PDN’s Survey: Who’s Shooting Video?

January 31, 2018

Among advertising photographers, more than 40 percent said they are shooting video. The two specialties with the lowest percentages shooting video are wedding and portrait photographers.

It’s been almost ten years since the first DSLRs to shoot video gave photographers a new way to diversify their work. When PDN surveyed photographers, we wanted to know: Who’s shooting video, for what kinds of clients, and what video tools do most photographers prefer?

The survey respondents included subscribers and social media followers of PDNRangefinder,  Emerging Photographer and PDN’s weekly PDNewswire newsletter; attendees at PhotoPlus Expo and WPPI; recent PDN contest entrants; students and photo educators; and APA members.

The Results

Of the respondents who identified themselves as professional photographers, 30 percent said they currently produce video.

We wanted to know which photographic specialties have the highest percentage of photographers who are currently shooting video. Among advertising photographers, 42 percent said they currently shoot video. The two specialties with the lowest percentages shooting video are wedding and portrait photographers. Even in these specialties, however, more than a quarter of the respondents currently shoot video.

In the past year, publishers who attempted a “pivot to video” were disappointed in their revenue and online traffic. Many ad clients still rely on traditional directors rather than photographers when commissioning broadcast-quality video. Still, the number of photographers moving into video continues to grow: 21 percent said they plan to produce video this year. Only 9 percent of respondents said they had tried video, but stopped.

We also asked respondents what kind of camera they most often use to shoot video. The numbers break down this way:
Digital SLR: 69 percent
Mirrorless camera: 13 percent
Digital video camera: 12 percent
Action cameras: 3 percent
Medium format camera: 1 percent
Other: 3 percent

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