With the insurgence of digital photography, anyone with a camera can call him or herself a photographer. And the majority who do, want to be considered professional or artists or both. And the number of photographers calling themselves “fine art” photographers is also on the rise. So what makes someone a Fine Art Photographer?
Well, I have many images I would consider art. But not fine art. That’s most because there really doesn’t seem to be a universally agreed-upon definition for what elevates a photo or photographer into the Fine Art category.
While earning my fine art photography degree, part of every photo course was the required peer-critique after each assignment. We take turns hanging the best photos from our most recent assignment on the wall. During the critique, I explained what my intent was, the idea I was trying to convey. Then my classmates talked about techniques, what worked well, what didn’t.
Another key part of my fine art degree was learning about and from other artists. Both past and present. This is key in helping emerging artists, like myself, see what they did, how they did it, why they did it.
Artistic vision, in my opinion, is what makes a photo fine art. A lucky snapshot, a happy accident, can certainly make for beautiful images. But the premeditated intent isn’t there. And that’s what separates art from fine art.