Recently I spoke to a friend who mentioned that he had seen some peter lik style nature prints and exclaimed how beautiful they were and that the ‘presentation looked incredible’.
He was impressed by the larger-sized pieces in the collection, and it occurred to me that although my friend knows that I am also a landscape and nature photographer, he had never seen my fine art prints in person, which are similar in style.
His story is familiar and not the first I have heard in regard to someone’s first impression after wandering into one of Peter’s galleries. People are fascinated by the sheer size, bold colors and gallery quality presentation of his photographs.
There also seems to be a subset of potential art buyers who love his print style but seem to be under the impression that Lik is the only photographer that produces or sells such works.
Although it may be that Peter Lik was one of the first photographers to popularize the large, bold print style that has become synonymous with his name, in reality he is not the only artist producing large-format fine art nature photography prints.
To shed some light on photographer Peter Lik, his print style, galleries, and resulting net worth it may be helpful to provide some background and insight into his marketing strategy in the context of fine art and it’s perceived value.
Australian Peter Lik first visited the United States in 1984 and was introduced to the large-format film medium while exploring in Alaska. He returned home for a few years and worked for the Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation while honing his new approach to photography into the signature panoramic style for which he is widely known today.
He mainly uses a Linhof 617 Technorama camera with Fuji film, as well as Phase One and Nikon digital cameras. In 1989, he returned to the U.S. and traveled across the country in an attempt to shoot beautiful landscapes in all 50 states. He later compiled many of those photographs into a book titled Spirit of America in 2003.
In the mid-1990s, he moved to Las Vegas and opened a facility to print and frame his work, as well as publish coffee table books, postcards, and calendars. Lik opened his first gallery in Cairns, Australia in 1997, his first U.S. gallery in Lahaina, Hawaii in 2003.
In the years that followed, Peter moved his brand like a freight train across the country. Today he owns 15 galleries in the United States and celebrates multi-millionaire status through the sales of his prints.
The prices for his ‘limited edition’ prints (of 995 copies for most photos) rise steadily as the photograph sells out, amassing a fortune along the way. Lik’s Chief Financial Officer claimed in 2015 that more than 100,000 prints worth over 440 million dollars had been sold.
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