THE ART OF COLLECTING PHOTOGRAPHY
Photography has always been collected following its discovery. The first ever photograph was captured in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, and it was taken from the upstair’s window at his estate in Burgundy, France. Thereafter and whether intentionally or not, snapshots of social encounters, events, family portraits, holidays, nature or even of the most ordinary moments and objects in life, create for many people, their first encounter with both photography and collecting.
Photography permeates all aspects of our lives and when approaching it as a collector, you can gain confidence and joy in different ways. Given todays’ advantage of having a wide range of photography artwork, archival printing methods as well as format sizes available, collectors can delve into purchasing established artists and rare images, alternative names within the canon, emerging talent or simply continue expanding their preferred theme(s). It makes no difference if you collect photography for investment purposes or to enhance your personal space, the most attractive collections are usually built with the visual intelligence and focus of a well informed eye.
Photography is a rich and complex medium however the rule to collecting it is simple, and it applies to both the novice and the connoisseur: buy what you love and the rest will follow. Enjoyment, passion and commitment are important roles in the creation of a collection, and If you collect what you love, a theme often emerges… whether it be a colour palette, a curatorial line of thought, a subject matter, or location. Once you have your theme it can help, but it can also restrict. If you fall in love with a photography work which does not fit your space or original intention, do not walk away from it, collecting is a journey of discovery and within everyone journey’s things often tend to change. The theme of your collection will always develop, as your collection grows.
As a collector you must consider the practicalities of acquiring photography. With the right tools at your disposal, appropriate guidance and care, anyone can successfully create and/or expand a collection with confidence. At Proud Galleries we have the largest selection of authenticated, hand signed/estate embossed, limited edition, fine art music and pop culture photography prints for sale. You can buy exclusive fine art prints directly from our website or alternatively contact us to receive bespoke advice on how to make your first purchase, expand your collection, decorate your space or find the perfect gift for someone special.
THE EVOLUTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND ITS MARKET VALUE
‘In this rampant consumerism and technology age, everyone enjoys the idea of decay and simplicity of the 1970s’ Chris Stein, Blondie guitarist and music photographer
‘Images of pop stars that were once ripped out of magazines have gone from bedroom walls to sale rooms’ Melanie Abrams’s for the Financial Times
The 1960s witnessed radical political and social upheavals around the globe and hosted major shifts within the creative arts, consequently redirecting the narrative of popular culture and the way we consume it. A period in time when photography grew exponentially in terms of accessibility and popularity, while simultaneously capturing and giving shape to modern popular culture. These changes effectively changed the ways in which we perceive and interact with the medium. The walls dividing fine art and photography finally crumbled, photographers would now become household names and artists in their own right and in their own fields. They would bring to us exclusive access to many different social and historical happenings in previously unimaginable detail. At the same time, contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol or Peter Blake started to regularly incorporate photography in their body of work. By this point the medium of photography had become so popular that the concept of the ‘defining or iconic image’ began to gain a foothold in people’s minds.
During the following decade, the evolution of photography was fast-paced. Instant colour film got developed, the cibachrome and other improved printing process were introduced, the flash cube or portable illumination was launched, photography establishments and schools began to take shape, the process of automating most camera processes including automatic exposure systems were completed, and significant recognition of the relative value of different photographers also began to develop, triggering a sudden increase in the wide collectors’ market. By the end of the 80s -a decade characterised by excess, economic boom and consumption- prices of photography prints in auction started to soar, photography shows became more fashionable and regular in the gallery circuit, and the acquisition of a photographic collection was now considered as a sound investment. The categorisation of genres in the photographic medium flourished further and photography could no longer be classified in finite terms.
In 1990s photography evolved to a whole new level with the arrival of the digital camera and modern archival printing processes. Until today, the impact felt from these revolutionary technologies in addition to the never fading appreciation for traditional dark room printing methods and analogue cameras, continue pushing forward the technical development of the medium and increasing its market value as a collectable art form. In modern times, collectors count with a world of possibilities to explore and ways to express themselves, photographers are regularly awarded fine arts accolades and major museums across the world vigorously put the medium at the forefront of their exhibition programmes and prestigious collections. Photography continues to evolve alongside with the progression of trends in commercial and social globalisation, and favourable economic conditions makes it grow in both value and public appreciation. Iconic vintage and modern pop culture photography will never depreciate in value when cared of it properly, and it can reach extraordinary prices. Aesthetically speaking, the right choice in photography will undoubtedly enhance any space or lifestyle.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does my photography work comes with a certificate of authenticity?
Yes. Every fine art photography print acquired from us will be accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity, detailing the print title, photographer and edition number. We strongly advise you to keep the certificate in a safe place.
Can I see a catalogue of prints from a previous Proud show?
Yes, contact us to book a viewing appointment. Moreover if you can not find a particular photography print you remember seeing at one of our past exhibitions, do contact us and we will locate it for you.
Can I choose a specific edition number?
Ordinarily we will supply the next photography print number available in the edition. However, if you would like to have a specific number, please do contact us and we will inform you if it is available.
Can I order a print in a custom size format?
If you are keen to purchase a print in a particular size, not specified on our website, then please do contact us and we will endeavor to accommodate your requirements in liaison with the photographer or estate. Modern fine art photography prints are occasionally made to order and delivery usually takes a few weeks.
Can I purchase my print framed?
Yes, but we avoid sending framed artwork outside of London due to the inevitable risk of damage. You are also welcome to collect your photography print from our gallery space in central London. Framing & delivery services are subject to additional fees.
How should I frame, display and care for my print?
We recommend that you have your piece framed with an archival mount, avoiding dry mounting where possible and choosing AV-reflective glass preferably. The work should not be displayed in areas exposed to natural light and should be away from extreme temperatures and damp conditions.
Are gift vouchers available?
Yes. Available in denominations of £100 and for use across our website and shows, our vouchers are sent via email and make a unique and memorable gift.
What is an archival giclée print?
A method of printmaking used to produce high quality images from a digital source by ink-jet printing. The ink is sprayed onto a wide range of media in millions of colours utilising continuous tone technology. This method is associated with prints that use fade-resistant ‘archival’ inks.
What is a silver gelatin print?
Also known as a dark room print, this is the most common type of black-and-white photograph produced. Photosensitive silver salts are suspended and dispersed in the gelatin, which acts as a stabilizer for the chemicals. The image taken from the negative is then embedded in the gelatin coating on fibre-based paper as the chemicals react to the varied concentration and brilliance of the light.
What is a bromide print?
A standard, high contrast black-and-white photographic paper print, with the blacks and whites being very sharp. The image is produced by a chemical change in the surface of the paper when it comes into contact with the bromide. The image sharpness is produced because the paper’s surface is not fibre-based.
What is a C-type print?
The print material consists of at least three layers of emulsions, in which the photographic chemicals are kept stable. Each layer contains light-sensitive silver salts designed to be sensitive to a different colours (red, green or blue). Chemicals are added during printing which forms the appropriate colours in each layer, which combined together form an accurate reproduction of the colour image.
Wha is an Inkjet print?
A high-quality print created by various sized droplets of ink propelled in file detail onto paper. The inkjet print is produced from a digital image file as opposed to a negative. A fine art print produced on this medium should use archival paper of a fine quality and ink appropriate to the quality of the image. An increasingly popular fine art medium, inkjet prints allow a greater spectrum of colour reproduction.
What is an archival digital print?
A digital print where the chemicals are handled carefully with the intent of increasing the image’s longevity. This includes handling and treating the photographic materials in a way that lessens their deterioration from ageing and from chemical reactions with other materials.
What is a vintage photography print?
In photography, vintage prints are typically the earliest prints that the photographer makes soon after developing a negative, vintage prints are considered original pieces of art.