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Commercial Photography Industry Report (NAICS 541922)

Commercial Photography Industry - Market Size and Forecast

The Commercial Photography industry report contains both historical and forecasted statistics. Total market size figures from 2015 to 2025 reveal industry growth patterns and trends. Market size measurements include both public and private companies in the industry.

Historical Forecasted
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Commercial Photography Market Size (Total Revenue)

Included in Report

% Growth Rate in Commercial Photography Market
Number of Companies in the Commercial Photography Industry
Total Employees
Average Revenue per Commercial Photography Company
Average Employees per Commercial Photography Company
Source: U.S. government financial data.

Commerical Photography Industry Revenue ($ Billions)

Commercial Photography Industry Revenue
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021

Advanced econometric models in the commercial photography industry forecast five years of industry growth based on short- and long-term trend analysis of the commercial photography market. Market size includes revenue generated from all products and services sold within the commercial photography industry.

Commercial Photography Industry: Geographic Breakdown by U.S. State

Commercial photography market size by state reveals local opportunity through the number of commercial photography companies located in the region. Each state's growth rate is affected by regional economic conditions. Data by state can be used to pinpoint profitable and nonprofitable locations for Commercial Photography companies in the United States.

Commercial Photography Revenue by State

US Market Size by State

Distribution of Commercial Photography Market by Company Size

Company Size All Industries Commercial Photography
Small Business (< 5 Employees)


Small Business (5 - 20)
Midsized Business (20 - 100)
Large Business (100 - 500)
Enterprise (> 500)

Commercial Photography - Income Statement (Average Financial Metrics)

Financial statement analysis determines averages for the following industry forces:
The report includes a traditional income statement from an "average" commercial photography company (both public and private companies included).

Industry Average Percent of Sales
Total Revenue for Commercial Photography Products and Services


Operating Revenue
Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
Gross Profit
Operating Expenses
Operating Income
Non-Operating Income
Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT)
Interest Expense
Earnings Before Taxes
Income Tax
Net Profit

Average Income Statement

Average Income Statement

Cost of Goods Sold

Salaries, Wages, and Benefits



Depreciation and Amortization

Officer Compensation

Net Income

Commercial Photography Industry Financial Ratio Analysis

Financial ratios allow a company's performance to be compared against that of its peers.

Financial Ratio Industry Average
Profitability Ratios


Profit Margin
Liquidity Ratios
Current Ratio
Quick Ratio
Activity Ratios
Average Collection Period
Asset Turnover Ratio
Receivables Turnover Ratio
Inventory Conversion Ratio

Commercial Photography Industry Product Mix

Product Description Description Revenue
($ Millions)
Industry total


Commercial or industrial photography services
Other photography services
Photofinishing services
Licensing of rights to use stock photos
Portrait photography services
All other operating receipts
Wedding photography services
Resale of merchandise
Wedding still photography services

Commercial Photography Industry - Compensation and Salary Surveys

Title Percent of Workforce Bottom Quartile Average (Median) Salary Upper Quartile
Management Occupations 3%


Chief Executives 0%
General and Operations Managers 3%
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 57%
Media and Communication Equipment Workers 53%
Photographers 50%
Photographers 50%
Sales and Related Occupations 11%
Retail Sales Workers 6%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations 18%
Other Office and Administrative Support Workers 8%
Office Clerks, General 7%
Office Clerks, General 7%
Production Occupations 7%
Other Production Occupations 7%
Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators 6%
Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators 6%

Government Contracts Within Commercial Photography Industry

In 2008, the federal government spent a total of $29,288,068 on the commercial photography industry. It has awarded 235 contracts to 74 commercial photography companies, with an average value of $395,785 per company.

Commercial Photography and Adjacent Industries - Top Companies

Company Address Revenue
($ Millions)


FAQ About the Commercial Photography Industry

What is commercial and industrial photography?
Commercial photography includes a wide range of photography niches. At its core, commercial photography is about creating images that will be used by businesses to market and promote their brand or sell their products.

Which commercial photography categories can I niche in as a commercial photographer?

Fashion photography
Fashion photography is a genre of commercial photography which captures images of fashionable items such as clothing, footwear, accessories, and other lifestyle items. Fashion photographers will often work with models and are often commissioned by iconic brands, fashion magazines, and small retailers to help display their products.

Food Photography
Food photography is a genre in commercial photography which allows you to work with still-life. This means that you don't have to deal with positioning a live model, but you'll have to come up with tricks to make the food and drinks you're photographing come alive. Some of these tricks include frothing a drink, capturing smoke from a hot dish, preventing food submerged in liquid from getting a soggy look, creating vibrant colors, and so on.

Food photographers are often commissioned by food manufacturers, packaging specialists, restaurants, food magazines, and cookbook publishers.

Product photography
Product photography is a form of commercial photography which is meant to showcase products in a manner that will entice buyers to purchase the product, while allowing the viewer to get an accurate view of what the product looks like. A good product photographer will know what potential buyers want to see, and make sure to capture all details in the image. This includes shape, size, color, and often usage, of the product. E-commerce stores depend heavily on product photography, and to a lesser degree, many brands and retailers that publish marketing material such as magazine advertisements, brochures, outdoor ads, and the like, also need a product photographer.

Environmental photography
Environmental photography means taking photographs outside a photography studio, in a natural environment. In commercial photography, the natural environment is generally the subject of the photograph’s workspace. This allows the viewer to get a glimpse of how the subject in question appears while working. For example, a masseuse giving a massage is an example of what an environmental photographer would capture. Advertising agencies, brands, and independent businesses may hire an environmental photographer to photograph employees within their workspace.

Headshot photography is somewhat similar to portrait photography in that it focuses on one individual person. However, it falls into the commercial photography genre, since the headshots are taken for commercial purposes. Headshots are generally utilized for social media profiles, graduation pictures, branding material, corporate letters, websites, and more.

A headshot photographer will often be hired by large firms to take shoots of an entire team, agents who need performers' headshots, solo business owners, and the like.

Architectural photography
Architectural photography is a category within the commercial photography industry. An architectural photographer takes photographs of buildings and other structures. The images are then often used by real estate professionals as marketing material. Many times the images will be published online to showcase a neighborhood, or utilized in a brochure for a similar purpose. Alternatively, the images can be used in a portfolio to showcase successful projects. Real estate professionals and architecture magazines are generally those who hire architecture photographers.

How can I succeed in the commercial photography industry?
As in every industry, the key to starting a successful business in commercial photography is to bring your A-game to everything you do, build a fantastic reputation, know your craft, and perfect your people skills. A keen understanding of how marketing works is also important in order for you to be a successful commercial photographer. You'll need to understand not only how to market your own photography business, but you may also need to advise your clients on what type of photographs will work for their marketing endeavors.

You'll also have to decide whether to niche in a specific area within commercial photography (such as food, headshots, etc.), or if you want to leave all possibilities within the photography industry open. At times, you may have to overcome creative blocks. You'll most likely have to go out of your comfort zone and pitch to people as well. You also have to keep your eyes wide open as to what is going on in the photography industry and how you can keep your skills up to date.

In addition to perfecting your skill and developing a photography portfolio, there’s a lot you’ll need to know about building a business. Figuring out your startup costs, monthly operating expenses, (and how you will cover it until revenue starts rolling in), what standard commercial photography rates are, hiring the right people, marketing your business, networking, and financial organization, are some of the things you’ll need in place before your photography business can be successful.

The best way to learn about the commercial photography industry and set yourself up for success in this arena is to speak to other successful commercial photographers and mine them for all they are willing to share about the photography market.

How do commercial photographers get clients?
Breaking into any market can be tough. And the commercial photography industry is no different. Here are some ideas to help get you started in the commercial photography industry.

How can I learn about industry trends in commercial photography?
The business of commercial photography is an ever evolving one. As in every industry, it's super important to remain on top of your game, and constantly be in the know about emerging trends. The best way to accomplish this is to subscribe to magazines and newsletters which cater specifically to people in the commercial photography market and provide data based on thorough industry research. This will not only give you curated content from industry experts on new trends, but also a wealth of other important information such as market size, expected profit margins, industry growth, how to market your business, where to find photography studios, new techniques, business resources, and more.

Additionally, you should study work from experts in the industry, and photographers you've come to know as cutting edge. You can follow them on social media, and check their online portfolio for updates. Study the techniques they use, and see how things change over time.

And, of course you can always take advantage of ongoing education via online or in-person courses to learn more about commercial photography and hone your existing skills.

What are some emerging trends in the commercial photography industry?
The photography industry has changed rapidly over the past few years. This is due to the natural evolvement of every industry, and to technological advances specifically within the photography industry, as well as a business-oriented mindset by millennials who greatly contribute to the growth of the commercial photography market.

While there are new advances in the photography industry every day, here are some popular ones:

Drones capture an aerial view of large swathes of land. They are often used by real estate professionals to showcase a neighborhood, but that is far from the only use drones have. Many brands want to show an aerial view of their outdoor product, facilities may want their audience to see their entire complex, and event organizers want to show off their crowd.

Macro Photography
Macro photography is a form of photography that involves photographing small objects to make them look life-sized. Continuous advances in photographic equipment allow photographers to utilize this technique to display unique - and often show stopping - images of products. Some examples of objects which lend themselves well to macro photography are flowers and small insects, which we generally don't get to see up close.

Still images have been around for decades. Recent years have led to a shift to videos. While videos cannot replace the need for still images in print platforms, many brands and business entities have shifted their focus to videos - or at least use videos in conjunction with traditional photography. Whether they are used for testimonials on a website, to showcase a product, or convey a CEO's message, videos are all the rage.

Unedited Photographs
As authenticity becomes more of a buzzword, people are exploring unedited photographs as a genre of its own. Many brands will occasionally utilize unedited photographs to prove their commitment to authenticity and connect with their followers in a way that they deem more authentic.

Commercial Photography Industry Report
Geography United States  
Publication Date September 2020
Commercial Photography Report Format PDF Download  
Price for Commercial Photography Industry Report $499.00

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