The term “non-fungible token” (NFT) has become quite popular among individuals. People worldwide are perplexed by these blockchain-based miracles’ rising popularity and skyrocketing value. They are glamorized JPEGs, after all.
However, you can see how NFTs genuinely change the world and create a virtual economy from nothing when you go past the surface.
Realizing this potential, inventors and artists were the first to join the NFT craze, producing original works of art and earning a fair share of the earnings.
Due to this, third-quarter 2021 NFT sales exceeded $10.7 billion, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Other sectors, such as fashion, healthcare, and real estate, are already testing NFTs. NFTs, however, have the potential to revolutionize the photographic industry.
The Million Dollar Opportunity
If you are familiar with NFTs, you know they can be supported by almost anything. Twitter, music, audio, video, memes, and photos. However, while memes and digital art are flourishing in the NFT area, images are still being neglected.
They are among the NFT varieties that are least studied. Ironically, though, images are a form of art that we use the most daily.
Everyone enjoys seeing pictures of cute animals and their favorite celebrities taken by the paparazzi. And for this reason alone, NFTs offer photographers a fantastic chance.
Photographers can get a sizable piece of the NFT business pie by turning their most outstanding images into NFTs on-chain. Why? People love to collect things, and NFTs provide them an opportunity to own something special.
For instance, followers of superstars would adore possessing rare paparazzi photos, and photographers who spend days attempting to capture these photos now have the chance to generate money from them.
The same is true for astrophotographers, cuisine, and wildlife photographers. Enthusiasts would be prepared to pay for the sole ownership of these images.
NFTs and Photography
NFTs are the next big thing and will significantly impact photography. This is because NFTs address several challenging problems that the conventional method of collecting photos has.
Authenticity and provenance of images are still a problem due to their high degree of replication and ease of falsification with a simple copy/paste feature.
These issues can be resolved by tracking the production of work and its mobility on the primary and secondary markets, thereby maintaining and increasing its value. This is made possible by the growth of blockchain and other Web3 technologies. This is not to suggest that there is no possibility of fraud, but NFTs make it far simpler to confirm authenticity than standard print images.
According to NFT generative art and photo collector, Pixelpete, NFT photography is expected to become the primary form of dissemination and collection of photographs in the future, similar to how digital photo production has been the dominant mode of photo production now.”
This does not imply that NFT will be the sole collection method; just as analog photo creation is more viable, there will continue to be a healthy niche market for traditional print collecting, probably supported by blockchain provenance.
According to NFT picture collector Sashaku.eth, with NFTs, photography can now compete at a leveled playing field as conventional art—it can be a distinct art form and follow the same norms in the art market.
Sashaku.eth believes it will take a while for most people to understand the concept, but today a photograph has the same chances as any other art form to appear on a list of works with the most significant sales.
Compared to older collectors, younger generations are more at ease collecting NFT photos. Despite the age and technological gaps between traditional fine art and NFT customers, there is consistency in the kinds of works being bought.
Mega-artists from the conventional realm have also recently made their way into the NFT sector, including Alec Soth, who The New Yorker regarded as arguably the most influential photographer in the last two decades. Upon entering the NFT sphere, he sold out his genesis NFT project on the Assembly platform.
The characteristics of fine art photography that have persisted for over a century and contributed to the early 2000s market boom are increasingly sought by NFT collectors. NFT photo collector 0xRainbow explained that photography has innate humanity, beauty, and relatability that allows one to quickly connect with the pieces on deep levels.
He added that values among NFT photos differ because some lack the unique elements many look for in generative art and PFPs. Therefore, individuals often purchase things that they find appealing, intriguing, and relatable. Generally, this is artistic quality.
The value of NFT pictures is anticipated to shift in favor of fine art with apparent circulation, provenance, and artistic advantages as the traditional and crypto art markets merge.
Because the artists are adding photographic images from the actual world to the chain, OffCamber.eth described NFT photography as the oracle network of digital art. Hence, a theme runs across all the works: actual human experience is carried over into our virtual worlds.
Collectors are increasingly evaluating artists based on their work’s technical, conceptual, and formal characteristics, the photographer’s critical appeal and significance in the modern environment, and the price history of their work as more photographers enter the NFT market. By that time, it will be much more clear to all collectors.
There may be ups and downs because this is an emerging market, but early entrants will probably reap the most rewards. However, we are here today as the prominent photographers of the twenty-first century appear on the blockchain. Most of us were not buying Cindy Sherman images for $85 in the early 1980s.
NFTs are expected to surge in value in the following years as the NFT frenzy gains momentum. They offer tremendous potential for photographers to take a piece of this expanding industry in this regard.
Even popular art-based NFTs lack the distinctive quality of global appeal that photography NFTs possess. Because of this quality, they can serve the diverse interests of people from various spectrums.
By doing this, they may soon take over the NFT’s main stage and drastically alter the lives of both photography enthusiasts and photographers.