The results are in! First view of the largest study of photographers to date

Photography
Dec 17, 2019 by Monica Linzmeier
5 MIN

At Meero, we produce visual content, we support artists, and photographers are what makes our world go round. Without them, Meero wouldn’t exist. Period. That’s why we’ve used our resources to commission a comprehensive study looking at the profession of the photographer, to get a better understanding of who they are, what they do and why they do it. 

Commissioned by Picter and Meero, this study was conducted entirely independently by Kynos, and analyzed by Claude Vauclare who presented her findings during a press conference held at Meero on the 27 of November.

One of the items highlighted during the conference was how the majority of the findings directly corresponded with a previous study conducted in 2015 and commissioned by the Minister of Culture in France.  

Today we are going to be looking at an overview of these results, and for a more in-depth look at the results, check out our article on ‘5 Major Findings of the profession of the photographer today.’

Some Context

According to the bureau of labor statistics, there are more than 114,000 photographers in the United States and around 26,000 in France alone. 

While the participants of the study only represent a small fraction of the active photographers today, the number of completed questionnaires remains substantiative enough that they were able to draw some qualitative results. 

The study was based on the responses of 5,322 questionnaires totaling 70 questions. One of the defining characteristics of the results is that approximately half of all the respondents are Meero partners, which, according to Vauclare, allows for a healthy pool from which to compare responses from the two groups.

Another point to underline before getting to the nitty-gritty of the results is that the majority (56%) of those who responded said that photography and/or videography was actually their main professional activity. 

What have we learned?

While it may not come as a huge surprise, this study confirmed what we had noticed in our personal experience as artists and people passionate about photographers: The vast majority of respondents work independently. 80% of all respondents work alone.

Other trends that stood out? 

More than 60% of respondents have undergone at least one year of formal photography studies, and 30% studied for at least 3 years. 

Another thing that stands out is that of all the 5,322 photographers/videographers that responded, only 5% had less than a year of experience in the sector. Flip that, and you are looking at 60% of respondents with more than 5 years of experience. 

All of this makes it all the more shocking that more than half of those who completed the questionnaire reported earning less than €10,000 a year from their activity as image professionals. (This result also corresponds with the study conducted for the minister of Culture in 2015.) 

 

Another interesting revelation is that 25% of photographers questioned have fewer than five missions per year. That number skyrockets when we talk about videographers: 50% report having fewer than 5 missions per year. 

But despite these challenging conditions, across the board, more photographers feel optimistic about the profession than pessimistic. By far. We have to say we agree with the majority of photographers. We’ve only just scratched the surface of the possibilities. 

If you are curious about who is the most optimistic/pessimistic, here’s the breakdown by country: 

 

Comparing Meero partners with non-Meero partners 

The questionnaire was divided into two separate sections, one exclusively for those photographers who have worked with Meero in the past. Let’s dive into what Kynos found… 

What are the broad strokes? 

For those who had already partnered with Meero, the number one reason they worked with us was to ‘complement their revenue.’ Seems logical. 

The second reason? ‘To preserve their independence.’ 

Overall, 65% of partner photographers said that their Meero missions represented less than 25% of their overall income, but that 74% of the photographers wanted to increase the number of missions they went on. 

And while everyone’s main goal for 2020 is to find new customers, that number drops from 84% to 75% among Meero partners. 

 

We’ll leave it at that for today, but check back regularly as we update new blog posts with further findings! 

 

*The terms of the study 

The survey was conducted online, on the basis of identical questionnaires in both French and English, from the end of September to the end of November 2019.

All the responses were anonymous.

Kynos, which conducted the survey, guarantees the anonymity of the participants who provided their name and contact details to receive a €50 voucher to use Picter Workspace free of charge for 5 months and/or participate in the draw to win the Nikon Z6 and its 24-70mn f/4 objective

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