As we’ve been packing up the study I’ve been finding boxes and folders of the big kids’ art that I’ve saved. I guess I thought that one day I’d do something with the piles of paintings and drawings and collages. The reality is that we don’t have the space to store all this art properly and some of it is deteriorating quite fast. Some of the paintings from preschool four years ago are already discolored and brittle – butchers paper just doesn’t last.
We have framed a few precious pieces of art and have them hanging around our home, but the rest of the pile needed to be dealt with. So I got out my camera and started taking photos of each piece. Along the way I learnt a few things about photographing kid’s art.
- Find somewhere with as much natural light as possible and use your flash as well (preferably diffused – you could try this nifty DIY trick of you have a DSLR with a fixed flash).
- You need to be directly above the art work to get the best shot. Stand on a chair or a table, or even better on a ladder. Or use blue tack to stick the art to a clean, clear wall.
- Try to flatten out as many of the folds and creases as possible.
- Don’t worry too much if there are ripped or missing bits around the edges, a lot of preschool art is not a ‘recognisable object’ so if you have to crop out problem areas you will still have a good representation.
- Light balance your images in your photo editing software to make sure your whites are strong and clear, it makes the rest of the image ‘pop’.
- Save your edited image files in .png or .psd format using as large a size and as high resolution as you can – you can always shrink images without loosing quality but you can’t make them bigger.
- Save several copies of your images so you always have a back up, it’s probably worth looking at buying online backup space for these precious works of art as well as for our other photos too.
So what am I going to do with all these photos?
Well I am not sure yet, perhaps I’ll make each of them a photo book full of their art for Christmas, or perhaps I will print mini version of each work of art and frame them in one big display, like this one from Jen at A Thousand Words. But whatever I decide to do with them, at least I know the art is safe now, and I can happily chuck out all the boxes and folders!
What do you do with all your kids’ art?
Oops! I almost forgot… you can also find me posting about friendship at Childhood101 today : No One Will Play With Me – Helping Your Child Make Friends
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Super Sarah says
I finally got around to doing this last week! I am planning on making a photobook at the end of the year for Amy’s two years at preschool but I love what Jen did in her boys room! I pinterested them for later… I think something like that would look lovely in my girls room!
Deb G says
Kate, you amaze me with your good ideas – I need to do this! Thanks for the inspiration.
i used to write their names on them as well as the date and /or age of child.
Oh yes! I need to add to the list of tips to name your photos with the child’s name and date of creation… will do that now! Thanks for the reminder!
I never thought of doing that Kate.
What a great idea.
Jill @ A Mom With A Lesson Plan says
What a great idea! I have it stashed in a closet (not the best place I suppose.) I really like the idea of taking pictures of it and making it into a book.
Great idea. I really must do this too, as the art problem is getting out of hand here too, and not just munchkin’s – I still have all my projects from high school and uni (graphic design). I’m thinking of making up a creativity journal for the munchkin and include photos of his Lego creations, MakeDo creations and assorted craft projects. A lot of them have stories, so I’d like to record them too.
I’m also awaiting that PERFECT piece to turn into some jewellery for me and the grandmas. I love what Kids with Crayons do with kids’ artwork. http://www.kidswithcrayons.com.au
Including photos of other creations is a great idea. So often we forget that building with blocks or lego is just as creative as drawing or painting! Thanks for sharing!
Rachele @Messy Kids says
I knew a dad who did this and he told me he uploaded all his daughters art photos to a digital frame so it would slideshow through them. Just a thought :)
Great idea! My Mum has a digital photo frame – I should steal it and upload some of the art work as a special gift for Nanny!
Lil' Scholars University says
We absolutely LOVE to photograph our students artwork! This is such a great tool that more parents should utilize to help capture the moment! Thank You!
Oh man, I scanned a bunch of Audrey’s art this week, forgot that photographing it is quicker, a lesson learnt in many hours of doing this task. My tip is to use blutac to affix it to a wall or door rather than trying to get some height on it. If you had a lot to do, getting out the tripod would be worth it.
I had a photo book made of her kinder art, I haven’t done anything with the rest yet :)
That is a great idea:)
I was hoping you might jump in and offer some of your experience on this Leah. Now if my girls would stop stealing all the blue tak this would be a great idea!!!
I love the combination of colours in the first image….it is awesome :) Have you thought of having printing them on mugs, as a special gift to them when they turn of a certain age….with their name and year on maybe…:)
Green Mama says
Kate what have you done with the artwork after you’ve photographed it? I did this a couple of years ago with BabyG’s toddler art pile, and now have 1 and a half years of kinder stockpiled. I’m loathe to throw it out because she’ll flick through her art book (that I’ll make her when I’m not quite so flat out, you know,when she’s at uni) and ask where’s my purple turtle?
A handful of the art I frame and put on the wall. Some we keep for wrapping paper or cut up for collage etc. But a lot of it I throw out. If my kids as (and sometimes they do) I just tell them that we don’t have room to keep every single painting or drawing so I took photos of them and then they had to go. So far only minor whingeing has ensued LOL
Lisa (Baby Loves to Travel) says
What a great idea, and great post. You’ve inspired me to do this now and in the years going forwards! :)
You talk about “Light balance your images in your photo editing software to make sure your whites are strong and clear, it makes the rest of the image ‘pop’.”
Did you do this in the camera or the computer and how did you do it?
Kirsty de roach says
Christie, quite some time ago I got lost down the blogging rabbit hole and saw a wonderful post about companies that converted kids art into a variety of products but I never found the post again ( so annoying ). one of them was a soft toy replica which was really cool. I’ve googled and googled and can’t find it have you heard of anything like this??
Google ‘softies’ there are several sights that will pop up with this reference that’s if you haven’t found it yet