Our analysis revealed that there are currently over 3.6 million photographers worldwide and this number is increasing.
This represents roughly 0.045% of the global population, with most photographers working as self-employed.
These insights break down the numbers, giving you a clear picture of photographers around the world.
- There are around 3.6 million photographers in the world.
- In 2022, there were 148,900 photographers in the U.S. alone.
- By 2032, the number of photographers in the U.S. is projected to grow by 4%.
- 2 out of 3 photographers are self-employed.
- About 20% of photographers consider themselves as hobbyists.
- The majority of photographers (19.3%) specialize in portrait photography.
- 53.9% of photographers have 10+ years of experience.
How Many Photographers Are There?
There are more than 3.6 million photographers across the entire globe, with the number continuing to slowly grow each year.
The growing demand for visual content in various industries, such as advertising, fashion, and social media, is one of the driving factors behind this expansion.
How many photographers are there in the U.S.?
In the United States alone, the photography community is thriving. In 2022, there were approximately 148,900 photographers who were actively working in this field.
It’s worth noting that this number is projected to grow by 4% by 2032, further cementing photography’s relevance in the modern world. While the projected growth might seem slow, it indicates a positive outlook for the photography industry over the next decade.
Demographic data shows that among people working in the photography field in the U.S., 54.3% are male and 45.7% are female. It indicates a nearly even gender distribution among photographers.
Employed vs Self-employed
Within the global community of photographers, a diverse range of employment arrangements exists. Notably, around 2 out of 3 photographers are self-employed.
This shows that most of the photographers have an entrepreneurial spirit, with many operating their own studios or working as freelancers, offering services in various specializations.
Moreover, approximately 20% of photographers classify themselves as hobbyists, emphasizing the accessibility and appeal of photography as a personal passion and creative outlet. Some of these hobbyist photographers manage to turn their passion into full-time jobs over time.
What do most photographers specialize in?
Photographers specialize in many forms, with portrait photographers making up around 19.3% of all photographers, followed by landscape at 11.4%, and weddings at 8.7%.
Beyond these most popular specializations, photographers also delve into macro photography, street photography, wildlife photography, and more. The specialization within photography allows professionals to cater to diverse needs, from capturing memorable family moments to creating exclusive visual content for commercial campaigns.
Furthermore, the expertise of photographers varies, with 53.9% having accumulated 10+ years of experience in photography. It means that more than half of these people are highly skilled and have been in the field for many years.
Source: State of the Photography Industry Report 2022 by Format
Which Country Produces the Best Photographers?
According to WPE Awards, these countries have the most excellent photographers:
- Russian Federation
- United Kingdom
Determining the “best” photographers is subjective, but each country listed has made unique contributions to the global photography scene. The USA gained the most excellence points, it boasts a diverse range of styles and iconic figures.
Why Do People Become Photographers?
There are many reasons why people pursue photography. The most common are:
- Creative expression: Using photography as a medium to express artistic vision.
- Connecting with others: Sharing stories and connecting with subjects through portrait and documentary work.
- Exploring the world: Traveling and seeing different perspectives.
- Challenging themselves: Engaging with the technical and artistic challenges of photography.
- Career: Some people pursue photography as a professional field.
- Personal fulfillment: Finding joy and accomplishment in photography as a hobby.
- Raising awareness: Using photography to highlight social, environmental, or political issues.
- Photojournalism: Documenting historical events and cultural heritage. Also capturing and preserving significant moments and scenes.
Our primary data for estimating the global number of photographers was sourced from Worldometer and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, looking at the world population and counting the average rate of photographers in the U.S.
The estimated number of photographers was aggregated to arrive at a global estimate. The global number of photographers was found to be approximately 3.6 million.
To wrap up, these insights give us a detailed look at how many people are into photography around the world.
What we found is that photography is a primary source of income for many people and that the majority of these photographers are self-employed.
Photography as a business form requires not only creativity but also a lot of organizational, time management, and marketing skills.
As of 2023, the global photography community contains more than 3.6 million individuals who are actively working in this field.
While we may think that the growth of mobile photography might result in a decrease in professional photographers, the truth remains the opposite. The number of photographers growth is slow, but it’s still positive.