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The State of the Professional Photographic Services Australia Part 2

The 2018 Ibis World report for Professional Photographic Services Australia has just been released (Report M6991). This report is very comprehensive and provides a snapshot of the industry as it currently is and its outlook for the future. It provides a snapshot of the state of Professional Photographic Services Australia.

Information such as this is essential for any business owner in being able to remain a viable business in today’s economy. Much of what is reported is generally sensed within the photographic community. The report provides concrete economic data and medium-term forecasts for the industry which photographic professionals could take into consideration in the development of their business.

Part 2

This is the second part of a multi-part series where I will break down the information contained in this report. I consider this information essential to those of us already in the industry or for those considering entering in the near future. This information can help to form key strategies for growth and viability as a business.

Industry Overview

The industry as a whole, fluctuates in demand according to general economic conditions. Slow economic growth sees less household and business discretionary spending and this means tighter spending on things like family, portraiture, school and wedding photography. Amateur photographers entering the industry as much lower rates for services, has continued to downward growth trend of the industry as a whole. Growth is expected to be 1.2% over the next five years, and and decline of 0.4% in 17-18 due to falling discretionary incomes. 

The industry has become more price competitive, due to increasing amateur photographers entering the arena. This has contributed to falling profit margins over the last five year.

Commercial Photography

Commercial photography has seen a reduction in demand as businesses have tighter margins and advertising budgets to work with. Increasingly, businesses are sourcing images form online stock sites to reduce photography costs.  Two fields which have continued to maintain or grow are wedding and school photography. The number of school-aged children in Australia continues to grow, and the number of marriages remains steady.

Digital Technology

Falling prices of digital technology and the increased sophistication of smart phone cameras has lowered the barriers to entry into the field. Additionally, portraits and family portraits can be made on a phone and printed with ease, reducing the necessity of a professional photographer.

Amateurs have entered the industry. Barriers to entry are low, with estimated startup costs ranging between $30-$80k and lower, due to increased access, quality and falling prices of digital photographic equipment.

Key Themes

Key themes are the continued stability for school and wedding photographers. Consumers tend to shop by price, perceiving minimal difference in services and quality offered by professional photographers.

 

© Fine Photography 2018

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