What Is the Photography Industry?

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  • Written By: Karize Uy
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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The photography industry is a continually growing sector that deals with producing goods and services related to photographs, images, and sometimes films as well. Photography as a process can be dated as far back as the 1600s, but only became popular during the 1800s, when taking portraits and preserving people on paper became fashionable. Since then, photography has become widely accessible to the masses.

Generally, all industries are categorized in different sectors according to what materials they use and goods they produced. What is unique about the photography industry, though, is that its boundaries as an industry are blurred, thus overlapping various industrial sectors. It can partially belong to the secondary sector, as the industry is also involved with producing electronic equipment such as cameras, photographic lenses, and flash boxes. It can also be categorized under the quaternary sector that deals with research, design and development (RDD), as the industry of photography constantly updates its products with technological advances.

The photography industry can also be classified under the tertiary sector that hugely involves offering of services instead of products, and professional photographers and studios earn an income by offering their services to cover many events. According to a February 2011 report, wedding photography tops the most in-demand service for photography. Other services that the industry can provide are advertising and public relations. Large billboards displaying a company’s product, along with a celebrity endorser, can be seen along streets and highways. Newspapers and magazines also rely on photographs.


Other fields such as forensics, medicine, and fashion also rely on the photography industry in various ways. The computer and programming industries have also been in tandem with the industry of photography, in order to make improvements on gadgets, particularly camera models. Many digital cameras already include features like anti-blink, smile detection, and face recognition. The commercial photography industry has especially been booming due to the many computer programs and software that can change and tweak images, brightening the light settings and even “erasing” some minor flaws in the picture.

The photography industry is also a significant part of the field of arts and design. Every product and service that the industry produces will always be tied to the skill and creativity it requires. Ultimately, the industry is valuable because of its ability to capture an object, an event, and even a memory.


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