Have the ability to select the ISO (use the lowest ISO setting). The higher the ISO number the grainier the image. Some people recommend a setting of 200 ISO.
Have the ability to adjust the white balance too. The type of light your shooting in may produce white light with slightly different colour tints. The white balance setting helps makes white objects appear whiter in your images. Using a ‘auto balance’ setting is the simplest option.
Aside from making it easier to take stable and perfectly-angled shots, using a tripod ensures accuracy. You can hold the camera, but there may be a subtle blur in parts of the artwork that will reproduce poorly when printed.
If your work on paper, make sure it’s tightly secured to a flat surface. If the artwork isn’t flat, it will cause shadows to appear on the surface and can distort the image.
Frame the artwork against a neutral colour – the less distracting the better (white is perfect).Colourful backgrounds can also alter the colour of your piece by reflecting onto it.
Your camera should be pointed directly at the center of the painting – and always parallel to the artwork. If your artwork is on a easel then make sure the camera is pointing on the same angle (the camera should also be slightly higher than the artwork – if angled down).
If the work you are photographing is behind glass, it is best to take the artwork out of the glass. If you can’t you’ll need to angle the light and camera to minimize any reflection and glare.
Avoid direct sunlight – aside from the fact that it’s probably not great for your artwork, direct sunlight can create what are known as ‘hot spots’ on reflective surfaces. Don’t use a flash either – this can also create a reflective ‘hot spot’.
Use bright and indirect natural lighting. Natural light bulbs can also be a good choice. Cloudy days are your best friend.
Soften any glare or intensity by diffusing the light source (e.g. by bouncing it off a white surface such as paper). What is diffused light? It’s essentially some kind of softening filter between the light and artwork which stops any reflection or glare.
You can also hire professional lighting sets from most online retailers, these include light stands and umbrellas to help reflect and soften the light.