Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Daily Archives: October 8, 2015

Photography and the art scene, selling your pictures

I subscribe to a site called Artsy, it offers works of art for sale. It is well organised and through preferences you make, lists artists and work you might be interested in and keeps you informed of auctions and so on. No I have never bought anything but I like to look.

I thought you might be interested to see some of the photography that it has for sale, not because you might want to buy but because it might give you some idea as to what you have to do to be considered an artist who sells their photographs. Of course being an artist isn’t just about what you produce but the road or how long that you took to get there, otherwise how would a drawing by Picasso on a napkin be worth anything, according to this story 25 years is the answer to how long.

So you might consider the photographs you make equivalent to some that you can see here on the Artsy photography page but that doesn’t mean yours are worth anything to a wider world. I hope you have learned that what other people think is less important than what you think about your images. You know what you wanted to achieve and whether you did, assuming you don’t fool yourself you will either be satisfied or like most of us know you have to try harder. Being creative in any medium starts with a desire to communicate and if what you produce doesn’t speak to you it is unlikely to do so to anyone else, so be honest did your intent manifest itself in your photograph? Intention is all important; serendipity is fine, happenstance, chance, luck they can all add to your images but in the end they have little to do with what you intended to offer the world as your version of what you see.

So here are some examples of what is on offer at Artsy, you may think they are worth the cost and buy or you may look and repeat that old joke. “How many photographers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” Answer “25, one to do it an 24 to say ‘I could do that'”

From Artsy:

Arguably the most popular medium in contemporary art, photography was invented in 1839. Since then, its various forms and styles have increased almost exponentially—longstanding approaches to the medium range from documentary photography and photojournalism to photo-abstraction. At the same time, every age seems to come with its own photographic movements, and the past century has seen the influential rise of Modern Photography, New American Color Photography, Diaristic Photography, and the Dusseldorf School, among countless other styles and groups.


JESSE BURKE Lumberjack, 2014 Archival pigment print $2,000 – 4,000
ELGER ESSER Helensburg, 2015 Hahnemuhle Ultrasmooth 100% Cotton Rag Framed €15,000 – 20,000
OLIVIER VALSECCHI Eagle, 2012 Lambda Print €3,000 – 5,000
JAIME LIEBERMAN The iron chicken and the Red Bull, 2013 Painting with light on Varita paper Contact For Price
JEE YOUNG LEE Maiden Voyage, 2009 From the series Stage of Mind €2,500 – 5,000
YASUMASA MORIMURA “M’s Self-Portrait no 40/b” 9/12, 1995 Gelatine silver print, framed Contact For Price
JON FURLONG Water Tower Paste Up, 2015 Fuji metallic pearl paper; Ed. 1/3 $500
WALTER HUGO & ZONIEL Developing Shadows 6, 2011 Plaster board and silver nitrate £4,500
Here are just a few of the very varied offerings available for sale within the art market for photography, go and have a look at the rest it is interesting and enlightening if sometimes baffling. See more here