A new report published by film location finder Giggster highlights some of the top-performing Instagram photographers and estimates how much each is likely making on sponsored content.
Giggster is an online platform and marketplace that can be used to scout and book privately-owned locations that are friendly to the photography and film industries.
The focus of Giggster’s report actually compares the value of sponsored content to print sales (which is a complicated, pitfall-filled comparison as explained below), but in the process shows how much some of the most successful photographers can likely charge for sponsorships. Giggster compiled its set of photographers using lists from three separate sources and ran the photographers through Influencer Marketing Hub’s “Instagram Influencer Earnings Calculator” to source engagement rate and estimated earnings per sponsored post.
Giggster’s list points to eight photographers that rank highest in followers and interaction that would generate the most value from sponsored content and shows how much each can charge for sponsorships in comparison to how much each currently charges for prints: Chris Burkard, Jack Harries, Jimmy Chin, Joel Sartore, Dylan Furst, Manfred Baumann, Gunner Stahl, and Richard Koci Hernandez.
Chris Burkard and Jimmy Chin emerged as the ones who could charge the most for a sponsored post on Instagram, with Burkhard estimated to be able to command $12,268 and Jimmy Chin $9,984 per post. Of interest, the total following size is the main indicator of value according to the metric used in this report, while engagement from that audience does not seem to be as important. Burkhard, for example, has a paltry 0.35% engagement rate while Chin has a 1.35% engagement rate.
Giggster also dug into the most-used cameras by photographers on Instagram, citing its source as “photographer interviews, and pictures and videos of photoshoots.” It’s not clear how widespread its analysis is and how many photographers it covers, however, so keep that in mind and take this information with a grain of salt. According to its analysis, Giggster says the most popular camera on Instagram is the Canon 5D Mark III, followed by the Sony Alpha 7R IV and then the Leica M series.
The initial premise of Giggster’s study is confusing, as very few people would think to compare the value of a print sale to the value of a sponsored post, as the audience for each is considerably different. The company says that its research is designed to show who could earn more money on social media than with “traditional sales,” but print sales are only generally a small portion of what successful photographers leverage for income even if social media were to be excluded. For example, Giggster seems to not consider that many of these successful photographers likely make a large portion if not a majority of their earnings on commercial photography projects, which very much should be considered “traditional sales.” Still, the part that is clear is that it wanted to show how much some of the biggest names could be making on Instagram, and that information on its own is useful.
Giggster’s full report can be read on its website.
Instagram is changing and the platform’s leadership has made it clear that photography and photo-sharing aren’t in its plans for future growth and development. While big-name photographers can command a lot of value on the platform today, it’s not clear for how much longer that will be the case.
Image credits: Elements of header photo licensed via Depositphotos.