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COVID Updates:

Dear Valued Clients:

Seeing art in person is always a thrill when collecting.  Usually Appraisers go to where the art is!

HOWEVER- if you are long distance; there are tricks to be aware of when photographing for Appraisers.  We examine things very carefully and notice quite a few different things than you may think of.  So here are tips from Worthwhile Magazine:

by John Flandrick of Flandricka House Photography

1.     Direct sunlight is not your friend; outdoor daylight in shade lighting is great, diffused light (under a tree) is excellent, or shoot by an open window, or in a garage with the door open

2.     Avoid glare on art framed with glass by angling the shot, not straight on, and never shoot art in direct sunlight (bad for art) and bad for shot

3.     If client can get a partner to hold a flashlight, shoot oil paintings with raking light: the flashlight held at a 30-degree angle to the painting’s side. And for any photo - when you are tempted to use the phone flash, try another light source first. (Like the flashlight!) You might suggest to your client to pull out a strong flashlight - before you ‘virtually visit’

*Claudia's note: this is called raking light and it's used to identify surface changes, previous conservation or other anomalies on the painting.   SHOOT THE BACK OF THE ARTWORKS AS WELL.

4.     For glass or porcelain, Claudia's Note:  (or sterling silver objects or silverware) do not use phone flash, use a table lamp with a shade and move it close to the object

Claudia's Note:  Look at the photo you took:  Does it clearly show the markings underneath?

5.     For furniture, ask the client to shoot when house is lit up (mid-day) but do not shoot pieces in direct bright light

Claudia's Note:  Photograph sides, backs and underneath

6.     Indirect light at noon is best for most objects; ask client when house is the brightest, as this will change as the direction of the sun changes in each season through the year

7.     For valuable art, especially oil paintings, shoot outside during the “golden hour” between 4 and 5 pm

8.     Tell your clients to shoot everything with a ruler in the shot. For very large pieces, make sure you get “scale:” put a person in the frame (this can be especially important with insurance shots)

9.     Get 3 shots of any signature from varying angles

Claudia's Note:  Document what day and time you photographed! 

Lastly, please EMAIL THE PHOTOGRAPHS.  Text messages do not have the the clarity I need. 



Estate Planning- for your art!

When do you do it?  How do you do it?  Who should be on your team?


Donating Art

This is a complex and tricky area of non-cash charitable donations.  You will need

a Qualified Appraiser to do a Qualified Appraisal- Do you know who and what that is? There are several forms and guidelines you'll need.  Also, we'll help you understand if your art is even donation worthy.  

We are here to help you navigate these complex areas!  Click here to send an email.  Easy!


Publications: Worthwhile On-line Magazine:


Art Terms: 

Know the difference between a drypoint, a lithograph, a giclée and an "embellished original"


In general an "original print" is defined by the artist's intent and involvement:

• It is an original idea, printed on paper or a like material,

• While there can be helpers and specialized printers of this artwork; the artist IS INVOLVED WITH THE DESIGN, EXECUTION AND INSPECTION of the resulting prints.


The five main categories of print making:

1.) Italgio/relief processes: use a plate that a design outline either is gouged into the plate (intaglio) or the plate is cut away

from the design outline relief. Tools and acid can be used to achieve these lines.


2.) Planographic: a design is drawn directly on a plate with special ink holding crayon and printed, example: Lithograph


3.) Stencil: Here a masking off material cut into a design  is placed directly on the paper and then ink is pushed through and the areas

that are not blocked off get printed. Examples: Serigraphs or silkscreens. Think Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soupcan.


4.) Photomechanical: A design is transferred to a positive or negative film.  Using light, to expose the design on a photo-sensitive

plate with special a special ink reactive coating, this plate can then be inked and printed.



An original painting has been fully executed by the artist.  



• a computer generated reproduction that can be printed on a variety of materials

• A "hand embellished" giclée is paint or ink applied to a copy. 

   The artist or someone else may have put the marks on this mechanical reproduction.

Here's a fantastic presentation by the National Gallery, Washington DC:



For more terms and process definitions, contact us!


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