Photographs as an Investment: an Arago NFT Marketplace Review

Photographs as an Investment: an Arago NFT Marketplace Review

A specialised NFT marketplace for photographers called Arago has launched on Tezos. It features curation, strict limitations, and all rights reserved. One of the first collections on it is the photo journey through New York, a town in Eastern Ukraine.

We took a closer look at Arago and talked with its spokespersons. Here’s what we know about the marketplace’s goals, its working principles, and a drop of NFTs dedicated to the war in Ukraine.

Photography Is Undervalued (Literally)

Every single day, there are nearly 2.5 billion photographs made, with most of them ending up on social media. It makes it harder for talented photographers to gain any recognition and protect the rights to their works. Collectors also face a hard time determining the real price of their work. According to Artprice, photographs account for 2% of all art-related deals. For NFTs, it’s just 5%.

The Arago team seeks to change this. Still, as photographs are not necessarily digital or crypto-related, they need a specialised marketplace that supports limited issuance of NFTs to sustain their distribution and value, as well as digital rights protection, and rating of authors who wish to sell their work.

In other words, professional photographs need an anti-Instagram.

How Arago Works

Like other premium marketplaces, Arago curates its authors. But that’s where similarities end. For each piece Arago releases just 8 NFTs. One token goes to the author, others are intended for collectors. The token gives them rights for non-commercial use like showcasing them in virtual galleries. Arago plans to develop a special API for that. The author undertakes to never sell the image in any way.

Aside from that, the buyers will be able to check the genuineness of photographs on the secondary market. The printing process is author-supervised for the sake of better quality, clearness, and colour palette.

The Collection New York, Ukraine on Arago

One of the first collections featured on Arago is the one by the Swiss photographer Niels Ackermann. Together with journalist Sebastian Hobert, he visited New York, formerly Novgorodske in the war-ridden Donetsk oblast of Ukraine.

New York was founded in 1892 by German settlers. In 1951, the Soviet government renamed it Novgorodske. In 2021, Ukraine’s parliament restored the historical name.

Ackermann and Hobert released a guide to the front-line town. It includes interviews with locals, interesting facts about the founders, and lots of photographs. Ackermann used them to build his New York, Ukraine collection to be sold on Arago. The catalogue is available here and NFTs are on Arago already.

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