Organize your kids arts and crafts creations once and for all. Learn how to photograph, digitize, and save kids artwork.
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How to Photograph and Save Kids Artwork
Every month, TONS of art creations are created in my home. My daughter alone creates at least two works of art every day. As she says, “I need to do my art now. I just love my art.”. I can’t bear to just throw away these creations, but storing all of them would be physically impossible. So what do I do? I digitize them.
Here are the six basic steps that I use to digitize and store my children’s artwork – saving me space and mom guilt.
1 – The Amazing Artwork Creation
First, you need to start with a piece of artwork. Whenever my kids color or paint a picture, I try to ask them a simple question: “What is this drawing?” or “What do you call this painting?”.
I like to let them name their own creations. Sometimes it’s just a simple “Dinosaur”. But other times the answer is “A shark on a mountain with a tree”. I don’t question it. I just write it down.
Then, I will write my child’s name, age, and their artwork’s title on the back of the paper. This will come in handy when you save digital copies of all these creations.
2 – How to Photograph the Artwork
Wait. Photograph? Why not scan?
I find that photographing just works better, especially for wrinkled paper, larger art creations, or anything with stickers, layers, or texture.
Tips for photographing children’s art:
This will really depend on what kind of camera and equipment you own, but your ultimate goal is this: take photos that are as bright and as clear as possible.
- Light – No matter what kind of camera you use, natural, indirect sunlight (think a cloudy day, or direct sunlight through a sheer curtain) is your best friend here. Set up by a window if you can. Don’t block your light though – don’t stand between your light source and your art piece.
- Bright – If you have a DSLR, use the highest f-stop possible. If shooting on a white surface, up the exposure comp as well. No DSLR? No problem. Give landscape shooting mode a try.
- Shoot from Above – If you have a tripod with a horizontal camera mount, this is ideal. If not, stand on a chair or step stool to get the best vantage point. You want to shoot directly from above. Keep your camera parallel to the table and your art piece.
The photo above is my setup that I use at home for photographing kids art as well as for my craft photography. I have a small white table top in a corner with a TON of natural light. I use a tripod and my trusty DSLR – nothing fancy. I still use my Canon Rebel T1i without complaint.
4 – How to Edit Photos of Kids’ Artwork
Next up: editing your photos.
This does not involve super complicated software or editing skills. In fact, I use a free online photo editing website called PicMonkey.
For this giraffe, I upped the brightness and highlights. I also used the clone tool to eliminate the edges around the giraffe.
5 – Digitizing your Children’s Artwork
Remember how I asked my children to give names to their art creations? Now is when those titles come in handy. I will use that title as the file name saved to my computer. For example:
Basically, I have a folder for every year. Every work of art that they create that year gets named using the same format and popped into that folder.
6 – How to Display Kids Artwork
Don’t let those works of art stay locked up on a computer hard drive. Put them to use instead!
Print them on a coffee mug or notebook cover. Save a favorite work of art as your computer desktop background. Make a collage of photos and print a large poster. The possibilities are endless.
Here are some projects I’ve made with my kids artwork:
- Make a custom DIY notepad
- Use kids’ artwork to make a teacher gift
- Personalized Christmas tea towels