Survey finds photographers think industry is getting back to normal

The pandemic has hit photographers particularly hard as public gatherings and events have come to a halt for nearly two years. It now looks like things are looking up, and a new survey of 3,300 global photographers shows a majority of optimism.

the Survey of the state of the photography industry was performed by Zenfolio and Format. The first iteration of the study was conducted in February 2021 and repeated later in May. Zenfolio and Format say the aim of the study is to continue to track the impact of the pandemic, the business adjustments photographers have made, and examine industry trends to help navigate future prospects. Of the industry.

The full study, published on Zenfolio, found broad-based positive trends that seem to indicate the industry has successfully emerged from the pandemic and returned to normal.

Methodology and useful data

Zenfolio and Format surveyed 3,398 photographers in 97 countries. 71% of responses came from the US, UK, Canada and Australia, with the US alone accounting for more than half. Among the smallest and most remote countries
represented were Trinidad and Tobago, Equatorial Guinea and Lesotho.

Full-time and part-time freelance photographers made up 71% (coincidentally) of respondents, while photography enthusiasts, students and employees made up the rest. The companies say the data reflects the opinions of photography veterans, as more than half of those surveyed said they had more than 10 years of experience.

The study also provides insight into how photography businesses primarily earn revenue, as shown in the table below:

Photographic survey 2022

It also shows how many photographers also offer video services, often seen as a growing business segment. It should be noted that most of the photographers interviewed stick 100% to photography.

Photographic survey 2022

“Over 83% of photographers said they work with three 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 enterprises, while businesses, institutions, publications and agencies comprise the rest,” the survey notes.

Generalized Optimisim for a return to normal

After what the survey found to be a “slower-than-expected 2021,” survey respondents expressed cautious optimism about the business climate in the current year.

“In the May 2021 survey, 49% said they expected their photography business to strengthen in the coming months, compared to just 37% in the previous February survey,” the report said. ‘investigation. “However, in the latest survey, 64% indicated that cases ended disappointingly slower than expected, mainly due to the impact of COVID.”

Photographic survey 2022

That said, there was a minority of shooters who said their 2021 was actually busier than expected: 23% of full-time photographers and 14% of part-time photographers.

Photographic survey 2022

Photographic survey 2022

Despite mixed feelings about 2021, 57% now say they feel ‘good’ for the rest of 2022 and expect business to pick up, while 32% believe business will remain at current (stable) levels , and a minority of 11% expects a decline. Zenfolio and Format believe that the insights and trends found in the study indicate the industry is emerging from the devastating business environment that was the pandemic. While that’s a possible catch, it’s worth noting that, as noted above, many photographers felt optimistic about the same time in 2021.

The full study can be downloaded from format.


Picture credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.

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