Take Your Best Shot

Photographing Your Tilework

One of the best marketing investments you can make, as an artist, is to have your work professionally photographed. The biggest hold up we hear about is a fear of the cost. Hiring a photographer is often between $100 - $500. In the world of smart phones with cameras, we all take quick photos and try use them to market our work. It is cheap and easy, but it can not showcase your amazing work to the level it should. A professional photographer will set up lights to capture the accurate color of your work and get rid of annoying glare spots. Good installation photos will offer many different angles to utilize on your website, in social media and in print advertising. 


Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What should you budget for a installation photograph? 
A: Depending on the size and on how many photos you want, many photographers charge between $100 - $500 for a photo shoot. Many will be in that middle price range. You then have photos, forever, of your work that you can use for years and years to come. 
Q: How do you get your clients to let you come in and take photos?
A: Create a letter that you give to your customers that you place in their finished box of tiles that asks for a photo when they are finished. Tell them you might be interested in bringing a photographer to get professional photos. Give them a present for agreeing to let you photograph your work, i.e. a cake. chocolate, flowers, gift certificate; something to show your appreciation. If they are out of state, send them a hand-crafted letter telling them how to take the best photos.



1. TIME OF DAY Consider the best time of day to take a photo. Contrary to popular belief, the best time could be in the early evening or when the sky is overcast. This type of lighting often provides great color.

2. SHOT ANGLE Shoot "straight-on" shots of your installation (or just slightly off to the side), for the best showcase of your new tile project.

3. CLOSE UPS Shoot a close-up of your tile. Frame your new outlet with a few surrounding tiles or focus on a small section of your pattern.

4. LIGHTING Turn additional lights on and off. Usually turning spot lighting on creates a yellow glow. Try taking photos with those on and without them, to see which works best for your project.

5. SIDE SHOTS Use side shots for kitchen backsplashes and for details under cabinets, if another view is warranted.

6. FULL ROOM SHOTS Stay reasonably close to the subject, your unique tile project. Frame the image with the furniture available to create a classic home shot.

7. USE A PROP One prop is usually all that is needed. Some suggestions: fruit in a bowl, a vase with flowers, a wine bottle and two glasses or a teapot (especially in a kitchen). Remove all extraneous items.


The HTA recommends making photographs a priority for 2015. It is your portfolio and having images of your work will serve you well for the rest of your career. 

Photographers to contact in MN
Sarah Whiting Photography - 612-327-0096

Mark Ehlen - Ehlen Creative 612-201-0652

If you know of a a photographer that we should reference in your neck of the woods send the HTA their contact info to put on file.

Handmade Tile Association
34 Thirteenth Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

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