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Victoria, BC V8W 1V7

1005 Langley St

Victoria, BC V8W 1V7

Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

Collecting 101

Essential information and resources for emerging and seasoned collectors alike.

You've decided to start collecting photography. Now what?

  1. Remember to enjoy the process! Discovering your own tastes and exploring the themes that are meaningful to you will guide the content of your collection while enhancing your life in ways that will astonish you.
  2. Look at as much photography as you can - either online, or by visiting museums, commercial art galleries, and art fairs.
  3. Research, research, research! In time, your path to connoisseurship will give you expertise in your special areas of interest.

Watch art dealer and FFOTO co-founder Stephen Bulger talk about his growing collection of 600 wedding photographs and gain insight into how that passion led him to one particularly spectacular and unique print by legendary photographer André Kertész. You may be surprised to learn that even professional art dealers sometimes need to pay in installments!


How much should you be prepared to spend on your first acquisition?

Determining your budget for buying art should be informed by several lifestyle factors; consider your art-buying goals as an aspect of your discretionary spending budget. One strategy you may consider is to set up a separate savings account which you can grow as you explore your interests and research artists or artworks. Having that seed money accruing can provide motivation and direction for your collection.



For collectors, it’s important to keep in mind why you choose the art you want to live with.

When embarking on your journey as an art collector, keep in mind that your primary goal is to choose artworks that speak to you in a direct, meaningful way. Art is valuable, and can indeed grow in value, but the vagaries of the art marketplace must be acknowledged. For that reason, think of your acquisitions as important fixed assets rather than transient items in an investment portfolio.

Glossary of Photographic Terms  

Specialist knowledge is vital to gaining a complete understanding of the finer points of collecting photography. Visit the convenient and thorough AIPAD Glossary of Photographic Terms whenever you encounter an unfamiliar photography-related term or process. 

FFOTO gratefully acknowledges The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) for generously permitting use of its glossary as a resource for our clients.

The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) was organized in 1979. With members in the United States and around the globe, the Association has become a unifying force in the field of photography. AIPAD is dedicated to creating and maintaining high standards in the business of exhibiting, buying, and selling photographs as art. For more information, visit AIPAD online at

FFOTO - Collecting 101 - AIPAD

Websites we love

This selection of international websites is just a handful of those that are favoured by many seasoned collectors as well as the FFOTO team. Each source represents a gold standard of photography expertise with information that ranges from sites that offer up-to-date news and exhibition reviews, to others that provide in-depth research and education. Email us at to let us know if you discover a site that is particularly useful to you.


Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD)

The British Journal of Photography

FlakPhoto/Andy Adams

International Center of Photography

L'Oeil de la Photographie (The Eye of Photography)

Luminous Lint / Alan Griffiths

Magnum Photos

Paris Photo

Rencontres d’Arles

Ryerson Image Centre