November 25, 2021

What to Consider When Buying Limited-Edition Wildlife Prints

What to Consider When Buying Limited-Edition Wildlife Prints
Untamed Photographer Team

Wildlife prints for sale, including limited-edition wildlife prints, can be found on all corners of the internet. However, if you are worried about the ethical considerations of wildlife photography, buying limited-edition wildlife art prints is more difficult than would initially seem. So, here we are going to talk about what to consider when buying limited-edition wildlife prints, from whether the wildlife prints actually support conservation to whether the artists are actually being paid:

Where Is My Money Going When I Buy Wildlife Prints?

  • Does Buying These Wildlife Prints Support Conservation And The Environment? 
  • Are The Artists Being Fairly Compensated For Their Limited-Edition Art?

Who Are The Artists?

  • Is Their Photography Ethical?
  • Are The Photographers Committed To Conservation?

Are You Buying Genuine Limited-Edition Art Prints?

  • Is The Print Actually Limited-edition?
  • Is The Printing High-quality?
  • Does the Print come with a certificate of authenticity? 

Where Should I Buy Limited-Edition Wildlife Prints?

At the end, we’ll take a closer look at Untamed Photographer, a brand that produces limited-edition wildlife prints that are completely ethical. 

Where Is My Money Going When I Buy Wildlife Prints?

The first and most important question to ask is where is your money going? After all, what is the point of buying a wildlife print if your money is not going to a good cause?

Does Buying These Wildlife Prints Support Conservation And The Environment? 

Unfortunately, many vendors of wildlife prints are just trying to make money and much of the money from the print might be going as a cut to the site selling the prints. This is a great pity because of the potential wildlife photography has for raising awareness and money for environmental and conservation issues (just look at “Silent Extinction” by Arati Kumar-Rao which poignantly highlights the giraffe’s threatened extinction). 

Fortunately, some sellers of wildlife art prints, like Untamed Photographer, give all of their profits to environmental and conservation organizations and the artists themselves. So, before you buy a limited-edition wildlife print, read up on the organization or site you are buying from and find out whether your money will actually be going to environmental causes. 

Are The Artists Being Fairly Compensated For Their Limited-Edition Art?

Another question to ask yourself before buying limited-edition wildlife prints is: Are the artists being fairly compensated? In a society where art is undervalued, it is very common for artists to be underpaid (or not paid at all), making artist sustainability and making a living from art very difficult. If you want to support skilled artists, check before you buy limited-edition art prints that the artists are being properly compensated (i.e. they don’t have to pay exorbitant commission to the vendor). However, artists are even more central to the ethical issues around wildlife prints...

Who Are The Artists?

Who are the artists who made these wildlife art prints? What do they stand for? Does their photography harm the environment and wildlife? These are all questions you should ask before purchasing a limited-edition wildlife print. 

Is Their Photography Ethical?

Unethical wildlife photography is a really big issue to consider when looking at wildlife photography prints for sale. Unfortunately, unethical wildlife practices are becoming increasingly common and vary from the dishonest to the absolutely disgusting: 

  • Baiting: Human food is bad for wild animals and feeding animals encourages them to harass people for food, but unfortunately some wildlife photographers bait animals so that they can get closer to them. 
  • Chasing and crowding: Chasing and crowding animals is common, again to get closer to the animal or to get a more “dynamic” shot. 
  • Habitat encroachment: Wildlife photographers often take nest and den photographs so that they can get cute pictures of baby animals. It’s also depressingly common to drive over delicate habitats to try and get closer to animals. 
  • Staging: Some photographers (such as the hired ‘wolf’ photographer) hire trained animals for their photos. Even worse is those who go to game farms, where animals are kept in cages unless they are being photographed, or superglue insects to trees.

Obviously, no one wants to support such practices, which is why it’s very important to check that photographers do not use unethical wildlife photography methods in capturing their wildlife prints. For example, the photographers at Untamed Photographer are committed to leaving no trace of their presence and always taking unstaged photos shot in the wild. Some take their passion for ethical photography even further, like Melissa Groo who advises the National Audubon Society on ethics in bird photography.

Are The Photographers Committed To Conservation?

As mentioned above, the real purpose of wildlife photography should be raising awareness (or even money) for conservation and environmental issues. Therefore, you want to buy limited-edition wildlife prints from photographers who are involved in advocating for conservation. Some wildlife photographers are committed conservationists in their own right, such as Arati Kumar-Rao, a National Geographic Explorer, and the other photographers at Untamed Photographer.

Are You Buying Genuine Limited-Edition Art Prints?

Unfortunately, some of what is marketed as limited-edition art prints are not actually particularly limited-edition or particularly high quality. Here are some things you need to look at when buying a limited-edition wildlife art print: 

Is The Print Actually Limited-Edition?

Limited-edition means that there is only a certain number of prints in circulation, so if the seller or photographer extends the edition or releases further editions the value of the prints can go down. Sellers of high-quality limited-edition prints such as Untamed Photographer will be transparent about the number of prints in each edition and destroy the means to reproduce the print after the edition is sold out. 

Is The Printing High-quality?

There is no point in buying a limited-edition print if it’s printed on low-quality paper with bad printing techniques. Look for limited-edition art prints that are printed on good paper, using custom techniques.

Does the Print come with a certificate of authenticity? 

The biggest sign a print is an inauthentic limited-edition art print is the lack of a valid authenticity certificate. At Untamed Photographer each print comes with a certificate that is made of premium deckle edged mould made paper with a Hahnemühle watermark and fluorescent security fibres. A serialized numbered hologram is added. A second, identically numbered hologram is applied to the reverse side of the artwork. You will be able to register your unique limited edition print as owned by you.

Where Should I Buy Limited-Edition Wildlife Prints?

If you consider the tips in this article, you should be able to buy limited-edition wildlife prints that help, not harm, the environment, the animals, and the people who made them. If you are still wondering where to find wildlife photography prints for sale, Untamed Photographer is a great place to buy limited-edition wildlife prints while supporting environmental causes. Untamed Photographer has an unparalleled commitment to artists and wildlife conservation—100% of their profits go to wildlife conservation and environmental protection charities, such as the Nature Trust of The Americas or MarAlliance, as well as the photographers themselves. All the photographers at Untamed Photographer are committed to ethical photography and the environment. All of the limited-edition art prints at Untamed Photographer are signed by the photographer and certified as limited-edition.

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