Silicon Valley Open Studios

Connecting artists to art enthusiasts


Guidelines for Preparing Your Images

General Guidelines

Please submit 3 representative digital images of your work which will be shown on the SVOS website. One image should be identified as the primary image which will additionally be used in the printed directory and in the ‘browsing’ and ‘search’ section of the website.

Artists are highly encouraged to review other artists' images on this website and look at artists in their media to see acceptable images and ideas to best show their work.

Your images should be replaced every year. We are learning that visitors remember images from year to year and will skip a studio they have seen before if the same images are displayed. They assume the artist has nothing new to show.

Images will be displayed for one year on the website so it is important to carefully select your images.

Single Image

  • Each image should be of a single piece of art
  • Do not send images of collections, or multiple images
  • The only exception is for items that are normally sold together such as a pair of earings, a cup and saucer, nested bowls, teapot and cups etc.


  • Images should look sharp with accurate color when sized up to 6 inches wide. Look at them at this size before submitting.
  • The design of the directory favors images that are in horizontal format and allows us to present your images with best use of the available space.
  • Your directory image should be at least 300dpi (dots per inch) - This will be shown both on the website and in the printed map guide not larger than 2 inches wide.
  • An ideal directory image should stand out with good contrast colors if possible. Small details and subtle coloring will not be important at this size.
  • You may either take your own photos of your work and edit appropriately or have a professional photographer take your images and edit them.

What Not to Do

Don't Use Flash

Image 1

These will cause reflections from flash

  • Shinny paint like oil or acrylic
  • Glass or plastic
  • Silk, polished, or metalic fabric
  • Glazed pottery or ceramic
  • Polished or waxed leather
  • Varnished or wased wood


Don't Use Advertising Material

Image 1

  • Advertising material is distracting
  • Text or marketing message is distracting
  • Too many images are confusing
  • Multiple images are too small


Don't Show a Collection

Image 1

  • Each artwork image is too small
  • Multiple images are confusing
  • Select one piece for each image
  • Select three images of your best work
  • Select different media if you work in more than one type


Don't Delete Part of the Artwork

Image 1

  • Get all of the artwork in the image
  • Crop unwanted parts later
  • Take the photo straight-on


Avoid the Terrible Trapezoid

Image 1

  • Don't take the picture from an angle
  • Take the photo straight-on
  • Use perspective crop in your photo editor


Avoid Background Clutter

Image 1

  • Get as close as you can to the artwork
  • Check to see what's in the background
  • Use simple backgrounds whenever possible
  • Crop the image with a photo editor later


Improper Exposure

Image 1

  • Avoid dark on dark or light on light
  • Chose a contrasting color value for the background
  • Use simple backgrounds whenever possible

Download the pdf

Tips for Photographing Your Art From SVOS University




  • 2D Artwork must show only the art with no frame or background
  • 3D Artwork may show a plain color background – look at the SVOS website in your media for good examples of this.
  • Professional images which are straight and cleanly cropped must be submitted.
  • Please do not submit logos or advertising copy as an image.
  • Your images should represent the majority of the work you will show at your studio.
  • Images in different media may be submitted to represent the full body of your work. Note – only your directory image will be printed and shown in the 'Browse All Artists' feature of the website so choose this carefully.

Format and Size

  • Your 3 images should be submitted in .jpg or .jpeg format. This is usually the standard produced from a digital camera.
  • Set your camera to the highest quality (or Hi-res) setting before taking your photos.
  • The SVOS web site will automatically re-size your images to the correct size for the web so long as the images are large enough to start with. So don't worry about that.
  • Images should be at least 600 pixels wide.
  • Note the maximum size for images is 2MB (mega byte). Larger files will not be accepted and are not required for quality images.
  • Images that are very narrow and wide or very skinny and tall are not recommended as they do not make efficient use of the available space.