The market of professional and semi-professional photographers, as well as passionate amateurs of taking photos, are important target groups in the personalized photo products industry.
The photo services market is still on the wave of growth despite the disturbance of 2020 and is expected to rise from $32.92 billion in 2020 to $36.42 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6%. This increase is mainly because of the rapid adaptation of business activities to the new situation and recovery after the negative effects of COVID-19. By 2025, the market is expected to reach $44.07 billion with a CAGR of 5%.
One of the crucial and current needs of professional and commercial photographers is the ability to transform their digital works into beautiful photo products.
If you thought that the scope of personalized photo products dedicated to professionals includes only creating a classic portfolio, then you are wrong. It is also an opportunity to expand and diversify the offer of professional photographers for their end customers. Besides, it is an attractive proposition for photography enthusiasts who make photographic products for their own use.
In this article, we will introduce you to the characteristics of the PRO market and provide you with some real business examples, if you think about starting operating in this area.
Choose a photographic niche to which you’ll offer your services
Entering the market of professional photographers and photography enthusiasts is not a piece of cake, but it is worth being aware of how interesting and promising it is. It contains many niches to which your brand can direct its communication. For each of them, you can offer dedicated & specialized photo products, thanks to which the authors will be able to present all the details of their work in a tangible form. Here are a few of the niches we think are most interesting if you’re considering starting a business in this field.
Occasional and event photography
Event photography is one of the most popular and broadest niches. It includes photographic services for many types of events, both private and commercial.
Many people want to professionally preserve important memories of family occasions, such as wedding ceremonies, receptions, a joyful engagement time, or the first moments with a newborn. This is a great opportunity for a photographer to offer their clients beautiful and professionally made photo products. The same applies to anniversaries, company meetings, or concerts.
Even though many such events have been postponed due to the necessity of social distancing, it is still a huge and prospering industry that will not suffer from a lack of work and orders in the coming years.
Research shows that only 4% of couples completely canceled their wedding receptions, which means that as many as 96% of future spouses are still interested in capturing their ceremony in photos, only postponing their plans for a few months. Even though the wedding industry is undergoing a metamorphosis, 2021 is forecasted to be the year of the return of wedding celebrations, with 400,000 ceremonies in the United States only.
Weddings are a niche that you can offer many types of photo products. From wedding photo books, through albums completed with a box, to a wide range of complementary items, such as “Thank You” gifts for the parents of the bride & groom.
Event and occasional photographers have great upselling opportunities and, due to the possibility of creating photo products, they have an ace in their sleeve while encouraging their clients to purchase additional services, such as making a pre-wedding photo session or creating a personalized guest book.
Many customers will surely be interested in more unusual solutions, such as creating wall decor from their wedding or family photos, whether in a frame or printed on canvas. They can opt for folio boxes or photo prints on paper with a custom finish. The possibilities are almost endless!
Commercial photography is of great importance in adding value to the marketing strategies of companies and organizations, especially now, when e-commerce sale is in full swing.
It is a very dynamically developing market where budgets are getting bigger every year. This is due to the expansion of the brands’ marketing activities, as well as increasing technological opportunities. For example, global smart commercial photography drones market is expected to reach around $10.6 Billion by 2025!
In the commercial photography industry, where the competition is tough, every little detail counts. Therefore, a professionally designed & printed portfolio or dedicated photo products show exceptional attention to detail and can be an important business advantage.
An example of this commercial field is fashion photography, which has remained one of the most lucrative niches for decades, thanks to the demand for it in advertising and marketing. Depending on whether it focuses on high or street fashion, whether it is created for editorial purposes or lookbooks, it is implemented by different specialists who create other types of end products to compose their rich portfolio.
Photography of amateur enthusiasts
Nevertheless, considering the PRO market, we don’t just mean full-time photographers! Many photo enthusiasts are amateurs who create small works of art in their free time that they would like to highlight in an attractive form.
Ever since food blogs and Instagram appeared on the Internet, food photography has become an element of pop culture. Many passionate photographers who share their artwork daily on the web may also be interested in having a printed copy of their piece as a professional album or canvas.
Travel photography is a similar case. Excellent pictures from trips and journeys can be with any photo equipment, from smartphones to drones. Capturing memories of the most exciting adventures and the greatest views can now take any form – metal or wooden wall decor, a professionally prepared photo book, or a folio box.
Photography enthusiasts invest in the best cameras and hone their skills on photography courses, so naturally, they have higher expectations with getting their work printed.
Customize your offer to suit the professional & semi-professional needs
Professional photographers and people deeply passionate about photography have different needs than individual users who use the services of creating photo products only occasionally, usually when preparing personalized gifts for their loved ones. Therefore, it is crucial to adapt your services, editing tools, and final products to this specific target group.
These types of customers do not care about pre-made templates, and the possibility of simply editing the project settings is not enough for them. They have different expectations towards products, the purchasing path, and the editor in which they create their projects.
They must also feel that the brand understands their specific needs and offers something above standard, designed and prepared particularly for professionals.
Colorland, one of the largest Polish photo products players, established a dedicated brand for professional and commercial photographers, nPhoto. The services are available to customers in UK, Germany, Netherlands, and Poland. They offer dedicated solutions and unique, top-notch products such as:
- Large-format prints
- Prints on different materials – canvas, metal, acrylic
- Wall decor
- Photo calendars.
One of the unique ideas of this brand are Folio Boxes.
White Wall, a German-based store with beautiful canvases and wall-décor, also has a special offer for professional and semi-professional photographers who want to purchase dedicated, high-quality photo products. The company is an expert in a variety of prints that will satisfy even the most specific needs of professional photographers, interested in specialized projects such as giclee prints, wooden artboxes, or large masterprints under acrylic glass. White Wall works with 21,500 professional photographers and 500 galleries worldwide.
Now is your time to start
Creating a dedicated offer for the segment of professional and semi-professional photographers is a game worth the candle. This is a target group whose expectations go beyond the standard options offered to a wide audience of individual users, but it is an investment that can bring significant profits.
Focusing on the wide variety and high quality of personalized photo products will certainly have a positive impact on the final decision of the end customer and will increase the income of both the photographer and your company.
Printing images and preparing photo products is the last step in the photographer’s creative process. As a PRO service provider, you must reassure your client of the same quality and consistency standards that they adhere to when taking their photos.
The professional photo market is smaller and more demanding than the consumer market, but still plays a significant role in the photo product industry. Therefore, maybe it is time to think about investing in a tool specially designed for professional photographers who require speed, efficiency, and ease of use to prepare unique and creative photo books, albums & more.
Then look forward to our next blog post, in which we will present you the proprietary Printbox editor, designed especially for the PRO segment. Stay tuned!
Join us on May 11 for a free webinar about the Pro Editor and the pro-market. Register here.