Brandei Estes - head of photography at Sotheby's

Brandei Estes, Director and head of the Photography Department at Sotheby’s, the first international auction house to offer regular sales of photographs, has enriched us with her views on the photography industry and advised us on how to enter the world of buying photographs during this p//h balanced interview. 

Having numerous accomplishments in her life while working in the fine arts industry, Brandei spoke about how she became interested in photography and working in art galleries. Brandei graduated from the University College London with upper second-class honours in History of Arts and Italian. After finishing her studies, she worked at David Gill Galeries, which was where her love of photography was founded. She told us she was inspired by his personal collection because it was “so contemporary and something [she] hadn’t seen before”.

Fashion photography has recently grabbed Brandei’s attention as she describes it being “so daring and adventurous”. She has witnessed the development of the fashion photography industry from when it first started with the main focus on photojournalism to what it has grown to now. She mentions Erik Madigan Heck’s work and looks forward to seeing more from this photographer and his photos as they showcase colour in different and refreshing way.

Brandei has been working in Sotheby’s for 6 years, prior to that she worked at numerous galleries in London and Paris. She explained that what she found exciting and most rewarding about her job was the interaction with people and seeing their collections. She found that “why [people] got into collecting and why they fell in love with certain pieces” was very interesting to her. She also spoke about the how she believes “photography has the most intimate affect out of all the other art forms.” With her passion and views of photography she ends the interview by advising us to do our homework, go to shows, and ask a lot questions before first entering the photography world.