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  1. #1

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    Buying photographs

    Has anyone out there plunked down a considerable amount of money for a fine art photograph? Lets say over $500.00. What did you buy? What did you do with the print? The closest I came was 750.00 for a picture of Babe Ruth surrounded by a bunch of little kids ( long story, personal, sentimental) When I returned to the gallery with cash the print had been sold. The photographer was unknown. I probably would have spent a grand for that photo at that time. To those who collect photos. What do you collect? Why?

  2. #2
    wfe
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    The most I have spent is $500 for a lith print by a photographer that I know personnally. I like to collect work from photographers that I know or have met. Some level of contact and knowledge of the photographer is important to me. The other expensive purchase ($1200) was a book containing 24 original silver prints. The book and the prints were all made by the photographer and I know the photographer through a week long work shop.
    ~Bill
    "Real Art is a Thin Breath Exhaled Amidst a Struggle in the Mind"
    Fine Art and Portraits

  3. #3

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    I collected because it gave me a lot of pleasure to see the images. In the '70s I was working and had a moderate amount of disposible income, and original prints weren't terribly expensive. My first purchase was Ansel Adams' "Moonrise" from Lee Witkin's first New York gallery up near Bloomingdales. It was $700. My most expensive: Wynn Bullock's "Child in the Forest," for $1000 at Sarasota's Image Gallery. I'll admit to a little bit of avarice on that one/ Bullock had died after his show went up, and I could visualize the value skyrocketing -- it didn't! My biggest disapointment: Weston's "Pepper #30" at a San Francisco gallery, but I didn't have the $10,000 to spare right then. Now, every unknown "fine arts photographer" thinks that his prints are worth hundreds of dollars, and I'm retired and don't have any extra cash, anyhow. If I had the money, I think that I'd buy some prints from Dave Beckerman, who does wonderful B&W of New York City.

  4. #4
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    Yup, I have purchased a couple of photographs from William Clift: Factory Butte and White Wall, Canyon de Chelly. That was back in the 1970's though. I did pass on an AA "Moonrise", but by that time it had skyrocketed to $1500.

    Interesting question: Why is it most photographers ask a lot for their prints, but won't buy one from another photographer at the same price?
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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  5. #5

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    Buying Photographs

    Have several Manuel Bravos that were printed by his wife in the 70's. Paid $1000 each for them. They are exquisite. Have several from Dan Wiener that I bought for $100 each back in the 70's. To my suprise the last time I was in the MOMA there was a Dan Wiener photograph on the wall.
    Better to buy what you like and if it appreciates then so much the better.After all you're the one who has to live with it. Looking backwards I was a fool to not accumulate a large collection of artists in the last 30 years.
    A few Westons and Caponigro's; and Adams would certainly make for a good retirement portfolio. Upside is that I've been able to appreciate their art the whole time by going to galleries and museums....(going to the Lowe museum in Miami today to see the Weston show)
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lipka
    Interesting question: Why is it most photographers ask a lot for their prints, but won't buy one from another photographer at the same price?
    Good question Joe. Maybe because everyone is in the same boat (or rut); short on cash to buy with, hoping to get cash from sales? I dunno. I've traded/sold/bought from a few collegues here on APUG. I would like to buy more but I would need to sell more to do it. Kind of a circular rut.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lipka
    .....Interesting question: Why is it most photographers ask a lot for their prints, but won't buy one from another photographer at the same price?
    Indeed, Joe.
    Along those lines, I have put three prints from my collection up for sale here on Apug. These are silver prints from very good photographers. I was asking very reasonable prices - in fact, half the price of 'new' value. To my surprise, however, the interest has been non-existent. No sale, no PMs, no questions, nothing. I'd have better luck selling bibles at an atheist convention. This, on a site where you'd think photographs, the end result of everyone's reason to dab in photography, would have paramount importance. I guess not.

    Anyway, the most I have spent on one photograph is $750 (so far). Some, I bought way back at the 100-200 range are now worth well over $1000 so the paybacks can be rewarding when selling. OTOH, I bought a few at the $400 range that are still worth no more than that - perhaps less. The main thing, though, is buy something you like and that you will enjoy. Financial gain is just a bonus if it happens.

  8. #8
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    Ah, the joy of appreciation. Here's the other rub about collecting. Until you sell your photograph, it is worth exactly what you paid for it.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

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  9. #9

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    This is why I dont think the APUG-Gallery.com site is going to do that great.

    There are tons of photographers that ask a high price for their prints, but they are unwilling to ever buy another photographers prints for that price, or even 1/2!

    I am a photographer, and also a collector, so I purchase prints quite often. I have paid full price for some of Kim Westons prints, Alan Ross, and a few others.

    I think the most I have spend on a single photography was 400 bucks on a 20x24 prints of Cole Westons "Surf And Headlands". I plan to purchase some Brett Weston prints soon, which sell for around 1,000.00 for 8x10-11x14.

  10. #10

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    Really good question..The most would be $650 for a Sexton, and a few other less known for $300-$400. Now, any extra income is spent on work by photographers here on APUG.

    Why, well the first criteria that has to met is - appeal, why buy it if you don't really like it. Sounds simple enough, but not sure people always do that. Example, I would not buy an Adams print just because it was an Adams print. Since, IMO the golden age of photography, as we know it, is over and traditional prints (silver and alt process) will become less common, the work of those here that offer it for sale is about as good a purchase as any collectible.

    Why not higher prices, well that is hard to say. Some of the members here are selling plt/pld work for what I consider way below market prices. At the big auction houses, there are lots that do not sell, because the minimum is not reached - at the same time there are works that sale for much more than the estimated prices...go figure..such is the world of collectors.

    In the end, it seems there are at least 3 types of collectors - the first, with the deepest pockets, are what I call the true collectors. They collect as an investment, some of the works they collect may never see the light of day. The 2nd group would be the general public, they may not be collectors in the truest sense, but they want something to hang on the walls of the office or home, to let others know they have good taste, etc. The 3rd group would probably be those here...they know quality work when they see it, the produce quality work as well sometimes, they have limited resources to expend on artwork other than their own. If given a choice between paper/chemistry/etc or buying a print from a fellow photographer they will probably buy the supplies they need. Some may even think - "I can do that" and some will even go as far as to say "I could do it better", but they never do and never buy a print either, sad to say.

    So, the best thing we can do is support each other...will we get rich from the work of a member, probably not, but we can have the satisfaction of owning a well crafted print, that is way above the average prints people buy and display in their homes/offices. After all, if we were doing this for money, we would probably be doing something else.

    Just my 2 cents...your mileage may vary.
    Mike C

    Rambles

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