If you’ve ever wanted to sell fine art photography or art prints to make wall art, there’s no better time to start than now. Creating and selling art photography or fine art photography can be one of the most rewarding outlets for those with a passion for art photography.
When I create a print, I’m creating a tangible work of art that I’m truly passionate about. Some of the most infamous art photographers — from the likes of 20th century artists like Cindy Sherman to Georgia O’Keeffe — to fine art photographers working for National Geographic have had to ask themselves what it is that makes them passionate to create fine art photography.
To create a successful collection of fine art photography, start by answering these 5 essential questions about your digital photography work.
1. What is your passion?
What inspires you? What makes you happy? These are the questions fine art photographers should focus on asking when creating works of art, especially when first getting started.
My passion lies within capturing indescribable landscapes and wild animals. Much like National Geographic photographers, I feel happiest and at peace when I get away from the busy demands of everyday life.
Growing up around horses and the sea, I’ve always loved being amongst wildlife. This was the beginning of where my art forms took me and has since been the subject matter for much of my photography art.
2. What are you trying to say?
An important element of creating and selling fine art images is crafting the voice behind your images. It’s one thing to capture a beautiful image, but what are you trying to communicate? Art photographers like Ansel Adams sought to capture the essence of the American West while others like Alfred Stieglitz wanted to show how art photography could be accepted through his digestible modern art images.
My photographs celebrate the natural beauty around us and inspire ecological preservation. I want nothing more than to help preserve this natural beauty while using my images to inspire others to make similar choices. Whether you’re capturing a still life or a landscape scene of rural France, make sure you’re communicating something about your images.
3. How are you going to convey your message?
Once you have identified the story behind your work, it’s critical to think of how you are going to show this through your images. This can be through the use of many techniques such as subject matter, color, composition, light, or even printing materials. The options are endless! Only you can choose the right tools to display your art and convey your message.
When crafting my images before printing, I often process them with high key tones with bright pops of color. I want the image to be real, but also feel fun and dreamlike showing how I see these moments through my eyes. One of my most successful images to convey this, is Dreaming of Paradise, pictured above. This photograph of a sea lion sleeping in the sun gives an up close and personal perspective by drawing you closer into the image. You feel that you can almost reach out and pet him! The bright colors then help convey my love for these animals in a lighthearted way. I chose the title for this image to further emphasize my passion to pursue ecological preservation.
Since my work is a depiction of natural beauty and freedom, I have chosen to use environmentally friendly materials to help preserve our natural resources. This is vastly important to me because my passion for creating these images begins with the wild animals and places I love most. This is my contribution to making a difference and inspiring others to follow.
4. What is your fingerprint?
Make your work unique and it will become your fingerprint.
Push yourself to define a unique style. I knew that I was not trying to shoot a postcard or create a vintage feel. Postcard images aren’t bad, but we’ve all seen them before. That classic shot of the pier along the coastline, with a vibrant sunset. Yes it’s beautiful, but I can name many other photographers who have created an almost identical image! Try to share your message through a unique vantage point to give it more of a limited edition feel .
Check out the unique art photography style of Gregory Colbert. His collection of work Ashes and Snow, displays the co-existence of mankind and animals in a hauntingly beautiful way. His choice of subject matter, composition and light combined with his unique color and tonal process makes his collection of work stronger as a whole. This makes his message stronger and also creates an unmatched visual signature for his works of art. Without even reading his name, his images are recognizable almost anywhere — no matter if you live in New York, California, London or Amsterdam.
5. What is your story?
Telling your personal story is also important when connecting with people through your works of art photography or fine art photography. People don’t just collect art, they take home a part of you! I have always grown up with a camera attached to my hands ever since I was big enough to hold one. When people asked why I loved photography, I had no answer. I just loved it ever since I was big enough to hold a camera.
It Wasn’t Until Recently That I Really Understood Why This Was My Creative Outlet Of Choice. Early In High School I Was Diagnosed With Graves Disease. Though A Common Diagnosis For Some Adults, This Is More Rare To Have As A Child. It Not Only Affected My Learning Abilities, But Also Made My Handwriting Unsteady. Other Creative Outlets Like Painting And Drawing Were An Extreme Challenge For Me Even Though I Enjoyed Them. This Is Why I Fell In Love Picking Up My Camera To Create Images — It Gave Me A Tool To Be Creative Without My Previous Limitations.
Till this day, my camera has helped me share who I am and show things I couldn’t always say. I have learned to use this tool to create art images that will inspire others to create change or see things differently.
Ask yourself these five questions and take yourself on a personal journey through your photography. Don’t feel like you need to have all the answers to these questions before you get started — I sure didn’t! Fine art photography is not just about technical and artistic achievement, it’s also a personal exploration. In today’s day and age where photography plays such an important role in our society, I encourage you to share your story and make your mark on the world through your images.