The Average Age of Pro Photographers

Ever wonder what the average age of professional photographers is? Dave Good of Rangefinder magazine writes,

Ed Lee is the group director of InfoTrends Worldwide Consumer and Professional Imaging Services. “The number of female photographers has grown,” he says. Now it’s a 2/3-to-1/3 split of males to females, a pickup from last year.” Forty percent of them are part time, while 28 percent, he says, are full time. “And it’s a younger female at that,” he says. “Age 45, and younger,” according to the 2011 & 2012 InfoTrends Professional Photographer Study.

“It comes down to the economy,” Lee says. “With families still struggling, people are turning to part-time photography as a way to bring money into the home.” He sees the photo business as a changing of the guard. “The average age of the full-time male photographer is 50. The average age of the full-time female photographer is 41.” The implication is that more full time male photographers are retiring. “You’re going to see a shifting towards an even higher percentage of females.”

The magazine’s entire Business Trends Report 2012 is worth a read if you’re at all interested in how the photo industry is changing.

State of the Industry: Business Trends 2012 [Rangefinder]

Thanks for sending in the tip, Phil!

Image credit: Photo illustration based on Tree rings by [email protected]

  • Prabawa

    Why was a horrendously photoshopped image chosen as the header image (or whatever it’s called)? Surely you can do better….. Pretty please?

  • Benjamin Chavez

    With digital photography becoming more and more easily affordable, and more user friendly, any Tom, Dick or Harry can takes pictures. In turn, it takes away any true artistic talent left to the photo world. Canon f-1 and Minolta SRT101 user here. 35mm for life. Moonlight Kreations Photography, and these are my pictures below using 35mm film.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    just because you use film doesn’t make you somehow better than someone who’s just picked up a new affordable DSLR…. what a jackass you are.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    For a moment, I thought those figures were for the average life expectancy.

  • ScottKDC

    I disagree. The more people who have access to quality cameras, the more amazing photos the world will see (and yes, the more lame photos that will be seen, too.) The idea that a smaller pool creates better quality is silly. Oh, and I’m a magazine editor. I buy photos for a living.

  • Check Mate

    Try being subtle when you plug your own photos next time buddy.

  • rtfe

    kind of a comment faux pas, hence the negative comments, but you’re young and “new” with pics to match.

  • guest

    Regarding the ages of 41 and 50–does that reflect a trend that people turn to photography after some previous career, or does that mean that it took most people have their lives to successfully live on photography as a primary source of income?