NFT Photography: A Potentially Disastrous Move for Photographers

NFT photography is something I’ve grown more interested in as the scene has developed. Initially, I was skeptical about the movement. I saw it as a short-term fad that would allow photographers to make some (or lots) of cash and move on. But it seems like it’s here to stay. Actually, it looks like the whole industry of NFT photography is going to grow. But some photographers are pigeonholing themselves as NFT photographers, and I’m going to explain why they shouldn’t.

The Rise of NFT Photography

So, why do I think NFT photography is on the rise? Firstly, the crypto and blockchain industry is becoming more mainstream. And society is becomingmore digital. Look at Meta, and what it’s doing with augmented reality. For some reason, society wants to get further away from physical reality, and NFTs coincide with that.

Also, the likes of Gary Vee are talking about the huge potential of NFT photography. If you know anything about Vee, you’ll know he’s often at the forefront of the latest online trends, specifically regarding rising markets. In a recent Instagram post, Vee wrote:

“So thrilled for my photographer friends, 2022 is going to be a massive year for all of you, please be curious and “yes oriented” and do your 20 hours of homework on #nft .. in fact google “twin flames nft” and go down rabbit holes, join discord’s and be active on Twitter … you’ll find yourself emailing me in 4 years saying “thank you”… please …Please do it now.”

Gary Vee

When I spoke to Cath Simard on Inside The Photographer’s Mind, she told me how she had made more money from selling photography NFTs than she had previously in her whole career. That in itself shows how much demand there is to own digital art.

Photo credit: Cath Simard

When I look at Twitter and Instagram, I see many photographers with “NFT photographer” in their bio. Here’s the problem with that.

NFT Photography Should Be a Section of Your Business

The reality is most NFT photographs are just photographs. Few photographers are doing something in the form of creation that is exclusive to an image being an NFT. With that, NFT photography isn’t a genre of photography. It’s a form of consumption.

So you may be a landscape photographer or a contemporary photographer who sells their work as an NFT, but you shouldn’t close the door on other avenues. For example, you can still sell print photographs and still shoot gigs and work with brands.

If I were to find you on a social platform and only saw “NFT Photographer,” I’d be unable to see what else you had to offer in terms of services. I may want to book you, but your socials suggest all you do is make photographs and sell them as NFTs, meaning I’ll move on to the next person and seek out their services instead.

And here’s the thing, while some photographers are doing incredibly well on the photographs NFT market, right now most aren’t. So if you think you should plunge all your energy into being an NFT photographer, the reality is it’s not economically worth it.

Photographers as a whole could benefit from being a little more business savvy. The lack of acumen is why most fail to turn their passion into a career. And what many photographers do is latch onto the latest trends and market movements in the hope they’ll get lucky. It’s the wrong strategy. Photographers shouldn’t make one pie. They should make lots of little pies and aim to make them as financially beneficial as possible. It’s how those with long careers have sustained themselves.

Final Thought

After my initial doubts, I’m now on team NFT photography. I genuinely think it’s a cool market, and I can’t wait to see it grow. I’m also team “photographers make as much money as possible,” and NFTs alone won’t allow you to do that. So, don’t put yourself in a box; branch out and offer a range of products and services that can help you grow and maintain a successful photography business. While NFTs look set to grow, they could also disappear in a flash, like a lot of crypto and blockchain-related trends. Then you’re just an NFT photographer with nothing else to your name and nothing to offer. That would be a shame.

Dan Ginn

Dan Ginn is a content writer and journalist. He brings with him five years' experience writing in the photographic niche. During that time he has worked with a range of leading brands, as well as a host professional photographers within the industry.