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Every other month our blog posts a tutorial showing how to take at home the pictures we create in the studio. If you have a question about our suggestions please don’t hold back - write to us.

Would you like Via U! to create your photography instead of doing it yourself? Anywhere in the world you live, we are here to help.

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About Me

I am an advertising photographer in NYC. My pictures help large corporations sell more and keep their brands looking fresh. I am also the founder of Via U!, an online studio dedicated to creating photography that helps people selling in Etsy increase their sales too.

24. April 2011 20:07

How to Take Pictures of Ceramic Pottery

Here are suggestions to help take great pictures of your pottery. Step by step lighting set up that defines three dimensional form and shows true vibrant colors.

Move a table close to a window. To make the light coming in from the outside easier to work with it’s a good idea to tape a piece of tracing paper to the window. For more information on how to do this please read this.

Blocking some of the light helps give dimension to the pot. Put a piece of black cardboard one one side of the product. Use black, any other color will reflect some light back and change the colors of your product.


To put light in the front of the clay pot put a piece of white cardboard on the other side.

Light coming from the window will reflect on the white board, brightening the front. The black cardboard will make one side a darker.

Diverse tones help define better the pot’s three dimensional form.

The closer you put the cardboard to the pot, the larger the effect it will have in making the pot darker, or lighter.

Place the pieces of cardboard as close as you can to the pot but let enough space to be able to move the camera around.

Now you are ready to start taking pictures.

Clay Pot a loan from Clay Lick Creek Pottery

When photographing a glossy object you may get areas that are very bright.

Sometimes these bright areas help give a feeling of what a glossy object looks like.

And then other times these highlights just blot out detail that you would like to show.

The tracing paper softens the light coming from the window but to avoid highlights we need to use an even softer light. Take out the black piece of cardboard so as to be able to take a picture from that angle instead.

Using the white board to reflect back the light coming from the window will make light even and soft.

This kind of light light creates less highlights and less shadows. However, like everything else in life there is a trade-off. Soft light makes things look flat and colors dull.



Thank you, enjoy the summer.


Comments (17) -

4/25/2011 5:53:00 PM #

Good morning and thanks for featuring my bowl while providing new tips.  I hadn't used the black board to create shadows, just the white to create the highlights.  Yes, due to the nature of the glossy glaze and the concave shape of the bowl, I have struggled to find a happy medium between hot spot and flat photos.  Thanks again,

Butterfly Farm Pottery
Butterfly Farm Pottery
4/25/2011 6:14:48 PM #

Fantastic blog post with great tips.  Thanks for sharing the info.  Plus Karen't bowl makes a wonderful subject!

punt a punt
punt a punt
4/26/2011 9:09:19 PM #

Gracias, un tutorial muy práctico, como los demás... Un saludo

Lettera pSy
Lettera pSy
5/2/2011 6:30:00 PM #

Hi Mariano, I just found your blog: there are many helpful and interesting tips! I'll try to put them into practice to better show my creations, thanks!Greetings from Italy,Cristina

5/9/2011 5:08:50 PM #

This helps so, much Thank you! I am potter and a painter.

Lisa W B Walker
Lisa W B Walker
5/11/2011 7:09:25 PM #

This information is really helpful.  Thank you for

Ceramic Vision/O.M.A.
Ceramic Vision/O.M.A.
6/6/2011 6:37:13 PM #

Dear Mariano thanks for the very useful post. I put you link on my blog Ceramic

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11/7/2011 9:58:07 PM #

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john United States
1/15/2012 2:00:20 PM #

thanks for this

Bruce United States
5/8/2012 3:26:36 PM #

This is usually a interesting and good learn. The blog is published such it's so easily readable and understand. I AM a lover of your website. Many thanks giving this data.

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6/28/2012 6:50:10 AM #

I am longing this post and thinking of it’s theme and attempting to grasp what's this post regarding.

Patrickcollin United States
8/3/2012 8:03:38 AM #

Great post, I have been looking for a way to take better photos of my art creations I will try this out for sure!

Rana Saudi Arabia
9/6/2012 9:23:26 AM #

Thank you so much for the great tips- accurate and it actually works! However, I'm experiencing some trouble while shooting less colorful objects. As your tips work perfectly with colorful and more dimensional objects, I'm having a hard time getting good pictures of off-white tiles. Should I use a dark base? Any more tips will be greatly appreaciated.

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9/25/2012 9:30:30 AM #

Thank you for writing one of the best informational articles I’ve read in a long time. You make sound points that I can relate to and grasp. This is great!

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10/30/2012 7:25:47 AM #

Your blog is so informative … keep up the good work!!!!

jan United States
11/17/2012 12:23:09 AM #

could you do a post on how to photograph an oil painting?
thank you

Julia Greef
Julia Greef Japan
11/28/2012 1:46:15 AM #

Thanks to this fantastic tutorial that is both clear and easy to understand and contains a lot of pertinent information, I have actually been able to take some photos of my pottery that I am very happy with without too much stress or trouble. A huge thank you for your generosity in sharing your expertise with us all.

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