How to Document Your Work

The submission process is restricted to digital entries. To represent your work as well as possible, be sure to photograph and submit a good quality image that depicts your work accurately. Some categories allow you to submit multiple images. It is highly recommended that you take advantage of this opportunity.

Photographing Your Work


For guidance photographing your work with a digital camera, check Step-by-Step How to Photograph Your Work.  If you do not have access to a digital camera, you may use a cell phone, but keep the following things in mind:

1. Use Natural Lighting
a. Low-grade (or soft) lighting works well. The best time to photograph your work is in the early morning or at dusk.
b. Keep the sun at your back and be sure the sunlight hits the artwork evenly and that there are no shadows from trees or any other object.

2. Avoid Zoom
a. Instead of the using the zoom function on the camera, walk closer to the work of art.

3. Use a Neutral Background
a. Photograph your work against a neutral background such as a gray sidewalk.
b. No sidewalk? Use a piece of gray poster board or paint poster board gray.
c. Do not crop your work, even if the background is less than ideal. It is better for the jurors to see the whole piece represented well, rather than just a portion of the work.

4. Beware of the Blur
a. Keep your hand steady while taking a photo with a camera phone or your photo will be blurred.
b. Consider leaning your camera phone (or the hand holding it) against a solid object (such as a tree, wall, or ledge).

5. Keep it Simple
a. Don’t use Instagram or other trendy photo applications.
b. Depict your work of art truthfully—applying effects to your documentary photographs will not achieve this goal.