Pin Me

What is Fine Art Photography?

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/21/2009

Fine art photography is one form of photography that is very hard to define. For one thing, the subjects of fine art photography are supposed to be beautiful and yet beauty is a subjective concept. So how do you define fine art photography? Here's one take on the definition of fine art photography.

  • slide 1 of 2

    How the Web Defines Fine Art Photography

    Two trusted and reliable online sites define photography differently and yet both definitions convey almost the same meaning.

    Wikipedia defines fine art photography as "a high-quality archival photographic prints of pictures that are created to fulfil the creative vision of an individual professional." The site refers to fine art photography as synonymous to art photography.

    Merriam-Webster broadly defines fine art photography as "art concerned primarily with the creation of beautiful objects". Based on this broad definition, anything can be the subject of fine art photography for as long as the subject is beautiful. But then, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. So that makes fine art photography as subjective in nature.

    Taking these two definitions into account, both conveys one thing - fine art photography is about beauty. Wikipedia's "high-quality photographic prints of pictures" can be construed as what Merriam-Webster referred to as "beautiful objects."

    Some reference books define fine art photography as a picture that is produced for sale or display and the production of images to fulfil the creative vision of a photographer. This is similar to Wikipedia's definition of fine art photography.

    Other websites defined fine art photography as a movement in England and the United States which promoted various aesthetic approaches while a simpler definition was presented as fine art photography being "a subset of fine art that is created with a camera."

  • slide 2 of 2

    What then is Fine Art Photography?

    With so many definitions given to it, defining fine art photography has become even more confusing than just by appreciating its form and substance. Photography is an art, yes we all agree to that. But not all products of photography can be considered as fine art, would you agree to that? Perhaps not. Because as we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Fine art is all about beautiful depiction of everything and yet beauty depends on individual preferences. A photographer may claim that his creation is fine art while other photographers or critics might say that it is not.

    So, can we then define fine art photography as a subjective form of photography which depicts anything that is beautiful in the eyes of those who capture them? Perhaps yes.