Top 10 Most Expensive Photos Sold at Auction

Can you guess the most expensive photos ever sold at auction? While us photographers know it can be an expensive hobby this list features photos shot with humble equipment, by today’s standards. Despite limitations some photographers take things to a whole new level setting world records selling their works.

Most Expensive Photos Sold at Auction

The list of most expensive photos is based on official auction house prices and doesn’t reflect private sales. Just remember while most of us fork out thousands for our equipment the photos in this list were mostly shot on older camera gear without the features we all enjoy.

No. 10 – Edward Steichen, The Pond – Moonlight 1904

Edward Steichen, The Pond – Moonlight 1904

Price: $2,928,000
Date: Sotheby’s New York in February 2006
Type: Gum Bichromate print over Platinum

No. 9 – Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still 48

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still 48

Price: $2,965,000
Date: Christie’s New York in May 2015
Type: Chromogenic color print

No. 8 – Richard Prince, Untitled (cowboy)

Richard Prince, Untitled (cowboy)

Price: $3,077,000
Date: Sotheby’s New York May 2014
Type: Ektacolour Print

No. 7 – Andreas Gursky, Chicago Board of Trade 1997

Andreas Gursky, Chicago Board of Trade 1997

Price: $3,298,755
Date: Sotheby’s London in June 2013
Type: Chromogenic color print

No. 6 – Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent II Diptychon 2001

Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent II Diptychon 2001

Price: $3,346,456
Date: Sotheby’s London in February 2007
Type: Chromogenic color print

No. 5 – Jeff Wall, Dead Troops Talk 1992

Jeff Wall, Dead Troops Talk 1992

Price: $3,666,500
Date: Christie’s New York in May 2012
Type: Transparency in Lightbox

No. 4 – Gilbert & George, To Her Majesty 1973

Gilbert & George, To Her Majesty 1973

Price: $3,765,276
Date: Christie’s London in June 2008
Type: Gelatin Silver print

No. 3 – Cindy Sherman, Untitled 96 1981

Cindy Sherman, Untitled 96 1981

Price: $3,890,500
Date: Christie’s New York in May 2011
Type: Chromogenic color print

No. 2 – Richard Prince, Spiritual America 1981

(No photo due to child nudity)

Price: $3,973,000
Date: Christie’s New York in May 2014
Type: Ektacolor print

No. 1 – Andreas Gursky, Rhein II 1999

Andreas Gursky, Rhein II 1999

Price: $4,338,500
Date: Christie’s New York in November 2011
Type: Chromogenic color print

And there you have it, did they live up to your expectations? Are any of them your taste? More importantly will you create work that will stand tall in this list of most expensive photos? Always remember, it’s not about the money, but it doesn’t hurt either.

Note – Needless to say copyright belongs to the relevant parties. Images displayed are purely for educational purposes.

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