Eight Tips For Creating Fine Art Photography

image by: pexels

Fruits and a jar placed at the top of the table used for fine art photography

With the evolution of digital photography, it has become easy for photographers interested in fine art photography to capture superb images. The art is gaining popularity, and more and more institution are teaching fine arts photography in their curriculum. Anybody can become a fine arts photographer, all you need to do is make time to learn the craft and practice. Learning new techniques every day is what will make you good at the art.

Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.- Don McCullin

When deciding what project to shoot, it is vital for a photographer to establish why they want to do it. With a vision in mind, the audience will experience the same emotions as the artist. Equipment and gear are essential for any photographer, but beginners can learn to shoot using their phones and take amazing shots. There have been many famous fine art photographers in history such as Ansel Adams Richard Avedon, Eve Arnold, Diane Arbus, David Bailey, Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, W. Eugene Smith, among others.

What Is Fine Art Photography?

Photography had been accepted as minor visual art by the late 19th century in both the U.S and Britain thanks to the promotional efforts of publications such as the American Amateur Photographer. Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) and Edward Steichen (1879-1973) were two artists that were instrumental in making photography a fine art. Stieglitz and his wife, Georgia O'Keeffe added their works in museum collections. In 1902, Stieglitz formed America of Photo-Secession, an association of creative photographers and a magazine called Camera Work (1902-17). Together in 1905, Stieglitz and Steichen started a gallery in New York called “291” where they showcased avant-garde art in the form of sculptures, paintings, and photographs.

In photography,  you’ve got to be quick, quick, quick, quick. Like an animal and a prey.-Henri Cartier-Bresson

The main difference between fine art photography and other forms of photography is that merely capturing the subject is not what matters most in fine art photography. A commercial or personal photographer focuses on obtaining a beautiful image while using the basic techniques of photography. A fine art photographer, on the other hand, goes the extra mile to make the image communicate with the audience.

The artist is the one that matters the most in fine art photography. He or she ensures he captures what he sees rather than what the camera sees. A camera is just a tool of delivery but what is important is the photographer’s eyes. One way to look at this art form is that it was created to express an artist’s vision. Fine art is subjective and depends on the photographer’s interpretation.

What Makes A Photo Fine Art?

fine art photography using the house at the middle of the sea as a subject

Image by Ioannis Ioannidis from Pixabay

Photography is a medium of communication where people express themselves through images. However, that does not turn every photo into a fine art photo. A fine art photo is one that the photographer puts thought into, and the photographer is intentional with his work to express his ideas and explore his artistic side. Fine art photography is like landscape painting, but the photographer uses a camera instead of a brush.  




Choice of Execution




8 Tips For Creating Fine Art Photography

A person is holding a digital camera for fine art photography

Photo by slon_dot_pics from Pexels

1. Use Your Artistic Vision To Create Original Art

You can use your own experiences or those of others together with the subject to create amazing fine art photography. Add a bit of your personality in the photographs you take for the audience to be able to pick up on the emotions that you were trying to convey. Experiences happening to you or around you can be triggered by creating original pieces that mean something.

2. There Should Be An Interaction Between The Photographer And The Subject

An audience can be able to tell through the photograph the kind of emotion the artist was experiencing. It will be unfortunate if the artist has no emotional connection to the subject. It is the connection between the artist and the subject that make a compelling story.

3. Fine Art Photography Should Be Informative Too

The photographer should use their skill to inform the audience about something that the maybe unaware of. It should almost be an autobiographical tool. There is nothing wrong with using photography to entertain, but if an opportunity to educate the masses presents itself, why not take it?

4. Carefully Pick Your Subjects As They Will Outlive You

Once a photographer has an idea, it is essential to choose the right subject to convey the message they have in mind accurately and powerfully. The subjects are the symbol of communication that tells the story of the artist and need to be respected.

5. Be Yourself

There is a danger of looking at some else’s work and wanting to recreate it in your art. Using someone’s work to inspire you as you learn different forms and methods isn’t wrong. However, copying everything can drown your creativity, and that will translate in the result. It will also appear unauthentic and insincere to the audience.

6. Be Patient

You may go to school and learn fine art photography with the best teachers, but practice is what will make you a great artist. You will need to study other peoples work and keep working to perfect your own unique personal style. There will be disappointments and hurdles along the way, but a good artist never gives up.

7. Prepare Adequately

Make sure to book locations before the day of the shoot and get licenses and permits for locations or equipment. You should also be vigilant to recognize opportunities as they come. Don’t just leave the decision making to chance. Have alternative backups in case the originals do not work out. Adequate preparations allows you to be on top of things. It also portrays professionalism.

8. Learn To Edit Your Photos

As a beginner, you might not have enough resources to hire somebody else to help you in post-production. Therefore, you need to learn how to do it yourself. It is also good to learn so that you understand the process, and can tell if the person you have hired is doing a good job.


A career in fine arts is exciting and great, but it is essential to understand the basics of fine art photography in order to succeed in the craft. The importance of having a vision in mind before starting a project cannot be stressed enough as it sets the precedence to the body of works. A photographer needs to remember that no gallery would take just one photograph. Therefore, he or she needs to create a portfolio with consistent themes. This will also help the photographer to learn new skills and techniques adding onto his or her experience in fine art photography.

Featured Image: Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

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