I’m not quite sure how I got into this business—I’m usually pretty good at remembering these things, moments of clarity…but not this one. I can’t remember how this all started, but here we are: 208 original photographs by the end of Season 4, captured by150 photographers from 38 countries.
I do however remember this—at some point, as an avid collector, I asked myself why we weren’t collecting more photography and that led to the preverbal rabbit hole. In I went. And I came to the conclusion that I just really didn’t get the ‘value proposition’ of photography—the same photograph sold in different sizes, in different edition sizes and at different prices. So let me understand…I could buy a picture of an glacier in a “limited edition” of 500 at 8” x 10” for $24 an 11” x 14” for $60 (limited to 300), a 16” x 20” for $240 (limited to 100) a 24” x 30” for $1,200 (limited to 50) or…a 30” x 40” for $2,400! Limited to 10? Hmmm. Nine hundred and sixty “limited editions” of the same photographs ranging in price from $24 to $2,400.
I didn’t buy it.
Five different sizes, editions and prices do not, in my opinion, add any value, in any way to that image. In fact, if anything, the practice reduces the image to a commodity with diminishing value.
And as a side note, there is not a collector out there who brags about “one of only 50 (or 500, or 3 or 20, or 250…) in the world. No one gives a shit about “how many” — that’s not why you buy art. You buy art because you simply love the piece. Simple as that. Buy what you love, and buy the best quality, materials and craftsmanship that you can afford.
What you collect over your lifetime is a reflection of who you are and what’s important to you. A collection, is looking back on each piece with a memory, a story in and of it self, and collectively the story is about you. Your collection is your story and if thoughtfully acquired, should live long after you have—passed down from generation to generation.
Ok back to size.
How was I going to disrupt the status quo and challenge the practice of creating and controlling value by ‘limiting’ editions or arbitrarily increasing the price as pieces sold. I will say, and then I’m not going to say anything more about editions, but unless you are a photographer working at the very tip top of the profession and represented by blue chip galleries, the likelihood of selling out an edition, even a small edition is exceedingly small. Look around—you can still buy limited edition photographs from decades ago.
I realized that a small picture on the wall was just that—a picture on the wall. But the right picture, when viewed on a grand scale, completely transformed the experience.
So that’s why I scour the globe to find just the right images that I feel, are going to be especially compelling at scale. And I follow a rule, just because you can print big, doesn’t mean you should.
I’ve seen a lot of bad, big work.
When you bring a Captured52 photograph into your collection, you’re guaranteed a unique and original photograph, printed, framed and shipped using the finest, materials and craftsmanship.
While we’re not Patek Philippe, we aspire to their conviction…”that you never actually own a Captured52 photograph, you merely look after it for the next generation.”