The Commercial Photography Market Is Growing. Make Sure You Keep Up!

The commercial photography market is set to grow substantially over the next decade, with product photography accounting for the biggest share.

That’s according to Fact.MR, world-leading market researchers and consultants. In a new, in-depth report, they find that increasing digitalisation across all industries, as well as the continued rise of e-commerce, is set to keep demand for commercial photography services growing well into the 2030s and beyond.

The report values the current global commercial photography market at US$5.1 billion off the back of a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7% between 2017 and 2021.

Over the next ten years, that CAGR is predicted to increase to 2.2%, with the global commercial photography market expected to reach a value of US$6.4 billion by 2032.

Accounting for 45% of the value will be product photography, according to the report. That puts the estimated global value of product photography in 2032 at US$2.88 billion.

Whiskey photography class

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Whisky Photography

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What's driving this growth?

In the short term, the pandemic-inspired rise in online shopping and food-delivery services has accelerated demand for commercial photography as retailers seek to promote and sell their products through e-commerce websites and apps.

In the medium and longer term, ongoing digitalisation and fierce competition in the global economy will drive an increase in consumer-focused websites pushing visual marketing content. Fact.MR expects this increase to be most significant in China and India – the latter in particular, with the Indian commercial photography market predicted to grow by 3.1% by 2032.

A major factor explored by the report is the increased availability and accessibility of technologically advanced photographic equipment. With even amateur photographers now able to capture high-resolution images, producing work suitable for commercial use is becoming possible for more and more people.

The report draws on findings published by advertising firm Justuno, which state that 93% of consumers consider the quality of visual content to be a key factor in their purchasing decisions. Meanwhile, 78% of online shoppers expect to see high-quality photography when they’re browsing.

Justuno also found that 70% of enterprises invest in content and visual marketing strategies, which typically require high-quality images.

Taken together, these figures show that commercial photography is becoming an increasingly valuable industry. And that’s great news for both existing and aspiring commercial photographers!

Furniture photography class

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What does this mean?

It means there’s never been a better time to invest in your development as a visual artist! Wherever you live, there’s almost certain to be a business nearby that needs a photographer to help them promote their products or services – ideally, one equipped with post-production, CGI and filmmaking skills in addition to studio lighting expertise.

Maybe it’s a distillery producing small-batch whiskey, or a brewery supplying craft beers. Maybe it’s a restaurant that wants to show off its dishes on social media. Maybe it’s a real estate agent who needs a filmmaker to help showcase the properties on their list.

Or maybe you’re that local business? With more and more artists and designers selling their creations on sites like Etsy and Depop, it makes sense to master the skills you need to give your products the best possible chance of finding a buyer.

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Screengrabs from our 'Real Estate Filmmaking' class.

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Unleash your creative potential

With the already huge market for commercial photography predicted to grow significantly over the next ten years, the opportunities for visual artists are endless. But as the Fact.MR report also points out, with cameras improving all the time, it takes expertise and creativity to stand out from the crowd.

The best way to do that is to subscribe to Visual Education and learn the techniques you need to succeed. With 700+ classes covering lighting, portrait, fashion, and of course product photography – not to mention 3D CGI, filmmaking, business, and more – Visual Education is designed to help you unleash your creative potential and become the best visual artist you can possibly be.

With that in mind, we offer Working to a Brief projects to help you practice working for commercial clients. You can also submit your work for critique, or take part in our weekly challenges. You can even get certified with LEVELS and earn proof of your expertise!

The future for commercial photography looks bright. Make sure the same is true of your own creative prospects.

Get full access to Visual Education for just $19/month.

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