Professional Photographers of America Releases Findings from Nationwide Market Research

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Comprehensive study sheds light on photography consumers, first of many to come.

PPA's Photography Consumer Research

The focus of every business today must be on the consumer. As an industry, we must be better about understanding consumer mindset and expectations.

The mystery of who exactly is buying photography today is being solved by Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The association is publishing significant, new data on photography consumers in an attempt to learn more about who they are and what (or why) they’re buying. PPA partnered with an independent research firm to conduct this comprehensive national study about consumers who have purchased and/or plan to purchase professional photography. These findings will help arm members of the association with insight about what influences consumers when they’re making a photography purchase.

“In today’s experiential economy it is simply not enough to understand photographic technique and sound business practices,” says PPA CEO David Trust. “The focus of every business today must be on the consumer. As an industry, we must be better about understanding consumer mindset and expectations.”

PPA’s renewed focus on industry research is part of the nonprofit's list of benefits offered to over 30,000 members. The goal is to have PPA members, most of whom are working professional photographers, learn more about the purchasing behaviors of consumers and potential photography clients. This, in turn, will lead to a greater understanding of where they need to concentrate to bridge the growing gap that is forming between photographers and consumers.

“PPA is conducting this nationwide consumer market research to better help photographers understand the needs of their clients,” explains Emilee Baum, PPA’s Research Manager. “Through this study and more upcoming research, PPA will be giving its members useful, actionable facts to help grow their business and better understand photography customers.”

This first study focused on three groups of consumers from across the country:

  • Wedding photography purchasers
  • Portrait photography purchasers
  • High school senior photography purchasers

The findings include key insights into photography clients and potential clients and:

  • how they learned about photography product and service options
  • how much they spent on photography products and services
  • what products/services and experiences they purchased
  • how they felt about their overall purchasing experience

This report is just the beginning – PPA will be conducting and sharing more consumer research with its members in the coming months to help them gain deeper insights into their clients’ motivations, needs, and what they’re seeking in a professional photographer. “Our ongoing research initiative is huge, but we felt that it was not enough to just conduct the research – we had to put it into manageable chunks for our members,” says Trust. “What we are releasing is the first examples of that. And there is a lot more to come.” Members can view the report and download a .pdf version at PPA.com/Research.

About PPA
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest and longest-standing nonprofit photography trade association with a 150-year history. It now helps 30,000+ pros elevate their craft and grow their business with resources, protection, and education, all under PPA’s core guiding principle of bridging the gap between what photographers do as artists and entrepreneurs and what consumers want.

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James Yates
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