Snapshots on Collecting Fine Art Photography

There is something deeply transfixing about photography. Part reality, part fantasy the best photos have a knack for recalling and questioning the guts of life - memory, identity and perspective. This is no truer than in fine art photography.

For both burgeoning and established collectors, photography can offer affordable, accessible and surprising insights into modern life. To get your collection snap happy, we’ve put together a brief guide on what to consider when collecting fine art photography.   

 

Bill Henson - 'Untitled #42 1983 - 1984'

 

Essentially, there are two types of fine art photography: digital and film. Either can be digitally or materially altered, any edition and any size. Generally, we consider lower edition numbers to be of higher value. In the case of photography, it's particularly worthwhile uncovering the artist’s process.  

Photography can be misconstrued as an ‘easy’ art form; but this isn’t accurate. On the contrary, in the absence of paint or clay photographers have the space to hone their own, unique processes. Some can spend weeks, months or years out in the ‘field’ studying their subject matter.  Others sit in studios, dark rooms or behind screens, tinkering with reality.  


Christopher Rimmer - 'Luna Park 3'

 

Collecting Photography 

So know you know the magic of fine art photography, here is your cheat sheet on how to collect it. 

Like prints, photography is an accessible portal into fine art. It’s also editioned. Just as every print derived from the artist’s plate is an original work of art, every photograph gleaned from the JPEG or negative is also original. Another rule of thumb to remember, is that the size of an edition will bear on the value of the photograph. Generally speaking - the larger an edition, the less you pay. 

The second basic of collecting photography is how to care for your work. Like always, the best way to safeguard your work is through professional framing. Photographs can also fade under sunlight, so ask your framer about glass that filters out UV light. 

Last - trust your gut. If you’re stuck on what image to acquire, return to your instincts. After all, you can always resell what you fall out of love with. For now though, fall head over heels for that special snap.

To find out more about mediums and techniques, check out our glossary of fine art photography terms.      

 

Julie Millowick - 'Kwie-Li's Fans'

 

In the digital age, photography surrounds us. This ubiquity can turn us off photos as a fine art medium; but it shouldn’t. If anything, photography, in the thick of technology and life, has the ability to provoke awe like few other mediums. When photography first emerged, those snapping pics were dubbed the ‘Pictures Generation’. Now with constant innovations hitting photography, this generation seems as strong as ever.  

 

Discover our range of photographs here