The Photographers' Gallery is hoping to change all this by launching a new scheme, Print Circle, which offers original works by outstanding contemporary photographers. The scheme will feature the work of Sid Avery, well known for his images of stars such as Marlon Brando (right), Fergus Greer, David Griffiths, Dolores Marat, Beat Streuli and Catherine Yass. Each photographer has donated 20 signed original prints of one of their images.
Inexperienced buyers who venture into the Gallery's Print Room, which already has the largest collection of photographic prints for sale in the country, will get friendly advice on starting their own collection. You don't have to be loaded, either. The Print Circle collection is fairly affordable - one print costs pounds 200, the entire set costs pounds 900.
This may sound like a lot when you consider that your own masterworks, taken with a disposable camera, could cost you less than a tenner for camera, film and printing. But then again, if you were thinking of buying a painting, you could get a piece of paper and a set of poster paints for about ten quid, too.
The Photographers' Gallery, 5 Great Newport Street, London WC2, 0171 831 1772.