In the words of the late and highly celebrated photographer Diane Arbus: “to collect photographs is to collect the world”. Collecting photography is one of the most interesting and diverse opportunities in the art world. Its growing popularity makes it even more so. As with any field, you need to begin with a trained and educated eye. You can do this quite easily by reading photography books or by going to galleries and museums online or in person. Collecting already established names in fine art photography is perhaps the easiest yet most expensive path. If you can afford it, you should do so but it is more fun to collect emerging fine art photographers, those whose star is rising. Dean West is an example of the very best in emerging fine art photography and is a talent to watch, collect and follow in the contemporary fine art photography field. Awards, distinctions, exhibitions and patronage are strong indicators of the investment value and market perception of a photographer so you should look to these as you consider who you might wish to stand behind. Condition, rarity, the beauty of the moment, technical competence and the quality of light are factors in the value of an original photograph by a great artist. Remember that there is a line between aesthetically pleasing photographs by hobby photographers and fine art photography by truly gifted photographers. When building a collection, you should only consider fine art photography because fine art photography is not only a good investment but creates longevity by virtue of the reputation and growing importance of the artist. FPI Gallery concentrates on promoting and endorsing emerging fine art photographers who meet this standard.
In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.Alfred Stieglitz