2023 State of Photography: Business Isn’t Great and Use of AI is Going Up

State of Photography 2023

Zenfolio has published its 2023 State of Photography Industry Report that seeks to answer questions about how photographers are doing and how the industry is evolving.

The report is the result of a survey that Zenfolio conducted with a set of 2,248 photographers across 78 countries that primarily specialize in the portrait, landscape, wedding, sports, and family genres. The company adds that the respondents to the survey were also mostly part-time or full-time self-employed photographers with more than 10 years of experience.

Zenfolio State of Photography 2023

Zenfolio State of Photography 2023

The main takeaways from the survey surround the overall health of the industry as well as the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) in workflows and how photographers feel about the technology.

Almost 20% of the photographers surveyed reported their business had increased from a year ago. Photographers who are making at least $100,000 report that they are seeing clear revenue increases over the past year, and across all other brackets 40% report that revenue has decreased. 66.6% of photographers reported that their businesses were either slower or performing as expected.

While that sounds bad, it’s actually an improvement over last year when 76.2% of all surveyed photographers had reported a negative impact on their revenue. Still, a majority of photographers saying business is not growing isn’t great.

Zenfolio State of Photography 2023

Many say they are still dealing with the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of rising inflation.

AI is taking a bigger role in photographers’ workflows, which should come as no surprise. Almost 50% of survey respondents say that they have integrated AI into their photography workflows, and only 11% see AI developments as having a negative impact on photographers.

Zenfolio State of Photography 2023

The survey found that if photographers could choose one thing to spend less time doing, 41% of photographers want to spend less time editing. 34% say they are using AI to help them reduce the tedium of the task. AI use overall is spread out over various tasks, but employing it for editing was the most common. That percentage is likely to go up over the next couple of years, especially as more platforms come to market that do an increasingly better job at mimicking a photographer’s specific style.

Zenfolio State of Photography 2023

Zenfolio’s full 2023 State of Photography Industry Report can be read on the company’s website.

Image credits: Zenfolio