How to: Collect Photography

A Charlie Cawley photograph hangs in a stairway.

Art world specialists from all over will tell you the same thing - photography is on the rise. Joshua Holdeman, international director of photographs at auction house Christie’s believes “photography is still hugely undervalued in the scheme of art. It is greatly undervalued in terms of comparison to sculpture and painting.”

A new generation of curators and collectors are leading the charge of breaking down the stigma between painting and photography. Many people believe that the current generation of collectors have stronger emotional connections to the subject matter depicted in, say, Robert Frank’s photograph of a New Orleans trolley (which sold for $204,000 last month) better than to a Peter Paul Rubens painting of porcine 18th-century aristocrats.

For most homes, photographs also work better as a decorative element. A large painting defines a room; photography defines your personality just as well, while taking up less room.

So how do you get a photography collection going? We’ve gathered together some helpful tips for photography neophytes and veterans alike:

1) First and foremost, follow the wise words of Roy Adzak “Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us.” Buy what you like, what resonates with you emotionally. If you do, you’ll never get sick of the artwork on your wall.

2) Want more information on a piece or an artist? Go straight to the top and contact the gallery directors. Here at Ugallery, Alex and I are always happy to talk about our artists. And, we can put your order through for you directly over the phone. Give us a ring any time.

3) Finally, size does matter. Fortunately most photographs are available in multiple sizes and can fit any space. That said, always make sure to measure your space before you buy. To help ensure your new artwork will fit in your home, try our Virtual Wall.

Here are some helpful tips for finding the right sized piece for your space:

  • Want to highlight a small photograph? Hang it in an intimate setting, perhaps in a small room, a narrow space or in combination with other similarly sized pieces.
  • Hanging art over furniture? Make sure that artwork is at least a third smaller in width than the furniture hangs above. This maintains a sense of proportion and allows the artwork to be the center of attention.
  • How close to the art will people stand? Large impressionistic images require the viewer to stand further back to get a better visual. Small, detailed images (ie many photographs) require the viewer to stand closer.

To get started, be sure to peruse Ugallery’s photography collection!

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