Photography Survey – How Do You Match Up?

I love surveys and statistics. I love discovering how people are thinking, what matters most to them, and what drives them for the future.

So a few days I found a new survey tool and decided to give it a try – and thanks to the dozens of you who have participated so far (yes, you can still add your ideas if you have two minutes to spare).

So let’s go over a couple of the survey results.

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Is taking a great picture more of an accident for you, or can you take an image knowing you’ve got a great image every time? A lot of that comes down to lighting, and knowing exactly what to do in every situation. And it looks like a ton of photographers struggle with that on a daily basis.

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From a business standpoint, tied for first place is “bring in more customers” and “learn more about marketing”, followed by “start up my business”. Photography is a great business to be in – there’s so much potential! And honestly I can’t think of a more fun profession to be in. It’s something you can jump in at any time, build your skills, and then modify as you move along.

Andrew and I started out as general photographers, moved into high end wedding photography, created a coaching/mentoring/marketing firm to help photographers grow their own businesses, and now see ourselves moving into fine art photography in the coming years. We have friends who moved from generalists, to weddings, to high school seniors, and are now very successful as baby photographers.

What’s your passion? As long as its photography, you have a lifetime career and opportunity.

Thanks for the results – you’ve inspired a ton of new posts coming to you in the months ahead.

3 thoughts on “Photography Survey – How Do You Match Up?”

  1. Quality project photography is an extremely important component for marketing AEC services, and most companies use a mix of photographs taken by professionals as well as images shot by internal staff. Seventy-seven percent of firms represented have hired professional photographers while 79% have used internal staff for their photography needs. Over 80% of participants are concerned with the initial cost of hiring a professional photographer. This indicates a need for professionals to either address their pricing structure, place a greater emphasis on selling the value of their services, or better help their clients share photography expenses with other firms involved in a given project. The good news for professional photographers is that most firms represented in the survey seem to be cognizant of the difference between professionally-taken photographs and those shot through in-house staff, even if they only use professionals for the most important or signature projects. Conversely, while almost 80% of companies represented in the survey use internal staff for project photography, a lack of training and photography skills is the single biggest concern of this approach. This shows a need for companies and professional societies to provide training programs that will increase the skills of marketing and technical staff members tasked with project photography.

    The major changes in technology over the past two decades have resulted in increased needs for project photos. This has corresponded with an increase in client/owner sophistication. When I got into this business 20 years ago, firms were using project photos that were 5, 10, or even 20 years old. Now it is common to receive an RFP that requires five similar projects completed in the past three years or even ten similar projects completed during the last five years. The “shelf life” for project photographs is decreasing. And while AEC marketers were once able to get away with only featuring a select A-List of project examples, we now need to showcase a deep portfolio of experience for every type of project we chase. This has resulted in the need to photograph the vast majority of our projects. Websites, social media, and other electronic marketing efforts have also created a continual need for new, quality photos. In my opinion, this appetite for constantly obtaining new photos will not diminish anytime soon; rather, going forward it will probably be accompanied by an increasing need for videos of completed projects.

    1.) What is the most important thing I need to do to help my photography?
    Take better pictures
    2). What are the one or two most important tools for your photography?
    Lenses

    3). If you could spend an hour in the field with a professional photographer, what would you like to learn?
    yes
    4). What is the most important thing I need to do to build an income stream for my photography?
    Start up my business
    5). What marketing tasks are you currently working on in your business?

    advertising in print/newspapers/magazines

    Reply
  2. The purpose of this question was to determine how AEC firms are using photography of their projects – buildings, bridges, roadways, landscapes, etc. A full 100% of respondents identified websites as one of their purposes for photography, edging out presentations (98%), proposals (96%), and brochures (94%). These results demonstrate just how importantly companies view their websites as part of the overall marketing mix. Office décor and exhibits/trade shows were the next most popular categories, followed closely by public relations and publications/newsletters, which all scored between 71% and 77%. Design contests and social media also garnered significant scores, 44% and 40% respectively, but not nearly as high as other categories. However, the social media score most likely indicates the growing importance of social networking sites and blogs as marketing tools.The major changes in technology over the past two decades have resulted in increased needs for project photos. This has corresponded with an increase in client/owner sophistication. When I got into this business 20 years ago, firms were using project photos that were 5, 10, or even 20 years old. Now it is common to receive an RFP that requires five similar projects completed in the past three years or even ten similar projects completed during the last five years. The “shelf life” for project photographs is decreasing. And while AEC marketers were once able to get away with only featuring a select A-List of project examples, we now need to showcase a deep portfolio of experience for every type of project we chase. This has resulted in the need to photograph the vast majority of our projects. Websites, social media, and other electronic marketing efforts have also created a continual need for new, quality photos. In my opinion, this appetite for constantly obtaining new photos will not diminish anytime soon; rather, going forward it will probably be accompanied by an increasing need for videos of completed projects.
    1.) What is the most important thing I need to do to help my photography?
    Take better pictures
    2). What are the one or two most important tools for your photography?
    Lenses

    3). If you could spend an hour in the field with a professional photographer, what would you like to learn?
    yes
    4). What is the most important thing I need to do to build an income stream for my photography?
    Start up my business
    5). What marketing tasks are you currently working on in your business?

    advertising in print/newspapers/magazines

    6)What is the biggest thing you need help with right now?
    Becoming a better photographer
    7)If you were to invest in training during 2008, where would you most likely spend your money?
    Learning more about the camera
    8)If you could spend an hour with a top business expert, what is the top question you would ask him or her?
    enjoy survey

    Reply
  3. Photography is our passion, and we know it’s yours. At Photography.com, you can read photography articles, browse photography equipment and digital camera reviews, purchase digital cameras, find stock photography

    Reply

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