13 Gift-Worthy Photographs for Less Than $500

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14"x11"390 of 500 available $120 Vacationlandby William Wegman
Vacationland, $120.

William Wegman.

Giving wonderful fine art should not be limited only to millionaires. If you are interested in giving the gift of photography on a budget, it’s possible to buy beautiful prints that cost less than that plasma TV. 

For many amateur collectors, getting started on a photography collection can be both daunting and overwhelming. Where to begin? What do the prices represent? What is good photography? Whether giving a gift around holiday time or for any occasion throughout the year, there are plenty of online resources available to help you navigate through good art that falls in between Spencer’s and Christie’s.

One of the most obvious—and overlooked—ways of buying photography is through the photographer directly. Ryan Pfluger, for example, offers a gift that keeps on giving: a postcard subscription mailed out every other month for a year. For $12.

Ryan Pfluger.
Perry (series of postcards), 2012.

Ryan Pfluger.

Another photographer, Sarah Wilmer, has an image, “Untitled (Black Cat)” from the series Grandmummy Flyers and Fox for $400, framed. It’s worth checking out her work—as well as other photographers—to inquire about other possibilities. It can’t hurt to ask.

Grandmummy Flyers Fox.
“Untitled (Black Cat)” from the series Grandmummy Flyers and Fox, $400 framed.

Sarah Wilmer.

Galleries are another great resource. Pierogi Gallery based out of Brooklyn examines the work of both emerging and midcareer artists. They have an extensive collection at the gallery and also in their Flat Files, a collection of portfolios of original works by more than 900 artists.

Staci Schwartz, Geisha Girls (Bridgehampton); C-print; 10 x 10 inches. $350.
Geisha Girls (Bridgehampton), $350.

Staci Schwartz/Pierogi Gallery.

Tim Spelios, Just a Tad (Remix); Photo collage; 20 x 15 inches. $400.
Just a Tad (Remix), $400.

Tim Spelios/Pierogi Gallery.

For great and affordable prints, one of the best resources is 20x200. Founded by Jen Bekman, 20x200 is a curated collection of low-priced limited editions from “emerging, established and legendary” photographers. A few of the many images they have are below, including the photograph found at the top of this post by William Wegman.

Praia Piquinia 28/08/11 15h24by Christian Chaize 14"x11"354 of 500 available $60
Praia Piquinia 28/08/11 15h24, $60.

Christian Chaize/20x200.

The Triple Vision Flattened Fantasy from the Disbanding of Michelle duBoisby
The Triple Vision Flattened Fantasy from the Disbanding of Michelle duBoisby, $300.

Zoe Crosher/20x200.

House of Exposure is an online concept boutique that offers exclusive limited editions that are somewhat avant-garde. There have been few people more avant-garde than David Bowie.

David Bowie, Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT, 1983 by Edward Keating
David Bowie, Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT, 1983, $75.

Edward Keating/House of Exposure.

For prominent contemporary artists, Exhibition A works with a number of photographers to create exclusive editions of their work—for collectors both seasoned and new to the scene. They have a number of works that feature great crops of the upper class by photographer Jessica Craig-Martin.

Exhibition A holiday gift guide
Mondrian Pug, $175.

Jessica Craig-Martin/Exhibition A.

Exhibition A holiday gift guide
Untitled (Central Park), $225.

Tim Barber/Exhibition A.

If you’re looking for an online art adviser, check out Artspace. Their mission is “to help collectors and aspiring collectors discover, learn about and collect fine art.” Their wide range of work includes imagery of surfers, landscapes, and drag queens.

Shinwook Kim Yorkshire Dales. 23.2" x 16.5" $370Edition of 20
Yorkshire Dales, $370.

Shinwook Kim/Artspace.

Wed Sep 09 0011 00:00:00 GMT-0500
09.09.11 Quiksilver Pro Quarter Finals 15B, Kelly Slater, 2011, $300.

Blair Seagram/Artspace.

Alix Smith. Through Imitation 16, 2011 12" x 17"  $200 Edition of 150
Through Imitation 16, 2011, $200.

Alix Smith/Artspace.