The Next F* Thing

Dear PHOTOPIA Family

The market for photographic art has been booming for years. But while photo artists usually produce a print edition of their images to offer them physically, NFTs significantly expand the possibilities of marketing photographic art. In the case of a technically reproducible work of art such as a photograph, it has so far been impossible to distinguish between the original and the forgery. As early as 1935, the philosopher Walter Benjamin lamented in his art-historically significant essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technical Reproducibility" how mass reproduction rips a work of art out of its original context and reproduction destroys its aura and uniqueness. The fact that blockchain technology now offers the chance to make works of art that are actually reproducible unique again marks the beginning of a new chapter in the art market.


In particular, digital photography, which is easily copied, becomes unique and tradable through Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). Certified by an NFT, digital images are upgraded to a unique piece and thus have the potential to rise to the price category of first-class masterpieces.

The market for NFTs is accessible to every artist and every buyer. Prices and transactions are visible and transparent. The advantage for photographers is that they participate in every resale and the increase in value of their works. The possibilities of using NFTs to make (photo) art accessible to a wider audience are endless. Platforms such as OpenSea, Nifty, Gateway or SuperRare make price-transparent sales and trade possible without third parties for artists and buyers.

As early as 2021, the crypto art and collectibles market has reached $3.5 billion. NFTs have reached the masses, and almost everyone has heard of them by now.
In just four months, NFTs generated auction sales of $127.6 million, twice as much as conventional photographic prints traded for the entire year.

Not only mega-players like Pace Gallery in New York have already started selling NFTs through their own platform, Christie's was the first auction house to auction NFTs in Asia, and Sotheby's has launched its own platform Metaverse for digital art and NFTs. has become the most respected NFT platform for photography in just a few months and aims to be at the forefront of the expected photography boom in 2022. With so-called NFT drops, Quantum wants to support aspiring photographers in presenting their works to a network of collectors and photography enthusiasts. The social media start-up Subs has already been offering an NFT marketplace since last summer, which enables the trade of NFTs via a mobile app.

NFTs will also be the topic at the Festival of Imaging from 13th to 16th of October 2022. Stay tuned & Share your Vision.

Christian Popkes