2015 Survey Results: Joe McNally is the #1 Most Inspiring Photographer (Again)

2015 Survey Results: Joe McNally is the #1 Most Inspiring Photographer (Again)

For the third year running, we’re excited to release our annual survey results from The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015. This survey, sent to thousands of photographers worldwide from the greater PhotoShelter community, aims to provide the industry with a solid understanding of what photographers hope to accomplish in the coming year – including how they plan to invest their money, hone their craft, and build a presence online.

As we did in 2014, this year’s survey compares the similarities and differences between the business goals and challenges among photo enthusiasts and professional photographers.* The survey includes responses from 7,408 people total.

For the complete overview of The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015, download the full survey results here.


In addition to learning how pros and enthusiasts plan to grow their photo careers in 2015, we also wanted to know where and from who they find inspiration and information. For example, which photo blogs do they read? And who are the photographers they most admire?

So to get the scoop, we first asked: If you could have lunch with one (living!) photographer who inspires you, who would that be?  We left the question completely open-ended to those who responded — that is each and every response was written in. No suggestions or options were provided. Some familiar names popped up. And, it was photographer (and PhotoShelter member) Joe McNally who took the prize for the most mentions among pros and enthusiasts alike for the second year in a row. Congrats, Joe!

Here’s the list of the most admired photographers mentioned by the survey respondents:

Which blogs do photographers read?

We also asked professionals and enthusiasts to share the top photography blogs they read to keep up on industry news. Of the top responses received, here are the trends we saw:

Cross-Over Appeal Among Pros and Enthusiasts:

The Pros Follow:

The Enthusiasts Follow:

For the full results of where professionals and enthusiasts stand this year, download The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015:



*In November 2014, we sent The Photographer’s Outlook on 2015 survey via email to the PhotoShelter community, which included users of our products, as well as members of the photography community at large who receive our monthly newsletter. 7,408 photographers worldwide responded.  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. The questions above were write-in only. No options were provided to select from.

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There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Ricky at 12:02 am

    How very narrow minded this is. Extremely bias towards Americans and photographers who are ‘media queens’. Yes they are great photographers, but there are even better photogs in Europe and Asia that you don’t make any effort to get to know or publish about.

  2. Keith at 4:22 pm

    There’s a few extraordinary photographers in your list for sure, but yes, it’s a very biased list. It’s skewed towards popular American brand names and unfortunately some are merely ‘good’ photographers with the gift of being ‘great’ self-promoters. There’s so much truly extraordinary photographic talent out there, it’s unfortunate the survey doesn’t tell us anything about who might currently be considered to be among the world’s best photographers. Of course in any artistic endeavor, ‘popular’ usually can’t be equated with true genius, so it’s probably impossible to create such a list.

  3. Pingback: JSP Visual Week In Review | 02.07.15 | JerseyStyle Photography

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