Survey Results: What Do Photographers Expect in 2014?

Survey Results: What Do Photographers Expect in 2014?


The survey results are OUT. The Photographer’s Outlook on 2014, our second annual survey, reveals insights from over 5,700 photographers worldwide on their top business goals and challenges for 2014, plus how they plan to market their work and spend money this year.

The guide also covers:

  • Who photographers look to for inspiration
  • What blogs they read to keep up on industry news
  • How they plan to market their photography in 2014
  • Which social networks they use to generate an audience for their work
  • Whether they will invest money to improve their photography skills this year
  • Compared to last year, whether they expect to make more or less money from their work


The good news? Photographers continue to be optimistic about their business prospects in 2014. In fact, this year a slightly greater percentage of them are seeing the bright side of things and expect to make more money than they did in 2013.

The new news? There is a burgeoning group of enthusiasts who are making money — or aspiring to — from their photography.  It’s no secret that the accessibility of high quality gear and ever-growing outlets for photographic education means that more and more people can create pro-level images. Some are already working as part-time professionals. Others have gotten a few gigs or sold a couple of prints. But, do they have greater goals beyond making great images? How does their outlook on the year differ from the full-time pros? How much time each week do they spend selling their work or pitching clients? Where will each focus their marketing efforts this year and where do they expect their income to come from? Where do they get their inspiration? We asked and got the scoop.

For the complete overview of The Photographer’s Outlook on 2014, download the full survey results here.

Here are a few highlights from the survey:

Note: For purposes of this survey, “enthusiasts” are defined as those making less than 50% of their income from photography. “Pros” are defined as those who make more than 50% of their income from photography or photography-related activities (e.g. workshops).

For starters, what are some signs that photographers are feeling optimistic about 2014? We learned for example, that not only have a large percentage of photo enthusiasts made money from their photography in the past, but they will also invest money to hone and improve their craft this year. Take a look:

We asked enthusiasts: Have you ever made money from your photography?

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.16.06 AM

We then asked: Do you plan to invest money to improve your photography skills in 2014?

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.18.08 AM

Likewise, photo professionals, a majority of whom expect to make most of their revenue from returning clients (see below) are largely optimistic about their ability to increase their revenue this year.

We asked the pros: In 2014, where do you expect to make most of your revenue from?

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.22.19 AM

We then asked: In 2014, do you expect to make more or less than you did in 2013?

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.20.10 AM

Additional Learnings

Check out a few additional learnings across both groups – photo enthusiasts and professionals – on how they plan to hone their craft, grow their presence online, and spend their money in 2014.


  • 96% of professionals and 95% of enthusiasts pursue both primary and secondary photography specialities.

  • Both professionals and enthusiasts ranked portrait photography as their primary speciality.

  • Both groups also said that finding new clients is their biggest challenge and will focus most on increasing their word-of-mouth referrals and growing their social media presence to help improve their chances of getting hired this year.


  • 92% of professionals have a website dedicated to showcasing their photography, whereas only 65% of enthusiasts do.

  • 48% of professionals use Facebook as the primary social network to market their photography business, whereas 64% of enthusiasts do.

  • 93% of professionals plan to make investments to improve their photography skills in 2014, compared to 79% of enthusiasts.


For the full results of where professionals and enthusiasts stand in 2014, download The Photographer’s Outlook on 2014:


 *In our 2014 Outlook Survey, over 5,700 photo professionals and enthusiasts told us how they plan to market their photography, grow their online presence, and spend money in 2014. For the purposes of this survey, professionals are defined as those who make more than 50% of their individual income from photography, and enthusiasts are defined as those who make less than 50% of their individual income from photography. We then asked enthusiasts to self-identify whether they are part-time photographers, hobbyists or students. For professionals, we asked them to self-identify as full or part-time. 

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