has made massive strides in recent years and is superior in so many ways. Digital copy methods offer: consistency of colour, instant image checking, fast turnaround, convenience of distribution, and an absence of grain to interfere with resolution of fine details. Film has become more the preserve of fine art photographers and enthusiasts, with less and less products available and, more importantly, fewer and fewer commercial labs who are able to process it reliably and to the exacting standards required; with so little demand now from commercial photographers, it is becoming less and less of a commercially viable medium for processing houses to offer. Even if you originate on film then you still need to digitize that image via a scan, thus introducing another set of variables. A properly scanned 10x8 film image certainly is a beautiful way to create copies of paintings but it is expensive, slow and increasingly hard to offer with confident guarantee of quality.

My artwork is wall mounted but three dimensional: do you photograph “relief” art?

Certainly: but the lighting required is different from the standardised set up I use for flat copying of 2D artwork, as it is intended to reveal both form and texture, rather than evenly illuminating a flat surface. Each item is different and, as a result, more work is required and we prefer to provide an estimate for such items, depending on your requirements, plus the item’s size and complexity.
My 2D work contains mixed media elements such as reflective foil/ metallic paintwork: can you represent this accurately?
As with wall mounted relief, photographing mixed media can be less straightforward than standard flat copy: I often resort to separate lighting treatments for different elements of such work and create a composite image in-computer to reproduce the original to best effect. Such items require a little more time to photograph and process and this is reflected in the quote I can provide. Please get in touch….

What’s the largest painting you can cover?
Using multiple lights, and with sufficient space, I can cover large paintings to approx 3m long dimension. Larger creations can be photographed in sections and a large composite image supplied.
I want to create a very large print from your image file : is this possible?
My standard supplied image files can be reproduced at full publishable quality (300dpi)  to approx A3 size. Slightly larger inkjet (or “giclee”) prints can be created from the same files without any loss of quality by printing at 250 dpi, with maximum sizes extendable if printing on a textured or canvas paper surface. However, if you are planning to output much beyond A2 size, I recommend photographing your original in sections in order to create a much larger composite file, created in computer, which will yield larger prints. When establishing what file size to create, we need to consider the required final dimensions for your print, the paper surface it will be printed on, and the probable distance from which it will be viewed.  

Both 2D and 3D -specific questions

I want to display images on Instagram: can you make them available for download to my phone?
Using our convenient online reference gallery and delivery system, you will be able to download images directly to your phone/ camera roll, so that they can simply be uploaded to Instagram/ social media feeds. 
Do you have a studio where I can bring items?
I do not maintain an actual studio premises, preferring to hire studio space when required: the annual savings are considerable and these in turn are reflected in my rates. However, if you prefer to bring items to a studio we can arrange this at reasonable rates .
A magazine has asked for images for hard copy publication in a format I do not recognise. Can you take care of this?
It is in my interests that any images I supply are reproduced as technically perfect as possible. Images for some hard copy media need to be supplied in a special format. I am happy to manage such requests from publishers and supply uncompressed image files in preferred colour spaces. I make a small charge for maintaining such versions of your images.
Other questions

I am part of a studio collective: do you offer a group rate?
Yes: with the proviso that I need to set up in each practitioner’s studio or space and therefore charge individually. But the general cost of such a shoot is more advantageous than lots of separate shoots so reductions can be offered and savings apportioned pro-rata. 
Can I get a larger number of items together with other artists in order to benefit from your quantity reduction?
Most definitely! I am pleased to enable clients to pool items provided all the items to be photographed are located in one place. I invoice individually and generous percentage reductions can be made on my basic package which are shared between participants. 
Do you extend credit/ enable credit card payments?
Invoices for supplied image files are generally payable once images are used (e.g. uploaded to a blog or website) or within 30 days of invoice, whichever is sooner. For galleries or other organisations looking to establish long term relationships with regular assignments I would be pleased to invoice monthly for all shoot and post-processing work, with 30 days credit extended. I can enable payment via credit card for a small fee to cover payment processor fees.
Is your business insured?

Yes : my business, and any operatives in my employment, are fully insured for accidental damage to property or individuals, known as “public liability”. Precise values of cover can be provided on request. It is the responsibility of the Client to ensure that items are fully insured independently, especially if in transit.

Who owns the images you create? 
As the photographer, the copyright for all images I produce is my property and is protected. However, given that the subject matter is wholly the artist's creation, I cannot use those images without their clearance! Our agreement therefore assumes a right to use images which I produce on my website and in other promotional and/or training media only. If, on the other hand, I was commissioned to photograph works by an artist which were then featured as part of a book for sale (e.g. a guide to portrait painting), then I would expect the book publishers to negotiate extended usage of the images with me first. In other words, usage of your images cannot be extended to third parties (other than obvious marketing outlets like galleries or hub-sites) without my agreement.
If in doubt: please find out >>> !
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