I think for most of the people one sees taking pictures, photography is a pastime. It holds a fascination that is unending, but more than that, it seldom becomes. We read magazines or take on line courses to become better, but we are limited by our printers to the 8” by 10” print, or, occasionally, 13” by 19”. But very quickly the problem becomes, what do we do with the prints? How do we display them? Do we display them?
In the back of our minds we know that people make money with photography. We know there are famous picture takers out there. But we have little experience of them. We only see their work in magazines, newspapers and coffee table books. They are not part of the average photographers world.
We seldom see any photographic work up close, on display; maybe at our local camera club, in a local contest, but seldom anywhere else. But why can’t photography be viewed as art and be sold in galleries, you might well ask. There seems to be poster shops for cheap mass produced prints but why are there no real photo galleries? Well, there are!. They are just not so common.
I came across the website for a gallery in London, England, that, to quote their website, “is a gallery that specialises in photographic prints by the world’s most sought after photographers”. The name of the gallery is Beetles + Huxley. On their Home Page they say “Beetles+Huxley offers many different types of prints, including vintage, those printed-later, as well as limited-edition modern and posthumous prints for sale. Prices range from £1200 to £50000+. Now firmly established as one of the leading photography galleries in London, Beetles+Huxley holds 6-8 exhibitions per year, and maintains a large dynamic stockroom, which is accessible to the public on request.”
And this website is full to the brim with images, special shows, and prices. It is a mine of images and information.
At first I was skeptical that this was a real gallery so I paid a visit, via Google Earth’s Street View, and, yes, there it is at 3-5 Swallow Street (between Regent Street and Picadilly Place), London, W1B 4DE. It looks from the outside just as it looks in the pictures on the website.
This website is a delight. The images are displayed in pleasing sizes so that you can get a real good look. The prints are described, front and back, and the prices, well, they’re not anything I can relate to! Go and spend some time in this gallery. It is an education.
This got my interest up and so I Googled ‘photographic gallery’ and found others. You have to be careful to weed out framing galleries and wedding photographers and others who hide out under the heading ‘photographic galleries’ but once you do, you’ll be left with a variety of true ‘galleries’, some on the internet only, others with brick and mortar store fronts. All are interesting to look at.
They are full of ideas and things to try. Spend several hours running these places down and looking at what they’re doing and you will come out a wiser person, more connected with your passion, and full of new projects to pursue. And you can build a list of places to visit on your next vacation!
As I continue with my search, I’ll report here, and in the ‘Links I Like’ on any special locations I find.