Photography Studios

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 8,400 photography studios in the US sell professional still, video, or digital portrait photography products and services. Major revenue categories include general individual and group portraits, school portraits, wedding photography, and special event services. Firms may offer related products and services, such as yearbook, directory, or memory book publication or commercial photography and print production services.

Competition from Amateurs

Falling prices for photographic equipment allowed many amateur photographers to produce high quality work, effectively reducing the need for professional services.

Seasonal Peaks in Demand

Demand for photographic services is highly seasonal, with peak periods varying depending on specialty.

Industry size & Structure

The average photography studio operates out of a single location, employs 4-5 workers, and generates about $529,000 annually.

    • The photography studio industry consists of about 8,400 firms that employ about 38,000 workers and generate $4.5 billion annually.
    • The photography studio industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top four companies account for about 38% of industry revenue. The top 50 companies account for about 54% of industry revenue. Some freelance photographers work out of home studios.
    • Large companies include Lifetouch (Olan Mills), Picture People, and North American Theatrical Photographers.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Photography Studios Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Mar 16, 2023 - Photography Costs at Weddings on the Rise
                                  • The average cost of a wedding in the US increased year over year in 2022 by 7.3% to $29,195, with the photo and video category showing growth, according to The Wedding Report. The increase follows a 25% gain in cost in 2021 to $27,063 after a pandemic dip in 2020 to $20,290. Most of 2022’s growth comes from higher service demand and inflationary pressure. Average costs for photography and video climbed in nearly all categories in 2022 from 2021. Costs rose for an engagement session to $392 (15.6%), prints and/or enlargements to $312 (12.5%), a digital or photo cd/dvd to $294 (11.6%), a wedding album or photo book to $544 (11.2%), a wedding photographer to $2,150 (6.8%), and a photo booth to $419 (3.3%). One category that declined in 2022 was wedding videographer to $1,536 (-11.5%). The report was based on more than 26,000 data samples from people getting married.
                                  • Consumer confidence levels declined in February 2023 for the second consecutive month, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 102.9 in February 2023 from 106 in January 2023, as high prices and rising interest rates affected consumers’ willingness to spend. According to Ataman Ozyildirim, a senior director of economics at The Conference Board, “Consumer confidence declined again in February. The decrease reflected large drops in confidence for households aged 35 to 54 and for households earning $35,000 or more.” Plans to purchase homes, vehicles, and appliances have cooled, in addition to a drop in vacation intentions, per Ozyildirim.
                                  • Advertisers are projected to spend 6% more in 2023, reaching an estimated $509 billion, according to a recent report by the Winterberry Group in Marketing Dive. The report titled “The Outlook for Advertising, Marketing, and Data 2023” found that $307 billion, about 60% of the total, will be spent on online channels. Offline advertising spend is estimated to reach $201.9 billion, with newspaper, magazine, radio, and linear TV spending to fall between one and eight percent. According to Senior Managing Partner Bruce Biegel, “The rising cost of digital media and shifting consumption patterns is encouraging marketers to shift spend not just amongst channels, but among providers who have the ability to target hard to reach niche audiences. We expect the growth rate of digital channels to decelerate but remain strong.”
                                  • Stock photography provider Getty Images has filed a lawsuit against Stability AI, creator of the popular AI art tool Stable Diffusion, over alleged copyright violations, The Verge reports. Getty said that Stability AI “unlawfully copied and processed millions of images protected by copyright” to train its software. Getty said it had commenced legal proceedings in London. Getty Images CEO Craig Peters told The Verge, “The company made no outreach to Getty Images to utilize our or our contributors’ material so we’re taking an action to protect our and our contributors’ intellectual property rights.” The lawsuit follows a class action lawsuit filed in the US earlier in January by several artists against Midjourney, DeviantArt, and Stability AI, claiming that the companies violated copyright laws by using the artists’ images to help train their image generators and produce derivative works, according to ARTnews.
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