Is Photography a Dying Industry?

Oh, the good old days. The days when taking a photograph was a rare occasion. Those are the words that someone born way back in the early to mid-20th century would tell a millennial or a Gen Z youngster. You can tell how their eyes would light up when taking you through the few available photos of their young escapades.

man with camera on cliff

As you travel down history lane, you can’t help but wonder how far technology has brought the photography industry. You imagine how someone who didn’t get to witness how technologically advanced photography has become would marvel at people taking selfies. You also wonder about the future of photography – what would it look like a few decades down the line? Will photography vanish, or will it flourish to infinity? Let’s find out!

In general, photography is not a dying industry. There have been great strides in technology that have availed some of the best photography equipment the world has ever witnessed. The stiff competition in this industry has also seen the best photographers win awards for their unique pieces. The photography industry is only changing for the better, making it one of the most lucrative businesses individuals can venture into.

Even better, the presence of social media platforms has increased the demand for photography. Businesses and individuals use it for marketing their products online and attracting customers. Therefore, there will be a continued demand for professional photography to help brands reach out to their customers and market themselves.

This industry has also been at the forefront of capturing and maintaining historical moments worldwide. Photography covers everything, from landmark election victories in the world’s most powerful economies to a gut-wrenching photo of a starving child in a poor third-world country. All it takes is one timely photo that speaks volumes about a particular event to get the world talking about it. So, could a simple photograph that gets the masses talking about an event signal a dying industry? The answer is no.

Is Photography a Dying Art?

No, photography isn’t a dying art. On the contrary, it has been thriving because of various technological advancements.There are better cameras with high-quality lenses to capture moments in the best way possible. Think of it this way- a social media influencer has landed a huge deal to promote a certain corporate product. The influencer would have to utilize the services of a big team, including a makeup artist, a stylist, and a professional photographer. The effort and time the team would use to capture the most captivating photo that would appeal to the brand’s audience is not a walk in the park.

Also, the photographer has to ensure that the influencer sticks to a particular theme to create the best environment of taking the most alluring image. Social media influencing is only gathering steam and will be around in the forthcoming years, and so will be the art of photography.

Another reason that would prove to you how photography isn’t a dying art is the presence of camera-enabled smartphones. According to a recent research, 50 % of the global population (approximately 4 billion people) own smartphones. Most smartphones have cameras, the best in the market, having super high megapixels to capture the best quality photos.

The presence of such gadgets means almost anyone with a good quality smartphone camera can identify the perfect moment to capture a breathtaking photo. Posting such a photo online could attract attention and even enable the individual to make money. Other aspiring photographers see the success of their colleagues as an opportunity to continue scouting for the most outstanding photo. In hindsight, they are keeping the photography art alive.

Is Photography as a Career Dead?

Photography as a career is not dead. This industry has seen a steady influx of individuals who want to pursue photography as a full-time career. Aside from the countless photos online from amateur photographers, many individuals see photography as their job and not a hobby. You will support this notion if you have been keenly following worldwide happenings in recent years.

woman photographer

For instance, various red-carpet events host famous individuals- from movie stars to popular sports or music industry figures. These public figures often pose on the red carpet to show their sense of fashion. Many photographers jostle to get the best angle of famous personalities, and the best photo can go viral within seconds.

Such a photo can help the brands whose fashion items the celebrities have adorned increase their sales. This occurrence comes from the fans’ desire to dress like their favorite style icons. Hence, brands with similar outfits can sell out the items quickly. The fact that photography helps keep the fashion industry alive proves that photography as a career is alive and will remain so for a long time.

Another reason that proves the photography career is still thriving is the increase in the number of educational institutions offering photography courses. Not to mention professionals who often advertise online to train interested individuals on photography. Had the photography career been dead, very few individuals would want to pursue it, and it would only remain as a hobby. The influx of photography courses indicates that many people are trying to leverage their skills in this industry, keeping the profession alive.

Besides, this profession has numerous advantages that pull individuals into the career to try and reap the benefits. They include:

  1. The career allows individuals to travel the world. While traveling, they can sightsee and have fun interacting with new people and cultures.
  2. There is a constant demand for professional photography, making it easier for talented photographers to find work.
  3. Photographers can make a decent income from the industry whether they pursue it full time or as a side hustle.
  4. This career is flexible and allows individuals to have a healthy work-life balance.
  5. Photographers can choose to work under an employer or practice freelance photography, giving them the freedom to work wherever they feel most comfortable.

Is Photography Business on the Decline?

The photography business isn’t on the decline- it is steadily improving. As you have read above, there are many areas where photography is a critical component. Photographers commercialize their trade by taking photos of events, people, animals, and many other types of scenes and selling them to get an income. They can also set up studios or get hired to take professional photos and get paid for their services.

modern Sony camera

Marketers, large corporations, publishers, graphic designers, and small/medium enterprises are some of the notable customers a photographer can sell their services to. The photography business will always be in demand for brands as long as they want to remain relevant among their target audience.

Is a Photography Business Profitable?

The photography business is profitable for those individuals who know how to do it right and that comes with experience. Professional photographers can make good money taking pictures of products for sale, beautiful models, public figures, or wildlife and many other subjects. The pictures are in high demand in select industries, and a smart photographer can earn some good income from the trade. Many factors influence photography, key among them being the type of photography jobs one does. The types of jobs include:

  • Food photography
  • Fashion photography
  • Commercial photography
  • Portrait photography
  • Sports photography
  • Freelancing photography
  • Medical photography
  • Wedding photography
  • Nature photography
  • Film set photography

The following are some of the most profitable photography jobs with the highest earnings:


Photography Type

Average Yearly Salary
Commercial photography
$100,000
Food photography$92,000
Portrait photography$82,000
Sports photography$70,000
Freelancing photography$56,000
Medical photography$59,000
Wedding photography$50,000
Nature photography$40,000
Film set photography$50,000
Fashion photography$70,000

Of course if you make a name for yourself and become a famous photographer, there is no limit to your earning potential. It may be in the millions.

Are Photographers Still Needed?

Yes, photographers are essential to many personal and business aspects of life. These individuals help capture monumental events that preserve history for future generations. Not only that, they help brands achieve marketing success with creative photos that appeal to the intended audience.

Photographers also play a critical role by highlighting social injustices like police brutality and war. They bring the world to the attention of the plight of individuals suffering from these injustices. Photographers also help maintain art alive when they continue to capture masterpieces showing unique angles of certain objects. With all the good services they offer, photographers are still needed in today’s world.

Will Photography Be In-Demand in the Future?

Yes, photography will be in demand in the future. Technology will grow, social media will improve, and brands will continue to compete. Putting these aspects into play, you will see how photography remains a profitable venture. For instance, when technology advances, higher-quality cameras will be on the market to capture better images.

Social media will continue to support photography with the increased demand for breathtaking images. Consequently, brands will continue to recognize and appreciate professional photography as a critical element in their marketing campaigns. All factors held constant; photography is here to stay well into the future.

For more information, check out this video that talks about the future of photography:

Final Thoughts

Photography is not a dying industry. Not with all its life-changing capabilities and role as a key preservative of history. The industry has much more to offer than simply taking photos-people can make reputable careers out of it. Interested in reaping its fruits? There’s only one way to find out: venturing into the photography business!

As you have seen, the future of photography is bright. If you’re willing to know more and stay updated, learn more here.

By Nicholas Mitchell

Nicholas is a staff writer at Photodoto. His interests include photography, collecting cameras old and new, video editing, and all things 3d. If a new gadget comes out on the market, he's sure to be the first to try it. He enjoys experimenting with low light photography, very long exposures and high speed filming.