This just in: Starting an art collection of photography

The lithograph print I ordered by Vincent Laforet
The lithograph print I ordered by Vincent Laforet

On Saturday night, I stopped by to hear a FotoWeek DC panel discussion about the future of photography. To be honest, the panel was much less insightful than I had hoped it would be. However, one quote that inspired and resonated with me came from George Hemphill, the owner of Hemphill Fine Arts, a commercial art gallery here in D.C. He encouraged people to get started collecting by saying, “As a collector you can’t make any mistakes. Just collect what you love.”

In the past few months, I’ve started to dip my toe into the world of art collecting. The genre that’s recently resonated the most with me is photography. My friends, Kriti and Allie, went to Pancakes and Booze this summer and I met CJ Bown, a Philadelphia-based photographer. I fell in love with his work and the process he uses to produce canvases of his photos. (Each one takes about 2 weeks to complete.) I snapped up two of his pieces – one of the stairs to Bethesda Fountain in New York City’s Central Park and another of Boathouse Row in Philadelphia.

On Sunday, I learned about the intensely physical work of aerial photographer Vincent Laforet. “You have to try to take photos that no one else has taken. In 2015, that’s a tall order so I have to come up here.” By “up here”, he means in a helicopter as it whirls around while he attempts to capture stunning nighttime photos of cities. The fruits of his labors are stunning. They are living, breathing artifacts of how a city moves. I couldn’t stop looking at the galleries on his website so I bought a limited-edition lithograph of one of his New York City shots.

Are you a seasoned collector? Have you also started to collect art? Have You been thinking about starting a collection? I’d love to hear any tips, ideas, and perspectives. Let’s learn together.