Valle de la Muerte – San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Why should you spend your hard-earned dollars buying fine art photography? That’s a legitimate question which I’ll try to answer. But first, what are fine art photographs? I found the following quote online and thought it pretty well summed up my thoughts about fine art photography. There is a lot of talk, even among photographers, about what makes up a fine art photograph—so maybe this quote will help to clarify the term.
“The way I see it, fine art photographs are purchased mainly for personal, aesthetic, or decorative reasons, often hung on the walls of the home or office, or displayed in books or some other printed form”
I would probably add that a fine art photograph speaks to you (often loudly), much like a fine oil painting, piece of music, or dance performance. This is a hard concept to explain, because it’s so subjective and intangible. Like the Supreme Court justice who famously said (when asked about pornography): I know it when I see it. The same can be said of fine art photography. When and if it speaks to you, you’ll know it.
Before we get to the nuts & bolts of why YOU should buy fine art photography, lets take a moment to discuss quality. Digital technology has been a real boon to photographers, but its also allowed anyone and everyone to flood the market with crap photos (and call themselves professional photographers). Do your research, the images themselves should tell the tale, but also look into the photographer’s background and photographic experience. Caveat emptor (buyer beware) is always the watchword.
Price. Fine art photographs are (usually) reasonably priced as far as works of art go. Compared to original paintings they’re often a bargain. My images, for instance, are not inexpensive but you have many options to choose from: canvas prints, acrylic & metal prints, matted & framed prints, prints only, and even greeting cards. Depending on size and presentation format my images can be purchased for hundreds of dollars to just a few dollars—you the buyer are in complete control. View prices here.
What I’m saying is: cost is not an insurmountable stumbling block to owning original artwork
Story. When you buy original artwork it comes with a story. There’s the artist’s (photographer’s) story, and the story associated with the image itself. For instance I took this photo of Valle de la Muerte just a couple of days ago in the Peruvian/Chilean Atacama Desert (high in the Andes mountains). At an altitude approaching 14,000 feet (very thin air) I was braving the cold night air to capture the always elusive quintessential sunset image. Learn about my story here.
Uniqueness. Purchasing a fine art photograph allows you to express your uniqueness. Buy what interests you, what speaks to you: maybe it’s landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, people, street scenes, or abstracts. You be the judge, you be the art critic. You pick the image and tailor the presentation format to fit your wall space, be it at home or in the office. My photographic style may not suit you (I hope that it does), but there are literally thousands of good photographers to choose from. View galleries here.
Adventure. Maybe you can’t travel the world the way I do, but you can share in the adventure nonetheless. See the world through my eyes and through my lens. Gaze deeply into an image of a place you always wanted to visit, and escape for a moment into a different reality. Owning and displaying the image might be, in itself, incentive enough for you to actually plan a visit. We all need our dreams, and escaping into a fine art photograph can be like escaping into a fine piece of music. Stories of adventure here.
Philanthropy. Philanthropy is a way of giving back, a way of supporting a noble effort. No one gets rich with photography (or only a few at best). Artists produce work because they have to, and I’m no different in that regard. Whether I make money or not I have to take my photos. Fortunately, I have patrons who like my work and continue to buy it. It helps me to continue on this path I’ve chosen: to live simple, to live cheap, and to live free. Read what others have to say about my photographs here.
Sharing and getting the word out is important. Please consider sharing this post with your family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else who might be interested. My website www.IndochinePhotography.me has almost 2,000 “Shares” and my Facebook business page Indochine Photography has almost 6,000 “Likes” from around the world. My blog Expat Journal has over 400 subscribers, and I reach another 500,000 subscribers through my association with Northrup Photo.
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Photographer, Writer, World Traveller
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile