Being a photographer in 2022

Before I approach this subject in detail, I need to mention how much has changed over the past few years as the world has been shaken up from the likes of Covid and the drastic outcomes that fleeced the economy globally in the way we used to view and live life. Not only did certain brands take a major fall and fail to recover, but certain careers seized too exist. Fortunately for photographers, there has always been a ‘duty” to express visually, either commercially or through emotions. Both have effect on buying patterns and trends. Technology has and will always continue to surprise us, as brands are forced to upscale in order to maintain market share and retain buying power. Today we all struggle financially to survive, we do our best to make ends meet and at the end of the day strive to bring home a pay packet that pays all the bills and keeps the pressure and stress at bay.

How photographers stay ahead in 2022

Photographers today that are working in the industry are tending to become more specialised in the field they are best, or, again, to better themselves in the genres that are financially viable in their scope and ability to deliver. Client budgets have been affected and prices have soared above the average income levels of most individuals.  From my research the percentage relating to business to business in terms of genres points to portraiture as the majority genres, followed by landscape, then weddings, fine art and sport. I have not mentioned e-commerce photography, which takes the cake, as most shopping is conducted online rather than visits to malls and shopping centres.

Photographers have become aggressive marketers, making use of word of mouth marketing, as well as portfolio-based websites and social media platforms to generate and build client relationships. This is the only way one is able to reach out to the “targeted masses”. Generally, there is a 40/60 split between portfolio websites and word of mouth for new acquisitions within this challenging industry.

What are the top Camera gear brands for 2022

One of the most important transitions is the camera gear that most professional photographers tend have in their “kit”. Canon and Nikon are still the leaders with 70% market share in digital camera gear, as both these brands have managed to be in the frontline of technology as we have shifted from film to digital to mirrorless. The other brands that are closing in are Sony and Fujifilm, but again, in the climate that we live, it is very difficult to build a brand when there is constant stock shortages and daily price hikes. This is also detrimental to meeting client expectations where such items as camera and flash batteries are just not available. The new phrase I see everywhere on every advert is “out of stock” or “still on back order” .

We are all aware that lenses play a fundamental role in this process, as a good lens means good quality images. Unfortunately, photographers are plagues with the same circumstances, availability and price. Yes, everything is available at a price, but is it worth an overloaded premium, definitely not. My suggestion is to hold on to your good seconds, or consider buying preowned gear that meets your needs. Normally, in photography, if you are in the game, you will know that although something might be out dated and not the latest on the shelf, it will deliver according to expectations.

Why being a professional photographer is a great career choice for 2022

To conclude, the facts are that most people in most professions have suffered. As a professional photographer, I am still very grateful and positive and believe that there is still very much a future in photography as a career. Photography is like a trade, once you know and understand what you are doing, no one can take that away. Photography allows you to work anywhere in the world. All you need is your camera bag. This is a once-off investment, no staff and very little running costs, as most of your costs are your time, and that you charge for every job.

If you are considering becoming a photographer, don’t let this article scare or discourage you from perusing your dream. I am merely telling you the facts without the dressing things up. I would never reconsider my job as a photographer. Every profession has obstacles and challenges, but at least there is definitely, light in the end. Finally, I would just advise that you attend a great photography curse and learn from the best as an apprentice. In photography, everyday you learn something more.