Not only do I love looking at the work of others to see what I can learn from their photographic technique and style, I love looking at the work of others simply because I love photographs. If you love photography, why not buy photography? You’re supporting the medium, surrounding yourself with work that interests you, and you can actually improve your own abilities in the process. Here are five great resources for finding, browsing and buying fine photographs online.
1. 20×200, www.20×200.com. This unique web site serves up a new image every week—from paintings to drawings to photographs. A variety of sizes are available in limited editions, with the smallest prints at the largest editions selling for only twenty bucks.
2. Contact Editions, www.contacteditions.co.uk. A British site quite similar to 20×200, it specializes in photographs. A wide variety of "30-pound" prints are available. In stronger dollar times that’s a phenomenal deal. As it is, it’s still a heck of an affordable way to own a fine 11×14 print.
3. Etsy, www.etsy.com. If you haven’t yet blown all your disposable income for the month, chances are you haven’t yet found Etsy. Think of this site as the handmade version of eBay. Artists and craftspeople of all types sell their wares on Etsy, and often it’s quite affordable. There’s hats and vases and buttons and photographs and just about anything else artsy and handmade you can think of. Plus, many photographers find Etsy to be an ideal outlet for their work. One of my personal favorites is Sharon Montrose whose work can be purchased at www.etsy.com/shop/SharonMontrose.
4. eBay, www.ebay.com. I know you think of eBay as the place to buy and sell cameras, not photographs, but there are actually lots of folks selling photography on eBay. The massive reach of the site makes it a popular destination for those looking to buy or sell rare and collectible prints. A lot like a yard sale, though, you have to beware (as with any eBay purchase) that you’re actually getting what you pay for.
5. Artnet, www.artnet.com. Designed to be a more robust art appreciation web site, Artnet also incorporates an online auction service for collectors. The auctions can be sorted by photography only, making it a quick and easy way to begin to build a collection of master photographers. It’s often an affordable way to get into collecting the works of prominent artists, both old and new.