What is Fine Art Photography?

Photography has been considered a visual art for quite some time. However, digital advancement has given it a new life. If you are thinking of getting into the vast and ethereal realm of fine art, then let us take you through the first step. This guide not only answers ‘What is fine art photography?’ but also gives you some bonus tips so that you know where to start.

An Overview of Fine Art Photography

Before we define Fine Art Photography, it is important to understand that unlike other types of photography, Fine Art has somewhat imprecise and contextual meaning. Still, there are few rules and notions that separate Fine Art Photography from all other types. Photojournalism and all other types tend to document and capture whatever the lens sees. On the other hand, Fine Art is all about the photographer rather than the tool. It is also about the aesthetics of the photograph. Therefore, it is also called artistic photography. In order to understand it better, think of a regular photographer and a fine art photographer working on the same scene. The regular one would produce what appears in the lens. Whereas, fine art would be the creator’s vision not just what appears in front of him. Alex Stoddard is undeniably one of the most influential modern fine art photographers. He says that the equipment is simply a tool. Hence, you need to be able to create the same caliber of art without your fancy props.


Surely, you must understand by now that the most important and critical part of Fine Art Photography is the vision behind it. Some might say that just to achieve a fine art, you simply have to let the imagination out of control. Although, it does require you to be imaginative and creative. However, it also demands precise control over your idea and creative process.

Creative Process of Fine Art Photography

First, photographers try to grab on to an idea. Often, the idea might be a social or cultural message. Most creators also tend to describe their thoughts in their Fine Art. The second step is the preparation of the scene. Although, Fine Art photography is an artistic medium, yet the location that you chose can be any mundane looking place. The only thing that matters is that the composition synchronizes with your ideas.
Girl portrait fine art photography

Photo edited in Lightroom.

Vision Statement

If you are still confused about the answer to ‘What is Fine Art photography?’. It means that you still do not get the meaning behind the fine art images. Well, worry not, it can be quite confusing to understand on the first try. However, let us give you an easier way. After reading our answer to what is fine art photography, you should read the vision statements of photographers. As evident from the name, these statements are written by the photographers themselves. Basically it helps the viewers to understand the idea and the inspiration behind the photograph. 


In order to get a better idea, let us take a look at the origins of photography as fine art. In the early 19th century, some societies had started promoting photography as a form of visual art. However, the main breakthrough came because of two photographers; Alfred Stieglitz and his wife, Georgia O’Keeffe. Some people regard Stieglitz as the father of modern art photography. He was among the first photographers who viewed photography as more than simply a way of documenting things.
Fine art photography of a tree

Rhein II

After answering what is fine art photography, we think we should also give you a taste of why to get into fine art. Rhein II by Andreas Gursky is the most expensive photograph ever sold. As you might have guessed, it is the epitome of fine art. It is not the money that is valuable, but the idea that can be portrayed with the help of this type of photography.

Conclusion - What is Fine Art Photography?

At last, our final advice for you is to look for inspiration around you. Just understanding what is fine art photography is not enough, you must also understand the final product. For this purpose, you should follow the works of other fine art photographers. However, you just have to analyze how they keep all the elements of their art in harmony with the main theme. This will enable you to develop your ideas and craft your style.

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Have a nice photoshoot! 

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