New York, NY―While a recent survey by WhiteWall Lab reaffirmed that photography and photo output has changed dramatically over its 175+ years, it found some positive trends.
From darkroom to digital, many believe the art of photography has given way to snapshots where the final stage of the process―a photographic print―has been replaced by posting images to social media sites.
WhiteWall, a German-based online photo lab and recent recipient of the TIPA Award for Best Photo Lab, surveyed more than 800 U.S. monthly newsletter subscribers. The goal was to determine how photography and the overall value of a photograph have changed. Survey respondents included a group of self-proclaimed professional photographers (55%) and photo enthusiasts (45%). The results, illustrated in the accompanying infographic, are an encouraging reality check for those who fear the art of photography is on the verge of extinction.
WhiteWall Lab Key Survey Highlights
Below are some of the key findings the recent survey revealed.
• 79% of respondents said they took at least 1,000 photos in the past year; 52% took more than 3,000; 26% took more than 10,000 photographs.
• 54% took photos with a digital camera or mobile device. In addition, 33% used a digital camera exclusively. Notably, only 10% said they used a mobile device exclusively to take pictures in the past 12 months.
• 77% of respondents view their collection of photos as one of the most valuable assets they own. Moreover, 10% said it is their most valuable asset.
• 92% said they made at least one photo print in the last year. Also, 90% said they currently display their photos on a desk or wall.
“The survey definitely shows that respondents still place a high value on their photographs, especially those that have personal meaning such as family photos and special destinations,” explained Katrin Schwarzenberg, public relations manager at WhiteWall.
“We were pleasantly surprised by the number of respondents who felt ‘very strongly’ about decorating their home as well as office with photos they’ve taken (76%) and a larger percentage who actually have at least one of their photos on display (89%). While we understand the idea of sharing your life on social media is more the norm, it was encouraging to see that sharing memories with prints still has significance.”
More Consumer Education Needed
Furthermore, Don Franz, group publisher of the Photofinishing News International Media Group and an expert in the photofinishing industry for more than 40 years, says the photo industry needs to focus on educating consumers about all the ways they can share and also display their photos.
“With a vast majority of survey respondents taking more than 1,000 photos a year, the industry concern is no longer that people are not taking photos. It is, however, that people are not using them,” Franz stated. “Based on their answers to open-ended questions, many respondents aren’t aware of the huge range of photo products available. And also they would like guidance/advice about these possibilities.”
WhiteWall asserts it is widely estimated that more than one trillion photos will be taken this year. This is partially due to consumers’ growing propensity for travel, along with advancements in digital technology.
WhiteWall’s survey also revealed respondents’ favorite photographic subjects. They are: animals and wildlife (75%); friends and family (47%); subjects of interest while traveling or on vacation (63%).
To see the complete results of the Power of Print photography survey, visit us.whitewall.com.
WhiteWall is a professional online photo lab based in Berlin, Germany. It also has a showroom and retail store in New York City, New York. Its blend of custom photo processes and finishing services have provided photographers and consumers with gallery quality products since 2007.
The lab is best known for its photos under acrylic glass, HD metal and aluminum prints and also handcrafted frames. In addition, the online photo lab offers more than 1,000 different product variations.
Moreover, all products are produced in Germany, available in custom sizes and shipped worldwide in custom packaging to maximize protection. Its NYC showroom/store gives customers an opportunity to see all the WhiteWall options on display. They can also receive professional assistance on-site before placing their online orders at WhiteWall.com via in-store kiosks.