Beauty inside

The state of the photography industry in 2022

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Following a survey of more than 3,300 global photographers last March, trends clearly show the industry emerging from the fog of COVID as many aspects society and business are back to normal. Since the first survey on the state of the photography industry conducted in February 2021 and repeated in May 2021, Zenfolio and Format continue to follow the impact of the pandemic, the business adjustments made, industry trends and the future prospects of photographers. Let’s explore and see what the data reveals…

Download the full report of the state of the photography industry.

Photographers interviewed

The March 2022 survey reflects feedback from 3,398 photographers in 97 countries around the world. 71% of responses came from the US, UK, Canada and Australia, with the US accounting for more than half. Among the smaller and more remote countries represented were Trinidad and Tobago, Equatorial Guinea and Lesotho.

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Full-time and part-time freelance photographers also made up 71% of respondents, with photography enthusiasts, students and employees making up the rest. The data reflects the views of a seasoned group, as more than half of survey participants said they had more than 10 years of experience.

Optimism… with a light of caution

Optimism...With a warning light@2x

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On the heels of a “slower than expected” 2021, survey participants are cautiously optimistic about the current year’s business climate. Although a solid 89% reflects an overall optimistic attitude towards business this year, a closer look reveals a range of sentiments.

In the May 2021 survey, 49% said they expected their photography business to strengthen in the coming months, up from just 37% in the previous February survey. However, in the latest survey, 64% indicated that business turned out to be disappointingly slower than expected, mainly due to the impact of COVID.

Photographers and business growth in 2022

The most recent survey reveals that 57% feel good for the rest of 2022 as they expect business to get busier, while 32% think it will remain flat and just 11% expect to a drop in their current level of activity. Let’s take a closer look at the repercussions of COVID later.

Download for free, full report to see the breakdown of this data by photography specialty, location, employment status, and client type.

About the company of the company

The top photography specializations reported in the March 2022 survey were highly diverse across the 15 genres reported. While one might expect the first gender, the second and third most important categories were surprisingly positioned:

Top 3 Photographer Specializations for 2022

  1. Portraits – 19.3%
  2. Landscape – 11.4%
  3. Marriage – 8.7%

Fine arts followed at 7.6%, and then a very tight group included events, sports, documentaries and commercials, all at 6.3-6.5% each. Fashion/beauty, wildlife, family and travel have come in smaller and smaller slices of the pie.

About the Enterprise@2x Company

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Over 83% of photographers said they work with 3 or fewer types of clients, with 37% saying they work with only one type. The vast majority of customers are categorized as individuals or small/medium sized businesses, with businesses, institutions, publications and agencies making up the rest.

How Photographers Find Clients

When it comes to finding customers, traditional word-of-mouth marketing is still the best method, while portfolio websites are the most important online tool for customer acquisition. Instagram is the preferred social media channel for showing work to reach a wider audience.

Sources for new customer acquisition@2x

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In the full report we look at the number of specialties that photographers focus on and their impact on their earnings, as well as the types of promotion most used by photographers by specialty.

A look inside the gear bag

The decades-long rivalry between Canon and Nikon was also illustrated in the survey results. As both brands evolved from film to digital to mirrorless, photographers of all skill levels, from beginner to professional, primarily gravitate toward these two great brands, and the first quarter of 2022 was no exception.

When it comes to photographers’ favorite camera brands, Canon and Nikon dominate with over 70% of the market, followed by Sony and Fujifilm with 15% and 7% respectively. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Nikon D850 and Canon EOS R5 are the top 3 camera models used by photographers surveyed.

  1. cannon
  2. Nikon
  3. sony
  4. Fuji film

With zooms coming to prime lenses, the 3 preferred lens focal lengths associated with camera bodies were:

  1. 24-70mm
  2. 70-200mm
  3. 50mm

In the full reportfind out which cameras and lenses are preferred by photographic specialty and see which other photographers in your specialty are taking pictures with.

A peek inside the @2x Gear Bag

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Even though most digital cameras can take both stills and video, the survey showed that photography is by far the top medium for most survey participants, with 64% taking pictures still images and 35% still images and videos. Only 11% said they outsource video production to someone else. Online file transfer represents half of the video delivery logistics.

Output_ Still photography and video @ 2x

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The impact of COVID on photography

The pandemic-driven 2021 trading rollercoaster has given way to a more consistent and optimistic outlook for 22, as revealed above. Now let’s see who was affected the most/least and how they kept their business afloat.

Respondents who identified as part-time self-employed were the most negatively impacted during COVID, as nearly half said they lost more than 40% of their normal earnings in 2021. Full-time self-employed were also affected since 43% lost more than 40% of their income. revenue. Full-time employees were the most isolated from COVID, with the highest proportion indicating no impact or even improvement.

Nearly 55% of respondents affected by the pandemic said they had adapted the way they conducted photoshoots, such as physical distancing. And 20% focused on generating revenue online, primarily by selling prints and downloads directly to customers or through online stores and marketplaces. Some have also earned income from the sale of photography courses and training.

How photographers have adapted@2x

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How Photographers Generate Income Online@2x

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The impact of COVID on photography@2x

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The revenue report

As shown in the 2021 business impact of COVID chart above, while the majority of photographers said business was slower than expected, 23% of full-time photographers and 14% of part-timers were actually busier provided that. What activities generated income for photographers during the year?

Nearly 60% of respondents generated revenue from photo shoots or shoot fees. Respondents also generated revenue by selling prints and digital downloads online. What is not expected is that online sales of digital prints and downloads beat in-person sales. This is likely due to COVID restrictions and the growing acceptance of online sales in general.

Download the Free Full PDF to see how photographers of a certain specialty rank their sources of income.

The revenue report@2x

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The natural immunity of photographers

Similar to the experience of most businesses over the past two years, the photography industry has not been immune to negative impacts and operational challenges. However, when considering the “fight or flight” responses, photographers as a whole have shown resilience in adapting and staying true to the craft and trade they love.

The May 2021 survey reported that only 10% left photography as a full-time profession… during the height of pandemic restrictions. Now that typical events benefiting from photography are filling family, school and work calendars with meetings, celebrations, conferences, school and sports activities, let’s hope photographers enjoy a robust rebound in 2022. Zenfolio and Format will monitor trends in the photography industry, ask questions and reveal the results in the next survey. Stay tuned.


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