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Best Practices in Documenting Your Work

Documenting your work is important. It provides you with an inventory of images to use for sales, reproductions, grants, residencies, grad schools, other applications that require portfolios, or competitions, as well as giving you a visual representation of the evolution of your practice. Whether you’re a visual artist or a designer, these guides will help you document your work.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, we’ve compiled some of the most comprehensive guides for documentation listed below. Since everyone learns in a different way, there is absolutely overlap between guides. We aimed to include different ways of learning as well as guides for different practices. We hope this will be a great list to double check documentation when you need a refresh.

We’ll keep this resource updated with vetted links as we come across them.

How to Photograph your Artwork for a Portfolio or the Internet

Basic guide for documenting two-dimensional work. Includes tips for those who do not have a white wall or interior space with even lighting.

How to Photograph Your Art

Video guide for documenting two-dimensional work. Includes tips for editing.

GYST Documentation for Artists

Comprehensive guide to tools required for documentation. Bonus: includes video documentation of performance and how to prepare slides.

Documentation of a Media Art Installation

Basic guide for documenting media work and installations.

Photographing Artwork

Basic guide for documenting artwork that include file organization.

Visual Artists Ireland: Documenting Your Work

Guide for documentation that includes two and three-dimensional work, installations and exhibitions. Great for visual artists and designers who create physical work or installations.

How to take professional photos for your design portfolio

Guide to photographing print and product design work. Bonus: lots of images for inspiration.

Tips for the Perfect Photoshoot for Your Design Portfolio

Detailed guide for setting up a photoshoot for print design and products. Bonus: also great for anyone selling their work online, including ceramicists, jewelry artists, artist book authors, and more.

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