3 tips on starting a photography collection

3 tips on starting a photography collection


Text: Buro. Singapore

Advice for young collectors: Cécile Schall, founder and director of fotofever Paris tells us how to start collecting photographs

Back for its sixth installment, fotofever is where Paris' photography aficionados and collectors come to party. Hosted at the Carrousel du Louvre, it's bringing together 80 galleries presenting 150 emerging artists in photography. That's a whole load of options from a contemporary photography art fair — so how does a young collector who's looking to get a kickstart make a choice?

Founder Cécile Schall has a pretty good idea. This year, she has an entire section dedicated to galleries from Korea, Japan and Taiwan, as an increase in interest for works from the Far East continues. Galleries from the region include GalleryMain, Ginza Gallery G2, Kichijijo Gallery, Kobe 819, Libroarte, Minnano Gallery, tezukayama gallery, Zen Foto Gallery, AN INC. and Blue Lotus Gallery. Fotofever has also roped in French furniture brand Roche Bobois to outfit The Collector's Apartment, a space that doubles its size this year to exhibit photographs as how they'd appear in a home.

If you're looking to start a collection yourself, here are Schall's bite-sized tips that will nudge you in the right direction.

Petrina Hicks, Serpentina II_ 2015, courtesy of THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery

1. Seek out "gallerinas"
"My first piece of advice for young collectors would be to talk and share their ideas with gallerists, because they are the best placed to appreciate their artists. They really are the starting point for any nascent collector who wants background information on artworks. Equally, gallerists are mediators who bridge the gap between artists and their collectors, and it is they who unearth the most promising emerging talent for us."

Tamiko Nishimura, courtesy of Zen foto gallery
2. Know what you're exactly looking for
"Be vigilant and clearly differentiate between 'limited' and 'unlimited' edition prints, as the two terms are often confused. In photography we talk of a "limited edition print" when the print run is restricted to fewer than 30, regardless of the format; while an 'unlimited edition print' is produced in far greater numbers and sold by outlets other than galleries."

Kenji Kobayashi, courtesy of Libroarte

3. Do you really love it?
"Ask yourself if you could live with the artwork on your wall: it must really be love!"

fotofever 2017 takes place from 10 to 12 November at Carrousel du Louvre.