Fresno Art Museum Workshop

How to Photograph Your Own 2D Artwork

June 4th, 5th, and 25th, 2016 from 9am to 4pm

Instructor: Randy Vaughn-Dotta

In this workshop you will learn (1) how to use your digital camera to capture the best possible, most accurate rendition of your own 2-D artwork at any time of the day or night, and (2) how to use your computer and Adobe software to sort, process, and archive the digital picture files you’ll create of your artwork.


Instruction will include camera and lens settings, proper tripod set-up, camera alignment to artwork, accurately setting up artificial lights, mastering great exposures, computer software processing, and archiving.

Multiple fully-equipped lighting stations will be available so that every student will have ample practice time and access to equipment. This is a hands-on workshop with the goal of each student acquiring the ability to photograph their artwork and process digital image files with confidence. 

Saturday, June 4th will be devoted to learning and practicing how best to photograph artwork. Bring your digital camera, lenses, tripod, one 2-D art piece to photograph, and any other gear you use for photographing your artwork.

Sunday, June 5th will be devoted to learning and practicing computer image processing and archiving using Adobe Bridge and Adobe Photoshop. Bring a laptop if you have one and any digital picture files that you’ve made (good or bad) of your own artwork.  Digital image files can be brought to class on a CD, DVD, USB drive, or portable external hard drive.

Saturday, June 25th is a follow-up day addressing photography or computer hurdles you’ve encountered since the first two sessions. You should bring any camera or computer equipment, or image files you have questions about. The instructor will be ready to address your concerns and the studio will be ready for more photography time.

Class size limited to 12 students

Fee for all three sessions:  $100

For questions about the class, please contact instructor directly at



I retired in 2011 after working for 27 years as the University Photographer at California State University, Fresno. It was very rewarding to work at the school where I had studied art and journalism photography as an undergraduate student in the early 1970s.

During my career at Fresno State, I was responsible for creating photographic teaching aids for faculty members from the 50+ departments in the seven Colleges that made up the university.

A significant part of my work included photographing student art projects so professors could show future classes how assignments had been creatively interpreted. Several years on in my career, I initiated arrangements with professors in the Art and Design departments to photograph all of the Masters Degree exhibitions on campus as well as photographing all of the graduation portfolios by the Interior Design students. Each year I would typically photograph several thousand pieces of artwork.

My career at Fresno State also spanned the turbulent years when photography transitioned from film and chemicals to digital. My workweek changed from spending hours every day in the darkroom to spending endless hours mastering computers, scanners, and printers and it changed from using floodlights and flash bulbs to electronic strobe flash systems.

I’m looking forward to sharing with you the techniques I’ve acquired over the years for properly photographing artwork.