In this guide, we’ll be discussing fine art photography and providing beautiful examples of fine art photography.
We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):
What is Fine Art?
Fine art is defined as a piece of art that was created primarily for aesthetic, beauty, and meaning.
Well the question begs, aren’t all pieces of art created for these purposes?
Fine art was distinguished from other works of art whose sole purpose was for commission or utilitarian purposes — that’s the difference.
Back in the day, fine art was mostly seen as painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry, and music.
Today, fine art can encompass a lot more mediums of art such as photography, film, printmaking, etc.
With all that being said, how can we define fine art photography?
What is Fine Art Photography?
Similar to the definition of fine art — fine art photography is photography focused on the aesthetic, beauty, and meaning.
While a fine art photographer may choose to sell their works of art later, it isn’t the commission or utilitarian aspect that the photographer focuses on when setting out for a fine art photograph.
Fine art photography often revolves around the photographer/artist themselves.
Exploring how the photographer sees a scene and how they are able to capture a composition based on how they view the world.
Many fine art photographers also implement a certain color grading technique in post-production that mimics the color grading of classical fine art paintings.
What is Fine Art Portrait Photography?
Now knowing the definition of fine art and fine art photography — what is fine art portrait photography?
Fine art portraits are focused on the photographer’s vision for the final image. Fine art portraits focus on both the photographer and the subject. The photographer is the artist, the subject is his canvas, and the camera is his/her paintbrush — so to speak.
Fine art portraits, similar to fine art photography in general, are often intended for aesthetic, beauty purposes — so many turn into decor and wall art.
42 Examples of Fine Art Photography
Fine Art Portrait Photography Examples
Fine Art Conceptual Photography Examples
Fine Art Still Life Photography Examples
Fine Art Landscape & Nature Photography Examples
Fine Art Architectural Photography Examples
Fine Art Street Photography Examples
How do You Do Fine Art Photography?
How does one set out to create a fine art photograph?
As mentioned, fine art photographs focus on the photographer as the artist and capture an image that reflects the photographer’s view.
So in order to capture a fine art photograph, have a vision or an idea of what you want to capture, then set out to capture it within your image.
It all begins with an idea, message, or emotion.
It is then transformed into a photograph through composition, a subject, lighting, and post-production.
If you are getting stuck, it’s always good to reference examples of fine art photography to gain inspiration — such as the examples listed above.
Fine Art Photography Tips
1. Get Inspiration
The first tip is to get inspiration from a source.
This could be by looking at fine art photography examples such as the ones above, watching a movie, looking at old paintings, etc.
Every action begins with a source of inspiration, how you choose to get that inspiration depends on your preferences.
The second fine art photography tip is to tap into your creative side.
This will allow you to think outside the box and look at approaching your photoshoot from a different perspective.
If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
It’s important that after you get inspiration for a shoot, that you then plan out how you will accomplish capturing the image.
Where will the setting be? Who will be the subject? What camera will you use? What time of day?
All of these questions and more will need to be answered in order to prepare for the photoshoot.
4. Use Shooting Techniques
The fourth tip is to use shooting and composition techniques that can enhance a fine art and creative look.
5. Color Grading
The fifth tip is to use color grading techniques to further enhance the fine art image of your photograph.
Many fine art photographers take inspiration from the color harmonies used in classical fine art paintings.
If you want to take your fine art photography to the next level, it’s important that you are educated on the different color harmonies such as complementary, analogous, triad, etc. and that you learn some basics of color grading.
To further explore fine art photography tips, we also recommend this video by Serge Ramelli:
How Much Money do Fine Art Photographers Make?
The salary of fine art photographers varies widely.
$14K to $383K a year according to recent stats from Comparably.
Since most photographers are sole business owners and entrepreneurs in their own right, the only ceiling they set is for themselves in terms of money potential.
Check out all the ways you can make money as a photographer.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on fine art photography. Good luck and go out and try some of these tips!
Nate Torres is an entrepreneur, growth marketer, and photographer and writes mostly on those topics. Nate used to run his own professional photography business called Nate Joaquin Photography but has since focused on the marketing and business aspect of photography although he still enjoys taking photos. Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. He is also a photography speaker and author on Photofocus.com.