Fine Art Photography vs. Commercial Photography

When exploring the differences between fine art and commercial photography there are a few things to consider:


  • F.A. (fine art) is based on communicating an idea, feeling, or emotion. The aesthetics comes second to the concept.  These messages tend to come out in ways that require the viewer to critically engage and invest in interpreting the image.  The imagery also allows viewers to explore how they personally connect with the content. 


  • C.A. (commercial art): selling comes first, aesthetics secondary. The goal is to sell the product or idea at hand.   Therefore commercial artists usually have more realistic and literal approaches to how they create images.




When people ask me what I do, I state that I am a fine art photographer. If I simply say photographer, people presume I take pictures of weddings, portraits, or objects for catalogues.  But what I do is nothing like that.  
In my work i use various lenses, microscopes, and scanners. They allow me to capture texture and shape in a specific and close-up way.  From these microscopic views, I build a larger image that conveys my ideas and/or tells a story. These stories may be about the natural history of a species of a specific region, or about cellular structure of a jelly fish for example.
I explore the beauty of what may not be obvious or accessible to the human eye, and magnify it so that my audience can see a different aspect of our magnificent world.
If you are interested in purchasing Fine Art Photography from Dana Montlack, please call (858) 652-0507