The Internet single-handedly transformed the industry in only two short decades of its commercial existence. The fastest medium for gathering information, reading news, and learning about new products, the web has become an invaluable tool for an ever-growing, technology-driven society. As photography has evolved from film to digital, online viewing galleries and photographers' websites have exploded onto the screens of clients and prospects alike. That's why this month's Peer2Peer question asked our readers how they utilize the internet for business purposes. Our survey was sent out the first week in February, with more than 1,100 respondents. 79.23% of photographers say they own websites; here's what else we found…
- Of those who answered our survey, 71% of photographers do not have a page on a rep's website or on a portfolio website; 79% of photographers own their own website.
- Half (50%) of the photographers who answered our survey use their website for their portfolio and online proofing, while 38% use their website solely for portfolio purposes.
- Almost all (99%) of the photographers surveyed use the internet to research new equipment or products before they buy them, while 92% purchase equipment/products for their photography business via the web.
- Most photographers (98%) visit photography websites; 53% of those surveyed regularly visit Studio Photography's website imaginginfo.com, with almost half (44%) interested in techniques and how-tos, 20% reading reviews, and 16% looking at product information.
"I send potential clients to my website and blog. I create traffic using Google AdWords. I also use a third-party online print ordering service."
Isabelle Bouchard, Montreal, Quebec, Canada,
"The internet offers me the visibility to get my work in front of more people globally and market more efficiently, with 70% of my clientele reaching me from the internet and 30% being referrals."
Ryan Shapiro, Ryan Shapiro Photography, Germantown, MD
"With the internet, I have all the information I need at my fingertips. I can check out competition and read about products, printing, and techniques. The internet has allowed me to reach people that I never would've been able to through paper marketing."
David Lynch, D. Lynch Photography, LLC, Albuquerque, NM
"The ability to browse the internet for news and information is invaluable to my business. Looking at other photographers' work, and researching equipment and new techniques, keeps me up to date in this ever-changing world of photography. I couldn't run my business without it, period."
Ron Chilston, Ron Chilston Photography, Jerome, AZ
"I've learned more about the power of Photoshop by reading on the internet. I've also learned from blogs about what others have tried that have worked or failed."
Joe Kois, Your Average Joe Photographer, Warsaw, IA,
"I continue to experience amazing success from my website in the sale of my original giclée prints and the licensing of my images for reproduction in a variety of venues. As a result from this relatively new and successful form of marketing, I have no need for, or interest in, any stock photo agency."
Gerald Brimacombe, Savage, MN
"The internet allows us to find out all kinds of information about products before we purchase them. We compare prices, as well as read reviews…to make sure we feel comfortable about making the purchase."
Alan Johnson, A.J.'s Photography, Inc., Cullman, AL,
"The internet provides a worldwide university for my study of photographic and processing techniques. Access to this network stimulates my own creative juices and has helped me discover and develop my own unique style and product."
Chaz Kerschner, chazimages, Chevy Chase, MD,