Photography Statistics: Industry Insight and Trends in 2023

Have you ever wondered how the photography industry is evolving in our increasingly digital world? People globally captured 1.5 trillion photos in 2022! In this article, we explore the photography statistics that shed light on trends, earnings, and the evolving landscape of this art form.

Key Takeaways

  • Experts predict a 17% growth in the photography industry in the coming years, which will create more job opportunities for professional photographers.
  • Photographers can expect their salaries to increase by around 12% over the next five years.
  • California employs the most photographers in traditional roles in the United States.
  • The worldwide photography market will likely reach $59.3 billion by 2026.
  • In 2020, North America, including the United States, made up about 41% of the global photography market.

Employment Statistics in the Photography Industry

Experts expect the photography industry to experience a 17% growth rate in career opportunities, with a significant number of job openings for photographers. In 2020, there were already a notable number of professional photographers in the United States, and a high percentage were self-employed.

Moreover, certain states have emerged as hotspots for traditionally employed photographers.

The expected growth rate of photography careers

Photography jobs will grow fast. Experts see a 17% rise in the coming years. More people want to hire professional photographers. The need for high-quality photos is significant and growing.

Every year, there can be new chances to take on more work! From shooting weddings to snapping shots for businesses, our skills are in hot demand!

Number of job openings for photographers

The photography industry offers many jobs. Every year, about 12,700 jobs open up for photographers. That is a good sign for those who want to work in this field. Many people love taking photos and making them look great.

In the next ten years, more people will get jobs as photographers. The number of workers in this field will grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031 in the U.S. alone. That means even more job openings are on the way! All these facts show that now is the perfect time to start a career in photography!

Number of professional photographers in the United States

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an estimated 47,380 persons made a living as professional photographers in 2022.

About half of these professionals (52.6%) were women, while 47.4% were men.

Photographers by gender

Percentage of Self-Employed Photographers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 68% of photographers are self-employed.

Self-employed photographers have more flexibility and control over their creative work and business decisions. It also means they must handle all business aspects, including marketing, finances, and client management.

States with the highest number of traditionally employed photographers

A total of 5,220 professionals work as traditionally employed photographers in California, making it the state with the highest number of such photographers. Unsurprisingly,  statistics show five of the largest states also have the most photographers. These are:

  • California
  • Texas
  • New York
  • Florida
  • Illinois
Number of photographers by state according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2022

Income Potential in the Photography Industry

Photography careers have a promising income potential, with a projected salary increase and median hourly pay for photographers.

Projected salary increase for photography careers

Over the next five years, experts expect salaries in photography careers to increase by around 12%.

That means that photographers can anticipate earning more money as their careers progress. The current median hourly pay for photographers is $19.31, and the average is $24.41. The annual wage ranges from $33,160 in Arkansas to $80,400 in the District of Columbia.

With a positive job outlook and increasing demand for photography services, this projected salary increase offers excellent industry growth potential.

Average & Median Pay for Photographers

The current median hourly pay for photographers is $19.31, and the average is $24.41. The annual wage ranges from $33,160 in Arkansas to $80,400 in the District of Columbia.

The annual wage for Photographer I ranges from $26,990 to $31,050, depending on experience and specialization. For those in higher positions like Photographer II, the salary range is typically between $61,946 and $81,672 annually.

Professional Photographer Earnings by State

Knowing which states offer the most lucrative opportunities is crucial for professional photographers looking to maximize their income potential. Here’s a glance at the average annual earnings by state:


The average annual earnings of a professional photographer in the United States is $47,457. The figures show a significant geographic disparity in earnings.

  • The highest earnings are in the District of Columbia, where photographers earn an average of $80,400 annually.
  • Hawaii and New York follow, with average earnings of $69,980 and $68,950, respectively.
  • On the lower end, on average, photographers in Puerto Rico, Arkansas, and West Virginia earn below $34,000.

The states with thriving creative or entertainment industries, like California and New York, tend to offer higher average salaries. However, even within these states, salaries can differ based on specialization, experience, and other factors.

In summary, earnings for professional photographers vary widely across the U.S., with those in the District of Columbia earning the most and those in Puerto Rico earning the least. The data indicates that geographic location can significantly impact the earning potential for photographers.

Photography Industry & Market Size Statistics

The global revenue of the photographic services industry has reached significant levels.

U.S. photography market size

According to IBIS World, the Photographic services industry will be an estimated 12.3 billion dollars in 2023.

Experts expect the U.S. photography market to grow significantly in 2023. That means professional photographers have more opportunities to thrive and expand their businesses.

The photography industry is poised for success due to the rise of e-commerce and increasing demand for high-quality visuals. The economic recovery and higher disposable income also contribute to this positive outlook.

As a professional photographer, staying updated on market trends and seizing these growth opportunities is essential.

The projected size of the global photography market by 2026

Business Research Company (BRC) reports that the global photography market increased from $38.93 billion in 2021 to $42.81 billion in 2022, and they expect it to reach $43.54 billion in 2023. The United States accounts for a significant portion of this market, with 41% of the global share.

BRC projects the photographic services market size to reach 59.3 billion by 2026 with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5%.

Various factors drive this growth, such as the increasing demand for high-quality images in industries like advertising and e-commerce, advancements in digital camera technology, and the rising popularity of social media platforms where visual content plays a crucial role.

As professional photographers, staying informed about these trends and opportunities is vital to making the most of this expanding market.

Percentage of the global photography market accounted for by the United States and the Asia/Pacific region

In 2020, North America, including the United States, accounted for about 41% of the global photography market.

On the other hand, the Asia/Pacific region accounted for approximately 29% of the global photography market in 2020. These statistics highlight the significant presence and influence of both North America and Asia/Pacific in the global photography industry.

The average cost of a digital camera in 2023

In 2023, the cost of a digital camera can vary widely based on its type and quality. According to PetaPixel, the average cost stood at about $623 in 2022, more than doubling in three years. Shotkit notes that the average cost for a DSLR camera is around $4,500, while a mirrorless model averages about $5,000 for mid-level and professional cameras. PriceItHere provides a broader range, stating that digital camera prices can go from as low as $350 to as high as $8,800.

TechRadar recommends the Nikon D3500, an entry-level DSLR available for under $500, for those looking for budget options. Gadget Review offers additional breakdowns, including digital cameras priced below $300, $1,000, and $3,000.

Source Average Cost in 2022/2023 Additional Information
PetaPixel $623 (2022) More than doubled in the past three years
Shotkit DSLR: $4,500 Mid-level and professional cameras
Mirrorless: $5,000
PriceItHere $350 to $8,800 Depending on type and quality
TechRadar Under $500 Recommends Nikon D3500 as an entry-level option
Gadget Review Below $300, $1,000, $3,000 Various price points for different requirements

Overall, the cost of digital cameras in 2023 spans a wide range, from under $500 for entry-level models to over $4,500 for more advanced options.

By understanding the average cost, photographers can make informed decisions and choose the right camera that suits their requirements without overspending.

Growth or decline of the photography industry

The photography industry is experiencing growth and optimism. According to Format’s 2022 survey, 57% of photographers felt optimistic about the industry’s growth in 2022. 

Although the industry faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is steadily recovering. Experts expect a 17% growth in employment opportunities for professional photographers.

This indicates a rising demand for their skills and expertise. Furthermore, the global photography market is projected to continue expanding thanks to factors like social media, e-commerce, and the increasing need for visual content.

Number of Photos Worldwide

People worldwide take billions of photos every year, increasing the number captured daily.

Annual number of photos taken worldwide

Pototurial estimates that people take an astonishing 1.81 trillion photos worldwide every year. That’s a mind-boggling amount! To put it into perspective, that’s about 57,000 photos snapped every second, or a whopping 5 billion photos captured daily.

Photography has become more accessible than ever before, with the rise of smartphones as our go-to cameras. Humans use smartphones for over 1 trillion of these photos alone.

With this explosion in digital imagery, it is no surprise that market research predicts global consumers will take over one trillion digital photos in just one year.

Daily number of photos taken worldwide

Every day, people around the world take a huge number of photos. Phototurial reports that people take about 92 million selfies every day. In 2020, people around the globe captured approximately 1.44 trillion images.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced the number of photos taken that year. Rise Above Research (RAR), a media intelligence company, estimated that 2022 the total number of photos taken globally reached approximately 1.5 trillion.

The shifting photography landscape now shows that people take 75% of all photos with smartphones, a significant increase from 40% in 2010. This trend is likely to continue as the use of full-fledged digital cameras declines.

Comparison between smartphones and cameras in terms of photos taken

Smartphone usage has dramatically altered the landscape of photography, leading to a sharp decline in traditional digital camera sales. Let’s take a look at the comparison between smartphones and cameras in terms of photos taken:

DevicePercentage of Photos TakenKey Points
Smartphones85%The rise of smartphone sales has led to an 87% drop in digital camera sales since 2010. By 2013, smartphones were outselling digital cameras, leading to a significant increase in the number of photos taken on smartphones. A staggering 92.5% of the 136 billion images on Google Images were taken with smartphones.
Digital Cameras7%Despite a sharp decline, digital cameras are still utilized for specific photography needs. However, their popularity significantly dipped with the introduction and prevalence of smartphones. Only 7% of photos are taken using traditional digital cameras.

This data reflects a notable shift in the industry. The accessibility and convenience of smartphones have fueled this “photography boom,” impacting the traditional camera market. However, each device serves its own unique purpose in the realm of photography.

Average number of photos taken by individuals

On average, people take about 22 photos per day. However, specific data on the average number of images owned by individuals is not readily available; the number of photos taken worldwide continues to increase.

Number of images on Google

Google is home to a whopping 4 trillion photos in its Google Photos platform. That’s a staggering number! And it doesn’t stop there – every single week, approximately 28 billion new images and videos are uploaded to Google Photos.

With such a vast library of visual content available, it’s no wonder why so many people turn to Google for their photography needs.

Number of images shared on social media

Social media platforms have become popular places for people to share their photos. People share approximately 3.2 billion images and 720,000 hours of video daily on social media. Instagram, one of the most popular platforms, had over 1 billion users worldwide by 2020 and experienced more than 500 million photos being shared each day.

That shows just how important social media has become in the photography world. With more than half of the world’s population using social media, it’s clear that these platforms have a significant impact on photography and how we share our images.

If you’re a professional photographer looking to reach a wider audience or showcase your work, social media should be a part of your strategy.

Number of stock images available

The number of stock images is constantly increasing, and almost impossible to track the current number available. As of now, there are billions of stock images that you can choose from for your projects. That means you have many options for finding the perfect image for your needs.

Whether you’re looking for photos, illustrations, or vectors, the stock image libraries have got you covered. With such a vast collection, you can easily find high-quality and professional-looking images that will enhance your work and make it stand out.

So, no matter what type of project you’re working on, there’s sure to be a stock image that meets your requirements.

Projected number of photos taken in 2023

According to Rise Above Research, professionals and amateurs will take an estimated 1.6 trillion photos worldwide in 2023. 

With the rise of smartphones and social media platforms, people are taking more photos than ever. So get ready to embrace this growing trend and continue capturing beautiful images that tell stories and create lasting memories for years.

Photography Industry Overview

Photography Industry Trends

One of the key trends shaping the photography industry is the rise of smartphone photography. Thanks to technological advancements, smartphones now come equipped with high-quality cameras that rival traditional digital cameras. As a result, an increasing number of people are using their smartphones as their primary photography tool. According to, “92.5% of photos are taken with smartphones, and only 7% with cameras.”

Segmentation of the Photography Market

The photography market can be segmented into various sectors, each catering to different needs and preferences. Some of the major photography market segments include commercial, wedding, product, and real estate photography. Each category presents unique opportunities and challenges for photographers, depending on their area of expertise.

Rise of Smartphone Photography

The advent of smartphones with advanced camera technology has revolutionized how we capture and share photographs. With the convenience of having a high-quality camera in our pockets, smartphones have become the go-to choice for amateur photographers and even some professionals.

The Growth of Real Estate Photography

Real estate photography has gained significant traction recently, driven by the increasing demand for visually appealing property listings. High-quality, professionally captured photographs can make a substantial difference in attracting potential buyers and closing deals. According to research by Imoto, listings with professional photos receive 118% more views than those with amateur photographs. They also sold 50% faster than average. It has led to a surge in demand for real estate photographers specializing in capturing breathtaking images of properties.


In conclusion, the photography industry is experiencing steady growth with increased employment opportunities. The income potential in this field is promising, and the global market for photography services is expanding.

With the rise of smartphones, the number of photos taken worldwide continues to skyrocket. These statistics highlight the significance and popularity of photography in today’s digital age.


According to the Business Research Company, the global photographic services market will grow to $43.54 billion in 2023. It is estimated to reach $47.45 billion by 2025.

The major photography market segments include professional, commercial, wedding, product, and real estate photography.

Some key technological trends impacting the photography industry include the rise of smartphone photography, digital cameras’ impact, and photo editing software advancements.

Japan holds the largest market share in the global camera industry, followed by the United States and Germany.

Some key challenges the photography industry faces include fierce competition, the commoditization of photography, and the need to stay updated with evolving technology.

Matic Broz of estimates people take 4.7 billion photos daily!

The most popular subject for photography varies among individuals, but common favorites include landscapes, portraits, and nature.

Digital photography has revolutionized the industry by making it easier to take and edit photos and share them online. It has also reduced the need for film and darkroom processing.

Yes, making money from your photography by selling prints, licensing images for commercial use, or working as a professional photographer in various sectors such as weddings, events, or fashion is possible.

Photography statistics refer to data and figures that provide insights into the industry, including market size, trends, camera sales, and the number of photos taken.

The number of photos taken each year varies, but it has increased significantly with the rise of smartphones and digital cameras. In 2023, it is estimated that up to 1.8 trillion photos may be captured.

Some trends expected in the photography industry in 2023 include the growing use of smartphones as primary cameras, the increasing demand for high-quality professional images, and the rise of real estate photography as a specialized service.

According to Zion Market research, the photography industry has seen a steady growth rate in recent years, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.4% between 2021 and 2028. Various factors drive this growth, including the increasing use of smartphones and the demand for high-quality photos in multiple sectors.

On average, approximately 352 million selfies are taken per day using Android devices. Selfies have gained immense popularity, especially with the rise of social media platforms.

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