The Winners and Losers of Photography in 2021

Ora Sawyers

Table of Contents

Do you consider you have your finger on the pulse of the images field? Who nonetheless retains the title for most used cameras: Canon, Nikon, or Sony? What lenses are the best 3 most utilized lenses? Which specialty of photographers make the most funds and which make the the very least? What genre of images took the greatest losses through the pandemic?

Becoming a former (artwork) teacher I made a pop quiz for you. Jot down your answers, then love these insightful conclusions from the 2022 Condition of the Photography Business report by Zenfolio and Format and see how you did.

In this review, 3,398 photographers were being surveyed, throughout 97 unique nations.  71% of respondents were full-time or portion-time self-utilized photographers, with the remainder built up of hobbyists, students, and total-time personnel. 


Now let us see if you were correct: here are some of the intriguing findings from this year’s expansive report. 

The endless Canon as opposed to Nikon rivalry was prominent for many years, but there has been a new great kid on the block: Sony. Photographers of just about every stage, from newbie to pro, continue to gravitate largely to the top two giants: Canon and Nikon staying the preference by over 70% of the respondents. Sony and Fujifilm represented 15% and 7%, respectively. Canon [does happy dance] took the over-all direct.

As significantly as bodies go, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Nikon D850, Canon EOS R5, and the Sony a7R IV are the top rated 4 digicam designs utilized by photographers surveyed.

This upcoming a person was a stunning stat to me: right around 50% of respondents have designed the swap to mirrorless. Most photographers who built the switch were in specialties exactly where a lighter, less obtrusive digital camera will make perception: documentary, life style, and journey.

On the lookout at all images specialties, zoom lenses came in about primary lens. What lens did you guess what the most employed lens? The respond to shocked me. It can be what I referred to in a preceding posting as the “jack of all trades, learn of none”: the 24-70mm. Behind that came the 70-200mm in second, and the “nifty fifty” 50mm in 3rd. 


Commercial and food photographers are the specialties that have the most men and women that make about $100,000. The specialties that had the the very least total of people today who noted generating $100k+ have been way of living, nonetheless everyday living, family members, documentary, landscape, and vogue.

Whether a photographer is element-time or comprehensive-time, and irrespective of whether they function for by themselves or an employer, the greatest earning likely resides firmly in the “commercial” genres. These concentrating on “art” have the most affordable earning prospective. What may not be anticipated is that online profits of prints and digital downloads conquer out in-human being profits in 2021. This is probably because of to COVID restrictions and the expanding acceptance of on line gross sales in normal.

Irrespective of most respondents naming Instagram as their key way to showcase their do the job, phrase-of-mouth however takes the direct for how most respondents produce new clientele.

Impact of COVID

It truly is been 2 many years now considering that the pandemic produced its way by our life and one of the focuses of the review was to locate out the state of photographers now. The review observed that 43% of full-time self-employed photographers lost over 40% of income in 2021. Respondents who determined as part-time self-employed had been the most negatively impacted all through COVID. Practically fifty percent documented shedding extra than 40% of ordinary income. Boudoir and function claimed the most significant decrease in profits owing to COVID. Irrespective of these bleak reportings, optimism stays as over 50% of photographers be expecting 2022 to get busier. 

Did you do perfectly on your pop quiz? As a summary below are the answers to your queries which were being woven in over.

1: Canon was the most utilised, adopted by Nikon then noteworthy considerably guiding Sony and Fuji.
2: Phrase-of-mouth produced the most new clientele.
3: Professional photographers make the most cash.
4: Good artwork photographers make the minimum quantity of income, adopted by travel photographers and continue to everyday living.
5: The most utilized lens is the 24-70mm.
6: Right all over 50% of responders have designed the swap to mirrorless cameras.
7: Boudoir took the most important reduction of profits in 2021.

Thanks to Zenfolio and Structure for their comprehensive perform on this analyze and I appear forward to reporting again on next year’s results. You can simply click right here to examine the comprehensive 68-website page report. 

Did any of the stats surprise you? Go away a remark under

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