WhiteWall, a German-based online pro lab, and recent recipient of the annual TIPA Award for Best Photo Lab in the World, recently surveyed more than 800 of its US monthly newsletter subscribers to determine how photography, and the overall value of a photograph, have changed. Respondents were allowed to provide more than one answer.
Survey respondents included a group of self-proclaimed professional photographers (55 percent) and photo enthusiasts (45 percent). The survey results show that among this group at least, hard copy photographs continue to hold value.
Among the key survey highlights:
– 79 percent of respondents said they took at least 1000 photos in the past year; 5 percent took more than 3000; and 26 percent took more than 10,000 photographs;
– 54 percent took photos with a digital camera or mobile device and 33 percent used a digital camera exclusively. Only 10 percent said they used a mobile device exclusively to take pictures in the past 12 months.
– 77 percent of respondents viewed their collection of photos as one of the most valuable assets they own; 10 percent said it was the most valuable asset
– 92 percent said they made at least one photo print in the last year and 90 percent 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,’ said Katrin Schwarzenberg, public relations manager at WhiteWall. ‘We were pleasantly surprised by the number of respondents who felt “very strongly” about decorating their home and office with photos they’ve taken (76 percent) and a larger percentage who actually have at least one of their photos on display (89 percent). 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.’
Don Franz, group publisher of 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 display their photos.
‘With a vast majority of survey respondents taking more than 1000 photos a year, the industry concern is no longer that people are not taking photos but that people are not using them,’ said Don. ‘Based on their answers to open-ended questions, many respondents indicated they are not aware of the huge range of photo products they can order and would like guidance/advice about these possibilities.’
WhiteWall’s survey revealed that respondents’ favorite photographic subjects included animals and wildlife (75 percent), friends and family (47 percent), and photographing all subjects of interest while traveling or on vacation (63 percent).