Beyond the Wedding: Consumers are Hiring Professional Photographers

We might be moving into a digital world where selfies rule, but consumers are still looking for the special touch a professional photographer can offer. The new Photography Survey 2014 sponsored by The Wedding Report and DigiLabs outlines the kinds of services offered by today’s professionals, along with an analysis about how they are currently promoting themselves.

Wedding photography comprises 41% of the annual revenue for most industry professionals. The second-​highest revenue generator is portrait photography at 40%. Many photographers also serve the school/​event/​sports market and derive 35% of their income from those activities. And corporate events contribute another 17% to the bottom line.

While photographic services are the biggest part of the bill, 55%, these professionals also charge customers for digital files and printed products, including wall décor and albums.

With respect to the wedding market, photographers believe that a couple selects a provider based on:

  • Portfolio/​sample images 70.7%
  • Recommendations from past customers 70.4%
  • Price 68.2%
  • Overall presentation/​sales pitch 43.2%

Nearly 8% of U.S. adults intend to pay for event photography services in the next year according to Ad-​ology Research. Just over 80% of this audience is under age 45. About 70% of these consumers indicate they will be buying both men and women’s apparel in the next year, perhaps to enhance their portraits. The Digilabs report found that 2 of the biggest line items in the typical photographer’s advertising budget, annually, are magazines ($1,538) and local events/​bridal shows ($1,154). Ad-​ology Research findings indicate the investment in local magazine advertising is likely to pay off as 72% of consumers who plan to hire photographers have taken action as the result of a magazine ad they’ve seen in the past year.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.