Buying Art Photography Studio Direct

Collectors want to buy artwork with the artist’s signature visible after framing.

All of A. K. Nicholas’s limited edition archival photographs are signed in the margin. This way, the signature will be displayed when framed. His graphite signature appears on the front, on the bottom, in the white border that is present on all sides of the image. This method of limited edition art signed by the artist is traditional, rooted on his background in limited edition lithographs and etchings.

Limited edition art signed by the artist. Fine art nude photography.


Limited editions have traditionally been signed by the artist, and for good reason.

The artist’s signature attests to the faithful production of the artwork, including the image and the paper. The artist’s signature also means you are buying an original photograph from the edition, part of their artistic vision, and not a mass-marketed reproduction.

Be aware of “artist-unseen” editions

Other photographers may allow third parties to market “signed” limited editions, that the artist has never seen. How can this be? Some have printed signatures, others come with signed cards or certificates that were either signed in bulk ahead of time or signed by the third party print house.

Some of the language used to market limited editions can be confusing.

The phrases, “signed” and “certificate of authenticity,” don’t tell you everything you want to know. Learn if the artwork is signed by the artist. We have seen limited edition art marketed within the following categories:

  • Signed in graphite by the artist on the front (as mine are)
  • Signed by the artist on the back (a matter of preference)
  • Artwork not signed, sold with a certificate signed by the artist*

* Note: A signed certificate with unsigned art is almost always an artist-unseen edition, printed by a third party.

Some photographers, especially those who don’t consider themselves artist who follow the tradition of printmaking, will sign the matt (an element of framing) rather than sign their work.

Each artist or photographer has their own reasons for choosing how to sign their work which can include the traditions and training that influenced them, and various marketing concessions.

For A. K. Nicholas, it is important to sign the work directly, in the tradition of printmaking, as to attest to it passing his personal inspection for quality.

Ultimately, it’s up to the collector to decide how a direct signature from the artist affects how they feel about the artwork. Do you prefer limited edition art signed by the artist?

All A.K.’s limited edition archival photographs are painstakingly inspected before he signs them. Photography collectors also receive a certificate of authenticity with each artwork they purchase. A. K. works in-person with a local master art printer for consistent quality.

Studio-direct prices

Get the same price transparency buying art studio-direct as with an art dealer, plus receive US shipping at no additional cost. Read about transparent pricing. Never pay more, never have to shop around.