Photography is the perfect medium to appeal to the would-be collector. It is contemporary, and it is accessible (both in price and in technique). We understand photography. We know how it is done, and we appreciate its fresh, modern, and visually stimulating takes on our world. We can look at an image and be amazed that someone was able to use a camera – a piece of equipment we all own and use – to create something that moves us so powerfully. Because photography is so young in the spectrum of the arts, many legends are still alive. We are able to meet them, hear them lecture, and attend exhibits of their work. And just below the “legend” level, there are many well-known fine art photographers who are interested in connecting with the people who collect their work. They are out in the world and easy to follow and communicate with. It is like being able to email the lead singer of your favorite band – and have them write back and want to meet up for coffee.
Most photography is also affordable. A painting or sculpture by a mid-career artist would be significantly more expensive than a photograph by a photographer with the same level of recognition and exposure. It is possible to really make a significant investment at a reasonable price point and watch the value of your work grow.
You can use the “good investment” angle to help you take the purchasing plunge, but at the end of the day, you should buy what you love. You should buy a photograph that makes you feel something. You do not have to be able to identify that something or even be able to articulate what appeals to you. You just have to love it.
Trust your gut. There are no wrong choices. And if you are working with a gallery with a strong reputation, you cannot go wrong.