Photo industry is coming back to life after COVID-19, survey shows


The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on everyone and photographers are no exception. In fact, our industry was severely hit last year when 75% of photographers said they’d had all their gigs canceled due to the pandemic. Thankfully, it seems that the sunshine after rain is coming this year. According to a recent survey from Zenfolio, things are going for the better, and the photography industry is coming back to life.

Zenfolio conducted a survey in May 2021 and included professional and semi-professional photographers. The survey shows the trends regarding the gigs, the vaccination, but also how photographers have adapted to the new conditions.

According to the survey, 38% of photographers reported that their business is picking up, compared to 29% in February this year. These photographers reported that they had been as busy or even busier than expected so far in 2021. School, sports, and wedding photographers saw the most significant increases between February and May, Zenfolio writes. It’s no wonder, considering that COVID restrictions have been lifted in many parts of the world and in-person events have been back for the past few months. As many as 49% of photographers are expecting their businesses to gain strength. For comparison, 37% expressed the same hope in February.

Zenfolio also surveyed photographers about their vaccine status, but also their interest in their clients’ vaccine status. I find the results very interesting in this category. As much as 78% of photographers stated that they had been vaccinated or they intended to be. But at the same time, only 19% of surveyed photographers said they planned to ask their clients about their vaccine status.

“However, the lack of desire to ask clients about their vaccine status does not reflect apathy among the industry”, Zenfolio explains. “75% of respondents see the current coronavirus situation as somewhat to very serious. And 75% also see the situation in the US as improving, while only half of those surveyed see the global threat as being contained.” According to the survey, this global sense of caution “appears to be reflected in vaccine availability in areas outside of the US, Canada, and the UK.”

“Improvise, adapt, overcome” has been the motto of most photographers over the last year and a half. But being creative as they are, 64% of photographers have adapted to the new situation. According to the survey, they made adaptations to their photography business within three main areas in response to the pandemic: increased safety, introducing new products, and acquiring new skills.

The surveyed photographers also responded to the question of how they adapted and what they changed in their business. Here are some of their responses:

We’ve been dealing with this pandemic for a year and a half now. It’s taken its toll on our jobs, but even more on our mental health. So, I must tell you that I’ve really enjoyed this little infographic and hearing some optimistic news. I’m also proud of all of you who have found ways to deal with the pandemic’s challenges and stay sane in this crazy situation! Take a look at Zenfolio’s full report here, and let us know – did the pandemic affect your job? How did you tackle the challenges?





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