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

                                  Nov 14, 2022 - Blurry Wedding Photos Becoming Popular
                                  • Couples are increasingly requesting blurry photos of their wedding day, according to PetaPixel. Wedding photographer Asantae Haanstad posted a video on TikTok showing an example of a blurry photo she had taken of a newlywed couple alongside the caption “This is why you need to ask your photographer for blurry pictures on your wedding.” The video has garnered over four million views. Mashable reported in late 2021 on the growing trend for intentionally blurry photos on social media — describing the images as “aspirational in a sense.” The aesthetic of blurry photos serves as a “reminder to let loose in front of the camera sometimes and embrace life’s candid moments,” according to Mashable. The photography style has been popularized on Instagram by celebrities including Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, and Olivia Rodrigo.
                                  • Magna, a unit of Interpublic Group of Companies' Mediabrands, cut in September its forecast for nonpolitical ad spending for the second half of this year and its total advertising spending growth forecast for 2023. Company analysts say that a weaker economic environment is likely to cut into consumer spending. Items like food, drinks, personal care, and household goods ‘are especially at risk as firms are forced to increase product prices and face the possibility of consumers trading down in favor of cheaper brands.’ Advertising expenditures will decrease as a result. Ad spending growth for all of 2022 will come in at 9.8%, Magna said, less than the 11.1% forecast in June. The growth forecast for 2023 was cut to 4.8% from the June prediction of 5.8% growth. Photography studios whose work is used in advertising campaigns may be negatively impacted by the cutbacks.
                                  • The Wedding Report forecasts a total of 2.47 million weddings in 2022 with an average cost of $24,300. Some 2.24 million weddings with an average cost of $24,900 are forecast for 2023. The number of weddings and the average cost is expected to decrease to pre-pandemic levels in 2024. The average cost of a wedding was $24,675 in 2109, according to The Wedding Report.
                                  • Total 2022 advertising spending across 16 media platforms serving local audiences will reach $173 billion in 2022, according to BIA Advisory Services. Over half (51%) will be spent in digital media, primarily Google and Facebook. Mobile ads on smartphones will get the largest portion at $36.7 billion. Photography studios serving the advertising industry are likely to benefit from the continuing rebound in advertising spending.
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