Blog: The Art And History Of Collecting Photography

Photography has been around for decades, and yet the look and features of a camera are continually developing today. Like so, now that smartphones are accessible to many, hundreds of thousands of photographs are captured each day.

Unlike today, portrait and landscape photography was highly valued years ago. Since these photos are rarely reproduced, one print can cost you a ton of money.

In case you are not aware, some people like collecting photographs as a hobby. However, collectors from the early years and collectors from today have different reasons for collecting photography prints.

When did collecting photography begin?

Back then, families stored photographs to remember family members, not until the mid-to-late 1800s, when people started exchanging photos for the mere purpose of collecting it. It was also during this time when movies, music events, and celebrities used photography to promote themselves.

Since then, people started obtaining prints as collectibles. It is important to note that during this era, collecting photographs has not yet entered the market.

Why did early wealthy families collect photography?

When landscape photography became famous, wealthy families started to collect these prints. Many of those families buy rare, expensive photographs from traveling photographers and display these to their homes or businesses, especially in restaurants and hotels.

Since photographs can’t be reproduced during that time, only one wealthy person can own a specific copy, which makes it expensive. Like paintings, wealthy families collect prints because it projects their status and prosperity in life. Like so, it allows them the privileged to easily recall specific events from the past.

How did photography collection enter the market?

Alfred Stieglitz, one of the pioneers in the field, began displaying his photographs in his New York galleries in 1905 under the organization Photo-Secession. Experts believe that this led to the rise of modern photography.

It was in the 1970s and 1980s when the value of photographs went high. One of the first public art galleries that exclusively displayed photographs is the Photographer’s Gallery in London. This gallery opened in 1971 and became a premier gallery dedicated solely to photography since then.

These events played a significant role in the expansion of the world of collecting photography until today. These also opened the world of photography to the masses, which led to the creation of various photographic styles and the birth of digital photography.

The world of photography collection has changed when digital photography has surfaced. The scarcity affects the movement in the market; when there is a shortage of photographs, their value increases. Since photography is now accessible to the masses, the cost of these prints went low. However, there are still some professional photographers who avoid reproducing their works to keep their value high.


Photography is an art form that allows artists and consumers alike to express their freedom, emotions, and royalty at some point. Although the photography market today is less valued, people can’t deny that photography still plays a significant role in everyone’s lives. Just like decades ago, people today still use photographs to display their status and royalty.

If you are a collector looking for fine landscape photography in Baton Rouge, LA, check out my website today!

Posted in Landscapes.