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A Complete Guide to Fine Art Photography

Fine art photography has always awed art lovers. Especially in this digital era, we’re living in, with so many different photography types and options. Sometimes it can be hard to opt only for one type of photography and stick with it. All those artistic souls wanting to know more about this field of art have so many questions like ‘What is photography?’, ‘How can I become a photographer?’, ‘What kind of gear do I need?’ etc.

Fine art photography is no exception. However, if you always wanted to know more about this beautiful way of expressing your own creativity, you are in the right place. Keep reading this complete guide to fine art photography, learn some extra tips ’n’ tricks, and find your inspiration.

Be a better fine art photographer.

What Is Fine Art Photography?

Fine Art Photography
Image by jr Korpa on unsplash.jpg

Fine art photography is a beautiful field of photography that relies on the vision and ideas of the photographer. It’s not about using a camera to digitally record the subject or to capture what exactly appears in front of you but to freely express yourself in new ways. Additionally, it also gives you an opportunity to release your creativity while creating amazing artwork. In other words, fine art photography is all about bringing your own vision to life. It’s about helping others to feel the emotion beneath your photography.

Fine art photography can cover different aspects of photography. Some of them are fine art street photography, fine art food photography, fine art portraits, black and white fine art, artistic fashion photography, etc. Even sports photos and wedding photography can be fine art! The only criterion to be respected is to be creative.

Fine Art Photography Tips

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When creating real fine art, numerous photography tips you got before become useless. Fine art photography dictates its own rules. You don’t have to focus on the subject’s visible face, you can make your photos look blurry, etc. That is one of the greatest things when it comes to fine art photography. You have complete freedom to express yourself through various different possibilities.
Here are some of the best fine art tips to make your work of art stand proudly among others.

Choose A Location With A Meaning

Fine Art Photography
Image by Sharon Tate Soberon on flickr

If you want to focus on a location that has some kind of meaning, it will definitely help you to emphasize the message you want to convey. Head for interesting buildings, unusual interiors or beautiful landscapes with natural lighting. Keep in mind that some locations can bring a lot more significance than an ordinary, plain building.

On the other hand, choosing a plain background is not always a bad idea. It’s an ideal opportunity to shoot fine art portraits without too many distractions on the side. If you opt for this kind of fine art photography, keep in mind you’ll have to convey the message through your model. It means you’ll have to experience with make-up, outfits, poses, lighting, etc. Also, use your imagination to create interesting perspective and to make your fine art stand out.

Find Your Inspiration

Photography Art
Image by jr-korpa on unsplash

As your creativity comes from previous experiences, sometimes it could be hard to create original fine art. In those difficult times, look for inspiration by researching other fine art photographers (you can also find them below!) and their work. It is also possible to be creative and create something new just from observing pre-existing art and using some different angles, perspectives, and techniques. You just have to look at those works of art in different ways.

Post-production is another great way to adjust the image while creating your own, new fine art photographs.

However, it is important to let your creative spirit run wild and not to put any boundaries when it comes to inspiration. It can be found everywhere; you just have to watch carefully.

Try Something New

Fine Art
Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

Fine art photography is all about ideas and visions, as you already know. Being creative is one of the best ways to create outstanding fine art photography. But to conceive that, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

First of all, give yourself answers to some of the questions. What kind of fine art do I want to capture? What’s the best art to convey my message? What do I want to achieve with my art? After being completely honest with yourself, it’s time for some artistic work. Here are some of the ideas you can use to create good fine art photography.

Use motion blur – a great way to experiment with fine art photography is by using motion blur that will add a new perspective to your photos, making them more dynamic. Physically move your camera while releasing the shutter button or use long-exposure while photographing moving objects.

Try self-portraits – when you’re lacking models, why not try to capture your own face? Cool self-portraits give you more control over creating fine art and they are a great chance for your audience to see the artist behind all those beautiful fine art photos.

Add different colors or moods – colors are a great way to put some life into your fine art photography. Since colors affect emotions and moods, choose bright and warm tones to add energy or to highlight some positive vibes. Cooler tones are more serene and calming, while the dark colors emphasize drama, the weight of emotions, etc. Don’t forget that using contrast can also provide fine art with different moods.

Create a black and white fine art photo – black and white photos are a popular choice among fine art photographers. They are more dramatic and powerful, conveying the emotion for eternity. If you opt for this photography art, always shoot in color and then finish the image in the post-production process.

Avoid Common Fine Art Photography Mistakes

Camera focus
Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay

As in every field of art, there are common mistakes fine art photographers make. To avoid their wrong steps, here are some fine art tips you should have in mind:

  • Always shoot in manual mode because you have more control over your camera. Auto exposure can easily make your photos look dull and mild.
  • Pay attention to lighting that should highlight the subject of your interest.
  • Follow the rule of thirds to create a great photo composition.
  • Have a focus on something on your scene that will add an extra sparkle to your photo in general.
  • Use the negative space to your advantage. Scenes like the empty sky or still water can be a great way to lock the viewer’s attention where you want it to be.

What Equipment Do You Need For Fine Art Photography?

Fine Art Photography
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Fine art photography is a thankful field of photography, as it does not condition you to have expensive equipment. It’s all about how you use the existing equipment. As your creativity is the most important aspect, the type of camera doesn’t play the leading role.

However, getting yourself a tripod would be a great idea. It’s one piece of gear you should invest your money in as it provides more opportunities to be creative. Besides that, it is an excellent tool for capturing moments when you need your camera to be still as possible or carefully set your composition.

When it comes to lenses, you can use several ones. If the model you’re shooting is close to the camera, use a 50 mm lens or wide-angle lens. If the subject you want to capture is further away, using zoom or telephoto lenses is a good idea.

In any case, you should have in mind that perspective changes along with different lenses.

Inspirational Work By Fine Art Photographers

Image by Alif Ngoylung on Unsplash

The best way to find your inspiration is to admire the art of photography through the eyes of famous fine art photographers. It’s also a great chance to see some tricks they have used or simply to enjoy their best art.

Sonya Khegay
This talented photographer creates soft-tone art with a deep story behind it. Her breathtaking fine art photos include landscapes, portraits, weddings, travel stories… Inspire yourself by visiting her Instagram account.

Sandra Lora
A great example of how expressive models surrounded by nature can make beautiful fine art photos can be found in Lora’s gallery. A love of nature, music, and art has made Lora one of the best fine art photographers. Find it here.

Carolyn Hampton
Carolyn is a great example of how fine art photographers can find inspiration anywhere. Combining childhood moments of joy, sadness, anger, and mysteries, this talented photographer has a wonderful monochromatic gallery to admire.

Alex Stoddard
Another exceptional fine art photographer that can transform an ordinary scene into an incredible work of art. Inspire yourself by visiting his amazing IG gallery.

Sarah Ann Loreth
Loreth is an outstanding fine art photographer that creates meaningful photos with interesting stories. Each photo in her gallery will be another inspiration for you as a fine art photographer.

How To Become A Recognizable Fine Art Photographer

Fine Art Photography
Image by WikiCommons

There are no artists who wouldn’t like to see his own work hanging in one of the world’s galleries. Surely, it’s a great accomplishment, which can make your name famous or lead to the big sale of your fine art photography. To succeed in this endeavor, here’s what you need to pay attention to.

Go To Workshops And Classes

Numerous freelance artists often host a workshop or different classes, so why not join them? It can be a great opportunity to meet new people and add some artwork to your portfolio. You can even learn something new!

Create An Online Portfolio

Whether you are using Instagram or not, an online portfolio is a must-have when it comes to fine art photographers. Build your own web page or use some of the numerous online portfolio platforms. Let yourself be noticed.

Use Social Media

Fine Art Photography
Image by WikiCommons

Social media can be a great tool if used properly. Instagram is one of the most popular online portfolios, so be sure to make the most of it. Also, some extra effort is to get in touch with other fine art photographers and same mind thinkers. Make connections with other artists or work together on the same project. Cross-promotion is always a win-win situation.

Apply To Art Contests

Winning an art contest would make a huge jump in your career as a fine art photographer. You can be noticed by many famous names from the art community, which is not a small thing. Even if you don’t win a contest, someone might notice your artwork.

Volunteer In Local Galleries

Volunteering in your city’s local gallery or museum can be an excellent chance to expand your knowledge or find some extra inspiration. You can even participate in DIY projects, teach a workshop or find any other constructive way that will help your creativity. The bonus you’ll get is a good feeling after helping others.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and create gorgeous fine art photography. Don’t forget to let us know if these tips helped you!

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