How to Photograph Sculpture

Sculpture is a massively various medium, encompassing historical statues, fashionable metallic abstracts, and almost everything in concerning. The beauty of this is that no make any difference what your individual preferences, you will find some variety of sculpture that appeals to you.

Unfortunately, most sculpture photographs are considerably significantly less artistic than their issue. It is all far too straightforward to take a uncomplicated snapshot of a sculpture, merely documenting it rather than shooting it in a creative way.

No subject what kinds of sculpture you like, there are a range of techniques which can be employed to enhance your images of it. They will help you seize your issue in a way that says one thing about you and your temperament, as perfectly as the piece alone.

Place Your Have Spin on Issues

An critical question to request your self when photographing sculpture is whether you ought to consider to clearly show off the artist’s vision by photographing the sculpture as correctly as probable, or irrespective of whether you should really seize it in a way that expresses what you see in it.

Individually I believe that both approaches have their position, but I like to set my have spin on items where ever feasible – usually you can be still left with a picture which is small additional than a snapshot of anyone else’s get the job done.

Statue's hand holding cigarette

Try to inject some of your very own identity into your sculpture images. Picture by Thomas Hawk.

Following time you are photographing sculpture, 1st make guaranteed that you essentially commit some time taking it in before you get your camera out. Wander all about it and examine it from distinct angles, and see what options and specifics stand out and interest you. Then foundation your composition about that.

Do not be fearful to use an unorthodox camera angle, this kind of as lying on the ground seeking up, and never feel you have to capture the overall sculpture – truly feel free of charge to zoom appropriate in on one particular unique place and crop almost everything else out.


Sculpture is by its quite mother nature a 3-dimensional medium, and you must purpose to reflect that in your sculpture photography. Lights plays a essential role in including depth to a photograph. Aspect-entrance lighting normally will work greatest since it casts long shadows across the sculpture, choosing out the contours and information on the sculpture’s area. The ideal time for this sort of lights is all-around sunrise and sunset, when the sun is very low in the sky.

Shell and bridge sculpture by the sea at sunset

A well-lit sculpture photograph brings out the depth and detail of the issue. Picture by Brent Pearson.

If you do not have the choice of deciding on your lights, keep in mind that you nonetheless have the flexibility to transfer all around the sculpture and decide on the most eye-catching angle to photograph from. It is generally our initial instinct to shoot sculpture front-on, from the most apparent viewpoint, but you may well locate that you can get a lot better lights by taking pictures from the aspect, so be organized to experiment.


When choosing your composition, don’t forget to assume about the background – it truly is extremely disappointing to consider what you believe is a excellent picture only to get home and recognize a massive distracting indicator article in the qualifications.

Sculpture of two runners

Stay away from distracting qualifications clutter to emphasis the viewer’s focus on the sculpture itself. Impression by Garry.

A plain and uncluttered qualifications ordinarily functions most effective for sculpture images mainly because it retains the viewer’s notice concentrated on the sculpture alone. If you are obtaining hassle discovering a basic history for your image then consider using a shallow depth of subject. This will toss the background out of emphasis, lowering its effect significantly.

Alternatively you could want to display your sculpture in the context of its environment, for case in point demonstrating a statue in front of a stately home. This can insert good interest to a sculpture photo but keep in mind that the sculpture, not the background, should be the key concentrate of your shot.