WhiteWall Lab’s “Power of Print” Photo Survey Reveals Personal Photo Collections Among Most Valuable Assets

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92% of Respondents Still Make Prints from Favorite Photos; Many are Unaware of Extensive Print Services Available from Photo Labs

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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 -- Katrin Schwarzenberg, WhiteWall

Photography has certainly changed over its 175-plus year existence. From darkroom to digital, many believe the “art” of photography has given way to casual snapshots where the final stage of the process ― a photographic print ― has been replaced by posting images to a variety of social media sites. WhiteWall, a German-based online photo lab and recent recipient of the annual TIPA Award for Best Photo Lab in the World, surveyed more than 800* of its US monthly newsletter subscribers to determine how photography, and the overall value of a photograph, have changed.

Survey respondents included a group of self-proclaimed professional photographers (55%) and photo enthusiasts (45%). The survey results, illustrated in an infographic, is an encouraging reality check for those who fear the art of photography is on the verge of extinction.

Among the key survey highlights:

  • 79% of respondents said they took at least 1,000 photos in the past year; 52% took more than 3,000; and 26% took more than 10,000 photographs
  • 54% took photos with a digital camera or mobile device and 33% used a digital camera exclusively. Only 10% said they used a mobile device exclusively to take pictures in the past 12 months.
  • 77% of respondents viewed their collection of photos as one of the most valuable assets they own; 10% said it was the most valuable asset
  • 92% said they made at least one photo print in the last year and 90% 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,” explains 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%) and a larger percentage who actually have at least one of their photos on display (89%). 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 1,000 photos a year, the industry concern is no longer that people are not taking photos but that people are not using them,” Franz explains. “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.”

It is widely estimated that more than 1 trillion photos will be taken this year and consumers‘ growing propensity for travel, along with advancements in digital technology, can take at least some of the credit. WhiteWall’s survey revealed that respondents’ favorite photographic subjects included animals and wildlife (75%), friends and family (47%), and photographing all subjects of interest while traveling or on vacation (63%).**

To see the complete results of the “Power of Print” photography survey and access the survey infographic, please visit https://us.whitewall.com.

*A total of 808 consumers participated in the survey
**Respondents were permitted to select more than one answer

About WhiteWall
WhiteWall is a professional online photo lab based in Berlin, Germany. Their unique blend of custom photo processes and finishing services have provided photographers and consumers alike with gallery quality products since 2007. Best known for its photos under acrylic glass, brilliant HD Metal and aluminum prints, and hand-crafted frames, the award-winning online photo lab offers over 1,000 different product variations. As the exclusive lab for more than 40 LUMAS galleries around the world, all WhiteWall customers can be assured that their photos are given the same white-glove, professional care as those displayed in exhibitions. All products are produced in Germany, available in custom sizes and shipped worldwide in custom cut packaging for maximum protection. The showroom and retail store in New York City gives customers an opportunity to see all the WhiteWall options on display and receive professional assistance onsite before placing their online orders directly to WhiteWall.com from kiosks located in the store.

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