Let me start by saying that my work is not ‘fine art’. And I’m OK with that.
I don’t normally comment on what other photographers are up to. In truth, I don’t actually look a lot – I’m kind of a ‘do my own thing’ girl but I have in passing noticed that a lot of folk are marketing their work as ‘fine art’ now and I thought I’d write something about what that actually means and how marketing yourself as a fine art photographer is a little bit misleading for most people
Don’t get me wrong, there are fine art photographers out there. My husband actually does fine art work – www.stevefisherphotography.co.uk (his stuff is amazing and definitely worth a look if you’re into that). One of my other favourites is Brooke Shaden and there’s a whole host of really talented people out there creating stunning work that’s for sure. I even do have a couple of fine art projects that I’m gently working on outside of my normal work like so in no way is this a criticism of it as a genre.
Here’s why I don’t think it works as a type of portrait style in the way that it’s marketed.
Fine art is defined as something that artist is creating from their own vision. Sure, they might try to sell it afterwards but the concept and the creation is theirs alone. If it speaks to someone else and they want to pay money for it, so much the better for the artist.
Well, that doesn’t really fit with the idea of coming to a portrait session and have pictures taken as obviously you’re going to want to have a say in the kind of images that are created. I think photographers use the term fine art to suggest that their work is somehow more artistic and more cared about than others. That the editing is of a higher standard and the work that they produce can hold its head up high against other types of art – it might well be true but also, it can be a bit of a buzzword that means nothing in reality.
In fact, your portrait shoot should have you at the heart of it. Think of yourselves as the art director. Of course, I’m happy to contribute and I think that some of my best work has come from collaboration between me and my client. I love to take your ideas and make them a reality for you. You’re always welcome to bring along your own ideas, props, accessories and outfits to make sure that your portrait photos are completely perfect for you.
So, in short I’m not a fine art photographer in the truest sense of the phrase – your images will be created with my artistic eye and my editing skills that’s for sure. But they should have you at the centre of them and not me. You can be as classic or as creative as you’d like to be (do give me a heads up if you’re after something really crazy creative though – I might need to prepare a little!).
Want to simply capture images of you as a family just being together and being happy?
Want a vintage styled photo shoot?
Want a modern minimalist approach?
Want to base the whole thing around Game of Thrones (heaven knows why that came to mind, I haven’t actually seen it – that would definitely be one that I’d need to study up for)?
Whatever works for you works for me.