Shop Talk

How to Take Better Work in Progress Shots

With the Holidays coming fast, it’s the perfect time to start kicking your self-promotion game into high gear. One great way to do that is to give fans and potential customers behind-the-scenes peeks at your process by sharing more W.I.P. (work in progress) photos on social media.

Instagram is really the best place to share work in progress shots, but you can push those shots to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. Users post pics with the hashtag #WIP, particularly on Wednesdays with #WIPWednesday. If you follow @Redbubble or our artist-focused @redbubblecreate, you’ll see we often repost our artists’ #WIP’s, so if you share your shots along with a Redbubble mention or hashtag, you might get some extra exposure.

I love work in progress shots as they allow a genuine look into the inner-workings of artists, from what pens they use, to a view of their studio. With this in mind, I’ve collected some super easy tips and tricks on how to take and share the best WIP photos possible.

Redbubble Resident George Rose's WIP

1. Focus On Lighting

A key to an attention-grabbing Instagram snap of your work is a lot of light. If it’s possible, make that natural light. Make sure when you’re photographing your works in progress that you’re under a lamp, near a window, or in a well-lit working space. Instagram photos can look fuzzy if they’re high in noise or saturation – so keep things light and crisp with bright lighting.

2.Use Details

One of the great things about WIP shots is that you get a to see a cross-section of your finished artwork. You can show your audience the tricky bits of your process and strut your skills by highlighting details of your artwork. Don’t be afraid to revel in macro close-ups of intricate details in your work – use them to demonstrate what you already know, that your work takes time and you’re dedicated to it.

Redbubble artist breannacooke shows off her design details

3. Reveal Your Workspace

Your customers love seeing where the magic happens. It’s like having a backstage pass. Giving your viewers a look at your desktop, drafting table, or studio is one of the easiest and most effective ways to build community and create connections with fans and fellow artists by giving them an in into how you live and work. Visually show your sensibilities as an artist by revealing how messy (or neat) you keep things, snapping  pic of your disinterested cat lounging on your latest work, or show off the stack of reference books you have on your desk. Remind people that you’re a person with interests and passions. People love knowing how the sausage is made, so give them a peek.

Redbubble Resident fioski in the studio

4. Emphasize Materials

You can use WIP shots to show insights into the tools that you use. One thing I’ve noticed working with artists is that they are really nerdy about their pens, markers, paints, brushes, software, and film. Sharing information on the materials you use can be a great conversation starter and a way to find other artists working in similar mediums. If you’ve got a passion for Copics or a Posco, it’s worth showing it to the world.

5. Build Community

As we mentioned up top, on Instagram you’ll find lots of artists and creative folks posting #wip shots on Wednesdays with the hashtag #WIPWednesday. If you’re interested in posting regularly, you can use WIP shots to build artistic community online.This can be a great way to check in with other artists you network with and take accountability for the progress of your work.

Redbubble artist lorettalizzio sketching

Share your #WIP shots and tips in the comments.