Zenfolio releases the 2023 State of the Photography Industry Report

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Zenfolio released its latest State of the Photography Industry Report, providing insights into the photography industry from the perspectives of professional photographers and their businesses, and is the fourth conducted since 2021.

The report is derived from survey participants who primarily specialize in Portrait, Landscape, Wedding, Sports, and Family photography. The survey respondents were mostly part-time or full-time self-employed with more than 10 years of experience. The 2023 report covers a variety of topics, including business trends, marketing, revenue, pricing, technology, and photographers’ sentiments about using AI.

Among the highlights:

Almost 20% of Photographers surveyed in Q1 2023 reported their business had increased from a year ago. Many, however, are still grappling with the aftereffects of Covid and the impact of rising inflation. 66.6% of photographers reported that their businesses were either slower or performing as expected.

Photographers making at least $100K saw clear revenue increases over the past year.

Across all other brackets, 40% reported that revenue decreased. This number, however, marks an improvement from the previous year, when 76.2% of all surveyed photographers had reported a negative impact on their revenue

AI is being embraced by the industry. Almost 50% reported that they have integrated AI into their photography workflows, and only 11% see AI developments as having a negative impact on photographers.

Marketing strategies have shifted. Photographers are relying more on non-paid or organic social media over paid ads for marketing their business.

Mirrorless Cameras continue to gain ground on DSLRs. Mirrorless cameras are shaking up the professional photography industry, challenging traditional DSLRs. While 50% of photographers still prefer DSLRs, mirrorless cameras are rapidly gaining ground, with 41% of photographers now choosing this newer option. This represents a significant increase of 50.7% in mirrorless camera usage compared to the last survey.

Is AI the solution to photographers’ biggest pet peeve? If photographers could choose one thing to spend less time doing, 41% of photographers want to spend less time editing. 34% say they are using AI to help them with this tedious task.

“We are excited to share our findings from the 2023 State of the Photography Industry survey,” said Jason Egnal, CMO of Zenfolio. “The report provides valuable insights into the photography industry and the trends that are shaping it. We created this report to help photographers better understand their industry so they can make informed decisions about their businesses.”