Someone asked me recently what type of photographer I was; asking if I did weddings and portraits. While the portrait and wedding industry is a huge one, there is more than that in the photography world. I paused for a moment (because I knew the next question would involve defining my answer) before answering that I do fine art and street photography. I will do a post about street photography at a later date; today we will discuss fine art photography.
But what is fine art photography? That is a difficult one that occasionally I have said tongue in cheekily is a photograph that you would hang on your wall as art/decor. Even that is a bit of a wobbly definition because many of us have photos of our last vacation or family reunion on our walls or desks but does that make them fine art? What makes one photo fine art while the other is just a “snapshot” of sorts?
We could argue the point for days but here is something the great Ansel Adams once stated, “Art implies control of reality, for reality itself possesses no sense of the aesthetic. Photography becomes art when certain controls are applied.” So what does that mean?
I’ll let these three women give their definitions of the art. First we have an article from Jessica Stewart titled 10+ Photographers Who Have Elevated the Power of Fine Art Photography. This one is from someone you may know already from the blogging and photography world, Leanne Cole, What is Fine Art Photography and How to Do it? And from Dakota Murphey, What is Fine Art Portrait Photography?
I like to think of my fine art photography as an image that I have taken that is more than just the image itself. It conveys the vision of what I was trying to create when I both took and edited the photo; more than just here is a picture of something.
Here are examples of my fine art photography. Each one has caught the eye of someone who purchased them to hang on a wall somewhere. I am very proud and pleased by that as would any artist from any medium.
Having said all that – and possibly muddied the waters of what is fine art photography even further – what’s your take on photography as art? Do you think it is or can be? And are you a fine art photographer or do you create fine art photos? Or do you even give your photography a label? Do tell…
I often tell people I am a pictorial photographer. That often leaves them baffled, and I don’t have to explain much more. If they actually know what pictorial means, then we usually have an interesting discussion about art and photography.
I will be honest, I had to look up pictorial photography. Interesting!
Do you fit the mold?
I think there is a distinct possibility of it 😉
I love ALL your photography! That Hot Sauce would look great in a kitchen!
Thanks you! As a matter of fact, a small restaurant ordered it 🙂
I’m still trying to figure out what style my photography is…I love to experiment with light and color, but my true love is macro. Thank you for the links as they are helping me to more define my style. I think I’m leaning toward pictorial photographer after looking it up.
Thank you for reading and commenting. I feel that unless we do just one type of photography (like portraits) what we do may fit into various categories. And macro was my first love.
I’ve seen other photographers refer to themselves as Fine Art photographers just because they used textures with their photos, didn’t matter if they were flowers, animals, insects, etc. since I sometimes do that, I thought of myself as a fine art photographer. After reading about pictorial photographer I might fit into that niche. At any rate, it gave me something to think about for my artist statement/about me page.
I’m going to have to ponder that descriptor myself.
I think all photography has the potential to be Art or artistic. It’s difficult to have concrete definitions.
I agree. I feel why do we have to label ourselves and what we do. Those labels can get messy sometimes 😉
Photography is definitely super subjective and trying to say define your work is almost the same sometimes! All types of photography have their unique place as art and I think that’s whats most fun about it all. To me when I think of fine art photography I immediately think to images that are heavily post processed, exposure blended, and appear larger and grander than life. That being said, a lot of photos may not have that grand feeling until they are printed and hanging on the wall. I really don’t think there is a true definition of what fine art even means since everyone has their own opinions!
When I see images that are heavily edited sometimes it looks like art to me while other times it looks just over the top strange! As with everything in life, how it is interpreted is so very subjective. Thanks for commenting.
You are welcome