Artist Tech Skills: Photo Basics

Welcome to this class in my Artist Tech Skills Series. These classes are designed to help walk you through common technology-related tasks that many artists find they need to do as part of the business of making and selling their art. These classes cover topics like designing your own business card, printing labels for fabric goods, simple photo edits and more.

In this class we are going to cover photographing your work. We'll start with the setup and equipment you need to take better photos and then move into the simple edits you can do to your photos to take them from pretty good to awesome! We'll also talk through how to understand all of the photo specs to make sure you know how to save the right size and resolution for whatever you need your photo to do.

Table of Contents

Your Camera Doesn't Matter
Setting up a space to shoot
Check your corners
What are they asking for?
Simple Photo Edits
Save it

What is included?

In this class, I will show you step-by-step how to set up a simple photo studio using inexpensive materials like card stock and foam core. We'll talk about the equipment you'll need to get great photos. (Spoiler alert: You can do it with your phone!) Then we'll shoot some photos to see what the look like when they come straight off the camera. I'll show you how to do some really simple edits in a free app called Pixlr that will help you take your photos from almost great to awesome in just a few minutes. That clutch bag photo up above is a great example of this! Then I know that many sites and publications have specific guidelines for photos, so we'll talk about how to set up the file size and resolution to match whatever you are using the photos for. And finally we'll talk about strategies for saving and organizing photos so you can use them again and again.

My goal with this class, and all of the classes in this series, is to introduce you to simple and inexpensive technology tools to help you tackle some common art business tasks. I choose apps that are free or low-cost and that work on a wide variety of devices so you don't need specialized equipment or tools.

Why is this class free? I really believe in paying teachers like me for their time, but I also want to make this series as accessible to artists as possible. That's why there's a "pay what you can" option, so if you are able, you can help me cover the costs of hosting these classes.

Special thanks to Fiber Art Now! Thanks to a generous grant award from Fiber Art Now, I was able to transcribe and caption all of the videos in this class series to help make them even easier to use. The captions will appear automatically when you play the videos in each lesson.

I am finishing up the class lessons right now and this class will launch mid December 2021. Signup to get an email when it goes live!

About the Instructor, Becka Rahn

I am based in Minneapolis, MN where I work as a full-time artist and teacher. My art work ranges from novelty prints to gallery exhibitions. You can see a gallery of my work at my website, as well as links to my Etsy shops specializing in knitting puns and digitally printed accessories. I have received a number of grant awards for my work and I partner with many other arts and non-profit organizations to do community projects. I have served on the boards of directors of the Weavers Guild of MN, Hennepin History Museum and as the state rep for the Surface Design Association. I was also a 2016 member of the international Etsy Sellers Advisory Board and an Etsy U Instructor from 2019-2021. You can find me, all of my social media links, and more at my website:

I have been a fan and designer on Spoonflower since I ordered my first design in 2008. I am the co-author of The Spoonflower Handbook, a how-to guide to designing your own fabrics, wallpapers and gift wrap using Spoonflower, and I taught a regular series of Master Classes at Spoonflower's HQ in Durham, NC. I have a degree in education, so being a teaching artist is one of my passions. I spend a lot of time thinking about pixels.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to the course?

Once you've enrolled, you'll have access to the course material for as long as you need and you can come back and refer to it any time. You just log in to your Coursecraft account and your class will always be there.

So how much does Pixlr pay you to teach this?

Nothing! I teach about Pixlr because I like them and I think they offer awesome tools and services. I don't get any kickbacks, affiliate links, promos, gifts, discounts, sponsorships or bonuses. All instructions and opinions are also my own; I don't represent Pixlr in any official capacity. It's just me and a laptop in a tiny little studio in Minnesota.

I still have a question, how can I contact you?

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at

I am finishing up the class lessons right now and this class will launch mid December 2021. Signup to get an email when it goes live!