Photographing my art 10 years ago…

Grabbing my ipad and snapping away, photographing my latest paintings in my relatively dark living room then uploading them onto the Internet…. I have been comparing the way I photograph my work today with how it was just a few years ago.

In around 2002 I had been graduated from Uni for 2 years, and had just decided to get my post-graduation paintings out there for everyone to see. I decided that I needed to get photographs of my paintings on the Internet, and that I would need photos to send to galleries, etc. (though in those days people still asked for slides to be mailed to them! ha ha.)

It was a tricky and time consuming process. Having no professional photographic equipment or studio, and living in a back to back terraced house, with little cash, here is how I did it: I would wait until it was a bright sunny day, with low winds, then grab my canvasses and dash out into the street with them. I would prop the stretchers up against the wall of my opposite neighbour’s house, (as mine was always in the shade) and stand in the road, looking out for cars, and photo the paintings with my analogue camera. If it was windy, sometimes the paintings would blow over. Sometimes I would wait for days for a bright enough day. I would then take the film to a shop for developing, and wait 4 days (the cheapest option) before collecting the prints. Sometimes they would be blurred and shit. If they were good, I would then scan them and then crop them and skew them so that the right angles were corrected.

After this, if I was to send them anywhere, usually email wasn’t able to cope with photo attachments, so I would have to burn a cd and post it off to people! Then, as was the case with axis-web at the time, you would have to wait days for someone at the other end to painstakingly upload them to the website on your behalf. Goodness me, it was a tedious process.

Now I am amazed at how fast I can photograph my work, and stick it online. It’s so seductive! And it seems that the rules regarding ‘no background should be visible in your photos’ isn’t as strict, and in fact people now seem to like non professional looking snapshots into artists sketchbooks.

Anyway, just thought that Granny Helen here ought to let these youngsters of today know how good they’ve got it with their twitter and their Instagram and tumblr and all that jazz.

My studio space today…. Sitting in the garden. Lovely!


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