Essential Collecting Checklist


  • Signed works
  • Limited editions
  • Vintage photographs in good condition
  • Signature images by an artist
  • Check the condition carefully
  • Check the provenance. Acquire directly from the artist through their represented gallery or reputable institution.


  • Photographs in poor condition. Damage to a photograph can include scratching, handling marks and changes in colour. Whereas older, vintage prints might show some wear and tear, contemporary works should not have any blemishes.
  • Unsigned or unauthenticated photographs.
  • Lesser images, even by well-known photographers.
  • Mass-produced digital prints in large editions, even by well-known photographers.
  • Buying any photography just because you’ve been told they’ll be the next big thing.


  • Make sure the surface of your print stays flawless.
  • Avoid handling your artwork, or seek advice about how to handle it and always wear gloves, preferably nitrile.
  • Mount and frame with a reputable framer that uses acid free, museum standard materials. There are different ways of hanging depending on the frame, enquire with your framer how to best hang your work.
  • Purchase the best quality glazing that you can afford. Certain glass glazes can protect your print further as they filter out UV light. Be particularly careful with unglazed work.
  • Avoid hanging your artwork in direct sunlight, over heat sources or in humid environments. Extreme temperature changes are not ideal and great humidity can cause damage to the print over time. While some photographic processes are quite stable, others can be very fragile and prone to being affected by environmental conditions. Ask your gallerist for advice about how to store and maintain that specific photographic process.
  • Track the value of your works and insure them accordingly.
  • Use specific cleaning fluids on the glazing once the piece is framed.
February 19, 2020