What makes a photograph valuable, is something I have been thinking about for a while as someone who aspires to make a living from photography, I often wonder why do some photos sell for millions and some don’t sell at all!
Why is there such a difference in value for what are often very similar images. Is it the quality of the frame? The quality of the reproduction? The name of the photographer? The agent selling the work? After all the actual process for taking the same image is quite simple isn’t it? Just press the shutter release.
I have seen many photographs and learned all the “photography rules” (not that I follow them) and I believe I can take a decent photo but none of my pictures sell for millions, this brings me to the conclusion that the value is in the photographers name, the idea that you own something that a certain person has created rather than the image its self. This then in turn raises the question does the value directly relate to the quality of the marketing that the photographer has undertaken.
Does winning contests improve the underlying value? or is this just a plank in the overall marketing strategy employed by professional photographers.
Now I’m not suggesting that these photographs aren’t awe inspiring but do a quick google search for any of the locations and you will see hundreds of photos of any given location. Take for example the Peter Lik photograph that reportedly sold for $6.5 million that canyon is photographed daily buy a vast number of people from the average tourist to the top end professional photographer and I know there are photographs for sale for a lot less than $6.5 million.
So it has to be the name? Surely photography isn’t only about marketing but if it is then people like Peter Lik should bottle the recipe and sell it they would make even more.
I would love to hear your thoughts?