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Not so many years ago photography was not considered or recognized as a form of art.

It was somehow the unloved step-child in a world where paintings and sculptures were getting all the attention of collectors, galleries and museums. In the early 1970s, an average person with a middle-class income could assemble a world-class collection by today’s standards.

But with an avid art scene always reinventing itself photography as a form of art was soon on the radar of influential collectors and galleries. Some photography artworks worthy of only a few hundred dollars decades ago now easily cost six figures.

That doesn’t mean it’s too late to start collecting. Actually, now is as great time. More and more of today’s most interesting artists are starting to work in photography rather than painting or sculpture. And not all vintage work has been absorbed by museums - yet. Compared with other art forms, photography is still relatively inexpensive. Don’t be scared off by the high prices at the top of the market. For a few hundred dollars, you can buy an original print by a contemporary photographer. For a few thousand, you still can find authentic photos by master photographers.

A piece of fine art often not only brings you the joy of appreciation, but might also surprise you with its increasing value. Nowadays more and more people consider art as an investment and a welcome enrichment of their portfolio. However this should not be the only driving force behind your investing in art. The majority of reputable galleries will never claim that any piece of art will make a "profitable investment". For the most part the art market is not in synch with stock exchanges of financial markets. It follows its own, sometimes very subjective rules. So no one can really foresee what will happen in the art market. If someone tells you otherwise be very cautious. There are no guaranteed profits in the world of art. But then again this is true for any market driven investments.

Collecting art and especially photography can be great fun; it can also be a grand adventure. The bottom line is to buy what you love, what appeals to your own personal sense of taste and aesthetics. If something speaks to you, or makes you smile, or stays with you, pay attention. There’s a saying in the art world that the best thing a collector can have isn’t money or taste - it’s a short memory. If you start remembering all the things you could have bought at bargain prices, you’ll drive yourself crazy. This is truer in photography than any other field of art.

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