I promised a friend I would take some photos of her work for her website. Majority of the paintings and drawings are pretty small, about A4 so I was thinking I could perhaps scan them to get better quality? Or would a photograph be better? We will also make a couple of posters of them so they need to be very high resolution and quality.
Any tips very welcome!
You are always better off having paintings professionally scanned. The scanning should be done using a professional digital scanning device, not a desk top scanner. Also, it is best to scan at actual size at 300 ppi.
These original scans will be your master files. From these master files, the images for the website should be created, sizing them and appling a resolution of 72 ppi. For original scans, I always request a resolution of 300 ppi, even though most printers tell you 200 ppi is sufficient. Any resolution beyond 300 ppi is not necessary.
You mentioned that you may be making a few "posters" of the work. Did you mean posters or giclee prints? Usually it is best to limit the reproduction size to the original size of the artwork, rather than making any enlargement. Many times this is dectated by the style of the work. A loose painting style can usually take a slight enlargement, 10% or so.