These days you have many art options online. A quick google search for "Where to Buy Photography Online?" churns out over 3.3 billion results! The real answer to this question depends on what type of art you're looking for.
Places To Buy Photography Online
There's no online store experience that equals walking into an actual art gallery and picking the art out in person, but here are some options to consider. These will offer online photo galleries for you to browse through but they provide very different customer experiences and value propositions.
Directly From The Artist
Most successful fine art photographers sell their art through their online photography gallery directly to collectors. This provides some key advantages of big-box or giant art retailers:
- Unique photographs
- Better pricing for originals or high-quality prints
- Highest quality prints
- Printed on mediums the artist prefers for their art
It's typically far better to buy directly from the artist as they can deliver a gallery-like experience online and the best quality of unique photo options.
Places like Amazon.com, Etsy.com, Wayfair.com etc. allow you to buy cheap, widely available photo prints. These options are usually best for people on a smaller budget. These photo prints typically aren't unique and the quality often reflects the price - you wouldn't hang them in an art gallery but they're fine most people
Giant Online Art Stores
Places like Lumas.com, Society6.com, Artfinder.com and FineArtAmerica are known for having gigantic selections that can make your head spin at higher prices than you'd find at standard retail outlets. The quality is typically better and they offer more customizable framing options.
How to Find and Buy Fine Art Photography Online
Assuming you already have an idea of the size and colors you're looking for in a fine art photograph, the next step is to figure out the subject matter you like the most.
Try searching for an area or type of photography that you find interesting or have a connection to. Maybe a beautiful place you visited left an impression on you and you'd love to be reminded of it once again?
Perhaps you visited Maui and fell in love with the island, then try searching for "Maui Fine Art Photography". Maybe you really love "beach sunsets" and want to be reminded of your toes in the warm sand sipping a glass of wine? You can discover the top artists just by searching.
- Search for photos of places you've been to
- Search for subject matter you like most
- Search for photographers you know of
Why Buy Photography Prints Directly from the Artist?
Establishing a personal connection
Talking to the artist directly will provide far more long term value than a very impersonal online retail giant. You might even consider commissioning a photograph of someplace that is very special to you and have the photographer find his own creative twist to the scene.
Higher Quality Product
Most of the large online retailers are not using the highest quality archival print processes that the artist would choose from. Unless they're advertising the prints archival properties and/or made in the USA, I'd assume the prints are made overseas for as cheap as possible. In other words, it's not printed under the artist's direction and you're not getting a high quality product.
Supporting artists and not big business
I guess this kind of goes without saying, buying directly from the artist directly supports the artist and their families. When you buy from the large online retail giants, the artist gets very little after they take their cut. If the artist has an actual art gallery, you can also go see the prints in person so you have an idea on how the art looks when printed large.
The Value of Fine Art
If you're serious about investing in fine art photography, then you're going to want a limited or collector's edition print from the artist which will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Generally speaking, the smaller the edition size the more collectible the art is. Buying directly from the artist online gives you this option instead of a mass produced stock photography image you may find on a large online photography store that has no real value. This is why you'll find my work available in smaller edition sizes of 50 and 100 to make them more collectible compared to either an open edition print or edition sizes of 950 for example.
Discover the Art
Please feel to browse and discover my online galleries and if you're ever on Maui, definitely come by the Lahaina gallery and say Aloha!