Unveiling the 2024 Photography Industry Report

April 10th, 2024
colorful background with shades of orange and teal beneath the words "2024 State of the Photography Industry" in white lettering. Image also includes logos for the survey sponsors: Zenfolio, Format, ShootProof, PPA, SLR Lounge, and Millers Professional Imaging.

The 5th annual Zenfolio Survey of the Photography Industry presents the most extensive sampling to date, offering valuable insights into how photographers are navigating the challenges of recent times. Despite the persistent pressures of inflation, economic fluctuations, and global uncertainties, this survey underscores the unwavering resilience and innovative spirit of professionals within our community. It is a testament to our collective ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity, particularly among those of us who earn income through our craft.

After conducting this survey for four consecutive years, we’ve been able to observe some trends. Here are some of the topics we delved into in this year’s study.

It’s a team effort. 

There’s a major reason this year’s survey grew 237% in total responses over last year – our sponsor partners. This greatly expanded our audience and brought in several thousand respondents from over a hundred countries.  

Here’s a look at the sponsors who came together for the 2024 survey:

Zenfolio logo in black letters with the first "o" made of orange rings

Zenfolio, owner of the State of the Photography Industry Survey, is the all-in-one website platform designed for photographers to showcase, share, and sell their work online, offering customizable galleries, e-commerce tools, and integrated marketing solutions.

Format Logo in Black capital letters

Format is a versatile portfolio website builder tailored for photographers and creatives, offering sleek templates and customizable design options. With integrated proofing and e-commerce features, Format makes it easy to showcase and sell your work online.

ShootProof Logo in aqua Blue script font letters

ShootProof, featuring beautiful photo galleries, simple selling solutions, and powerful studio management tools, ShootProof streamlines photo delivery, proofing, and sales, so photographers can do what they do best.

SLR Lounge logo in light blue and black lettering

SLR Lounge has been providing tutorials to our international community of photographers since 2008. What started as simply documenting our processes to train their own photographers gained traction over time and has since become one of the biggest online photography communities in the world. Our mission is to provide complete frameworks for real-world success and give our members confidence in their skills, from technical skills like flash and camera settings to soft skills like sales and client satisfaction.

PPA logo in grey lettering with maroon square

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the world’s largest non-profit photography organization founded back in 1868. PPA’s mission is to create a vibrant community of successful professional photographers by offering education, resources, and upholding industry standards of excellence. PPA supports and encourages 35,000+ members across 70+ countries to build sustainable, profitable businesses while elevating their photography skills.

Millers Professional Imaging logo in black font

Miller’s Professional Imaging is the ultimate all-in-one lab partner for professional photographers by providing handmade, high-quality photo products with unrivaled turnaround times and friendly customer service.

History of the State of the Photography Industry Survey.

It all started with a small survey to see how Zenfolio could help photographers get through the pandemic. Here’s a brief look at previous survey trends…  

Survey 1 March 2021 – State of Photography Industry: Impact of COVID-19 

Taken following the first full year of the global pandemic, this survey was mostly a report card on the previous 12 months. Those photographers who were still active shared both negative and positive aspects, how they kept working, and where they were seeing signs of business recovery.  

Survey 2 May 2021 – State of Photography Industry: A Still-Struggling Photography Business Landscape 

Clear positive trends were revealed in the weeks following a February preliminary COVID-impact survey that indicated heavy losses and a slow start to 2021. 

Survey 3 April 2022 – State of the Photography Industry: Emerging Back Into The Light 

This industry survey captured how photographers were navigating the aftermath of COVID, highlighting which aspects of doing business were seeing long-term alterations. 

Survey 4 April 2023 – State of the Photography Industry: Thriving In The Ever-Evolving Photography Industry 

This survey gave us insight into how photographers were coping with inflation expenses, adjusting their rates, packaging, and marketing their services. The results also delved into photographer’s sentiments about using AI. 

2024 Survey Focus  

The 2024 Zenfolio State of the Photography Industry report sheds light on some very important facts, characterizations, practices, and trends. Take a closer look at some and see how you might benefit your business…  

What do you call yourself? 

Whether you identify as a Photographer, Videographer, or both–there is a clear trend emerging regarding the fusion of photography and videography.  

What is your specialty as a full or part-time self-employed photographer?

See the shift in specialties including Portrait, Wedding, Event, Sports, and more. Note that one major category from 2023 didn’t make the list this year.

Age & Experience 

Here’s where the long and winding road of experience factors in. While photography technology is evolving, the biggest group of those using the latest might surprise you.  

Your Go-To Gear  

Last year, we reported on the rising popularity of mirrorless cameras. Learn where that trend lies today, and which photography specialty is increasingly reliant on the portable powerhouse in their pocket–the smartphone camera. 

So…How’s Business?  

Things are looking up for photographers in the realm of business, but that doesn’t mean we are all “making bank.” Discover who is faring the best between full and part-time photographers. To no surprise, digital sales continue to dominate the market. Where did physical products land? 

Looking Ahead

Photographers put their rose-collared glasses aside after the uncertainties and challenges brought by the pandemic. Let’s see the evolving sentiments among photographers as we look forward into 2024. 

AI and You  

It should come as no surprise that we included questions about AI in this year’s survey, given its increasing integration into photography workflows. Read in the report how AI adoption has progressed and how photographers are utilizing it to enhance their work. 

View the full report.

The 2024 survey collected insights from over 7,600 photographers in more than 100 countries.

The 5th annual Zenfolio survey shines a light on the remarkable resilience and innovation of photographers even amid economic uncertainties. Photographers adapt, create, and thrive despite persistent pressures coming from all directions–be it global inflation or the exponential changes brought about by technological advancements to the craft. As we continue to navigate the complexities of our evolving industry, let us draw inspiration from these insights to reaffirm our confidence in our ability to overcome adversity and emerge stronger together.


  • Cheryl Dell'Osso

    Cheryl is the Director of Content Strategy at Zenfolio and the Owner/Photographer at Portraits by Cheryl and Seniors by Cheryl in Raleigh, NC. Cheryl has mentored countless new photographers looking to build successful photography businesses.

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