Art Photography: How to Buy Photographs on the Internet or at a Gallery / Art Fair

How to Buy Photographs on the Internet or at a Gallery / Art Fair?

Art photography is emerging as one of the hottest art forms for both art buyers and seasoned collectors, as well as artists. Recent auction records have reached astronomical figures of seven figures, for certain master photographers.

Our editors have selected a few issues to consider at the time you are evaluating a purchase of Photographs, on the Internet or in a gallery or an art fair:

Explore: Before purchasing an original Photographs, learn about the style (Conceptual, Figurative, Abstract, etc.) and the type of Photographs that interests you. The most popular Art Photographs still seem to be black and white pieces, although collectors are increasing open to color Photographs, as well. Most Photographs are limited-editions and signed and numbered by the artist.

Budget: Decide on how much you would like to spend. It is easy to get a medium to large sized work by an emerging artist for less than $1,000 / EUR1.000 and as the reputation of the artist grows, the price also increases. Photographs by master artists can easily reach five-figures, although, you can also buy them for a lot less.

Discover: Read the details available on the artist. Educate yourself about the artwork that you like. Ask questions. Most quality art galleries and Websites should have experienced art consultants who would be delighted to answer any of your questions. Don’t hesitate.

Experiment: Share the artwork – If you have viewed the artwork online, email the link to a friend or to a colleague or simply send an electronic greeting with the artwork. Alternatively, if you have seen the artwork in a gallery, view it with a friend. Get the opinion of someone you trust. Try it.

Ensure: When your heart tells you this is the right piece for you, be patient. Read about the company and their Website or enquire about the gallery. Most credible Websites and galleries provide you with detailed information about themselves. Also, see if the Website provides you with verified and secured online purchases. Read what their customers and the press have to say about them. Check if the artwork will come with an authentication that you feel comfortable with. Find out if the gallery or the Website has a return policy that you find reasonable. When you have done your due-diligence, buy the artwork with all your heart.

Resale: If you think that you may consider selling the artwork, please remember that major Auction Houses and Galleries which typically charge a commission of 20% to 50%. Therefore, please ask the Gallery if what type of resale or investment assurances they can offer.