If you create traditional artwork, and have physical pieces, it is important to photo document your work, so you have a digital copy. When applying for art exhibitions, often the gallery will want digital samples (usually JPEGs) of your work. Digital images are also handy for images for your website. Having these digital images ready makes it easier to apply for shows or residencies when opportunities come up. I had some photo documentation done for some of my etchings. I recently found out about a printmaking residency in Italy, and am planning to apply for it online using the photos of my etchings.
I chose photography over scanning because my scanner is too small, and professional scanning is expensive. I hired a co-worker of mine who has professional photography equipment. It’s good to do the photography in batches; once you set up for one artwork, it is fairly easy to swap out the art and keep photographing. We did about 10 images in an hour.
I outsourced the photography because I do not own a good quality camera, and I do not have the photography skills to light artwork properly, etc. A camera is not worth the investment for me, considering I do not need a high quality camera that often. I make do with the camera on my cell phone. This is one area of my business where I am happy to pay someone else for their skills.