How to Start a Fine Art Photography Business
The definition of fine art, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is "art
concerned primarily with the creation of beautiful objects". With such a "wide"
definition of "beautiful objects", the beauty is in the eyes of the photographer.
Virtually anything can be fine art, a simple household item such as a fork, a nude
body, travel, landscape, wildlife, a landscape.
Not everyone will agree on what constitutes fine art, many years ago I was awed by
the sight of the Sydney Opera House, and thought it was the most beautiful building
In Australia. However I remember thinking that it perfectly complemented Australia,
it would look pretty silly in the centre of Madrid. However if you don't like the
Sydney Opera House, then it does not matter how great the photo you are not going
to like it. So whatever constitutes Fine Art photography is a pretty subjective
decision. School of Photography give you a good idea of what will constitute in
their view Fine Art photography.
For many photographers this is an ideal line of work, because it allows you to
represent a part of your personality, through your work. It is possible to make a
political statement by being a fine arts photographer. A clear analogy here would
be the emergence of the acceptance of the gay male in photography, over the last
thirty years. In it's wide ranging definition it is possible to be more creative,
and in this creativity be more personal.
There are a lot of resources on the Web regarding fine art. One of the better ones
concerning resources and links is
There are excellent links to photographers' web sites, as well as grants available
to the photographer. Because the definition of Fine Art photography is so wide, it
has perhaps a more specific marketing need. Fortunately there are more ways to
market them than just stock photographic galleries.
It may be advantageous for you to think about engaging the services of a full time
sales representative. A sales representative will work with clients in the
advertisement industry, the travel industry, and also graphic design firms. The
advantage of employing a sales rep is that it leaves you free to create without the
hassle of "cold selling". If you are not a natural salesperson, it may be better
for you to consider someone else doing the selling. That person should also be able
to evaluate the true value of your work, be experienced enough to know where to get
the prices, as well as having a proven track record in negotiating the best prices.
There are other advantages as well. Companies using a wide and diverse range of
photographs, such as advertisement agencies, will have more time for a sales rep,
who has a large portfolio of work, from different clients, than from one single
photographer. By the nature of their work sales reps are normally found in larger
cities and towns, they will have a large client base of their own, and will probably
promote your work in specialised areas, such as food photographer, or portrait
photographer. So how does the relationship work? Normally the sales rep will already
have their own business, and they will work for you on a commission only basis.
You will pay them approximately 30 percent of the assignment fee, that is the net
fee, not the final figure with expenses added on.