The Winners and Losers of Images in 2021

Do you consider you have your finger on the pulse of the images field? Who still retains the title for most employed cameras: Canon, Nikon, or Sony? What lenses are the best 3 most employed lenses? Which specialty of photographers make the most income and which make the minimum? What genre of photography took the most important losses all through the pandemic?

Being a previous (art) trainer I built a pop quiz for you. Jot down your solutions, then delight in these insightful results from the 2022 Point out of the Images Market report by Zenfolio and Structure and see how you did.

In this analyze, 3,398 photographers were being surveyed, throughout 97 diverse nations.  71% of respondents were full-time or element-time self-used photographers, with the remainder produced up of hobbyists, students, and comprehensive-time workforce. 


Now let’s see if you have been appropriate: below are some of the fascinating findings from this year’s expansive report. 

The endless Canon versus Nikon rivalry was distinguished for a long time, but there has been a new cool child on the block: Sony. Photographers of each individual degree, from rookie to pro, still gravitate mainly to the top two giants: Canon and Nikon currently being the alternative by over 70% of the respondents. Sony and Fujifilm represented 15% and 7%, respectively. Canon [does happy dance] took the all round direct.

As much as bodies go, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Nikon D850, Canon EOS R5, and the Sony a7R IV are the leading 4 digicam styles used by photographers surveyed.

This following just one was a stunning stat to me: right all-around 50% of respondents have produced the swap to mirrorless. Most photographers who created the switch were in specialties in which a lighter, less obtrusive digicam makes feeling: documentary, way of living, and journey.

Searching at all pictures specialties, zoom lenses came in over key lens. What lens did you guess what the most made use of lens? The remedy surprised me. It’s what I referred to in a earlier report as the “jack of all trades, learn of none”: the 24-70mm. Driving that came the 70-200mm in 2nd, and the “nifty fifty” 50mm in third. 


Commercial and meals photographers are the specialties that have the most people today that make about $100,000. The specialties that had the minimum quantity of people who reported creating $100k+ were life-style, continue to life, household, documentary, landscape, and vogue.

No matter whether a photographer is part-time or full-time, and no matter whether they perform for them selves or an employer, the best earning opportunity resides firmly in the “commercial” genres. These focusing on “art” have the least expensive earning likely. What could possibly not be predicted is that on-line income of prints and digital downloads conquer out in-person sales in 2021. This is possible thanks to COVID limitations and the escalating acceptance of on the net income in general.

Inspite of most respondents naming Instagram as their principal way to showcase their perform, phrase-of-mouth however requires the lead for how most respondents produce new clientele.

Effect of COVID

It truly is been 2 several years now considering the fact that the pandemic designed its way as a result of our lives and one of the focuses of the study was to obtain out the condition of photographers now. The examine located that 43% of full-time self-used photographers lost in excess of 40% of revenue in 2021. Respondents who identified as aspect-time self-employed were the most negatively impacted in the course of COVID. Virtually half reported shedding far more than 40% of typical income. Boudoir and occasion described the most important decline in money due to COVID. Irrespective of these bleak reportings, optimism remains as more than 50% of photographers assume 2022 to get busier. 

Did you do perfectly on your pop quiz? As a summary in this article are the responses to your queries which were woven in higher than.

1: Canon was the most utilized, adopted by Nikon then notable much driving Sony and Fuji.
2: Term-of-mouth generated the most new clientele.
3: Industrial photographers make the most revenue.
4: Fine art photographers make the minimum amount of dollars, adopted by vacation photographers and continue to daily life.
5: The most applied lens is the 24-70mm.
6: Proper around 50% of responders have produced the swap to mirrorless cameras.
7: Boudoir took the biggest decline of income in 2021.

Thanks to Zenfolio and Format for their intensive operate on this review and I search ahead to reporting again on following year’s findings. You can click here to read through the complete 68-site report. 

Did any of the stats surprise you? Leave a comment down below

Maria Lewis

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