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90% of People Have Only Taken a Photo with a Camera Phone in Their Lifetime?


As I was browsing my Twitter feed… the following infographic popped up.  Keeping in mind that infographics are created by marketing people most often, you have to take these facts with a grain of salt…



The ad (I mean infographic) is for a new Windows model of a smartphone. Fortunately, they do provide sources for their claims (see the bottom of this page).

“90% of People Have Only Taken Photos on a camera Phone vs. a Camera”

This report released earlier this year points out that there are 5.2 Billion mobile phones on the planet for a population of 4.3 Billion users (yes, some people have multiple phones).  83% of all phones have cameras. The survey cites that 90% of all people who take pictures have only done so on a camera phone.

I find this ludicrous.  Maybe 90% of people taking pictures today are using smartphones… although I doubt exclusively. But ever!?!

How Bad Is it Really?

A little quick research will show that traditional camera sales are plummeting. According to Businessweek last year:

Global camera sales are expected to fall 4.3 percent this year to 115.2 million units, according to market researcher IHS. Industrywide camera shipments fell 25 percent in August from a year earlier, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association in Tokyo. 

Global smartphone camera sales are projected at 1.5 Billion for 2014 —

So yes, I’d say that smartphones are outselling camera 10 to 1… that doesn’t surprise me.  But I don’t believe that 90% of this planet has never touched a traditional camera in their lifetime.

The Future

With camera phones outselling cameras 10 to 1, how long before we start seeing camera manufacturers becoming  apps?  We’ve already seen companies like Tiffen successfully adapt their traditional filters to digital equivalents.  Can modern camera makers make the leap?

Your comments below please.  Is this the future? Or will craft and quality always exist?

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Feb 26, 2014 at 6:00:00 am BusinessPhotography

Trends for the Photography Indutry

I spend part of my career speaking at industry conferences. This gives me an opportunity to see who’s exhibiting, as well as talk to vendors and photographers to see what’s on their minds. I wanted to quickly share five things that I’ve noticed popping up more and more. Consider adding these areas to your service offerings to expand business opportunity:

3D Photography

Right now, this is actually starting as a consumer trend. We’re seeing cameras like the Sony Bloggie 3D as well as some mobile phones starting to pick things up. But 3D is on the rise and I expect things like iPad, phone, and computer displays to not be far behind. If you’re into product or location photography, give it some serious thought.
  • You should also check out lenticular printing such as


I know for some this is old news… but interest continues to skyrocket. My dSLR classes at Photoshop World sold out in record time. I was amazed at how many people in the photography world are interested in video and have clients willing to pay.

Time-lapse Photography

A close cousin to video is the art of time-lapse photography. In this case the photographer shoots several stills sequentially using a timer or intervalometer. An exposure can be taken as often as every second, but often longer intervals are used to show the passing of time. There is high demand for time-lapse photography within the stock community and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

Metal Printing

One of the most popular output options these days is metal printing. Whether it’s large sizes for walls to smaller panels for installations, you’ll find that many vendors are now offering this service. Two things to think of – first shop around… because this is a new service… prices are vary wildly. Second, most printers tell me to reduce the contrast and saturation a bit as the metal will intensify both.

Trends for the Photography Indutry Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Dec 7, 2011 at 9:20:00 pm BusinessPhotography

The Impact of the Camera Phone and Citizen Journalism

photo – istockphoto

While much justifiable criticism has been levied against the evolution of cellphone cameras, there is a tremendous beneficiary… journalism.  We now have a literal global network of camera operators with the ability to capture newsworthy events and transmit usable photos.

Many photographers dismiss this technological shift. After all, how can a point-and-shoot (especially a low quality one at that) take the place of a modern DSLR with a selection of lenses? The answer is easy… speed and mobility.

Let’s accept that a modern smartphone has a camera that is technically capable of producing an image that is usable by most news and editorial outlets. Here’s what smartphones have that most DSLRs do not.  Hopefully camera manufacturers and others can push the evolution forward (and yes, evolution these days happens in the consumer space far quicker and more often than the pro equipment segment).

  • Data network. First and foremost is the ability to publish on demand.  First often matters when it comes to news… the ability to shoot and tweet/Facebook/share is the key factor here.  Why are WiFi connections in pro cameras so far between and so “stapled-on?”
  • Geotagging. Photos from mobile devices are tagged with essential metadata right in camera.  No need for another adapter plugged into your camera.  GPS data as well as relevant date info is automatically captured. This makes it easier to search and discover new images by those interested in finding them.  Location-based search is already throughly integrated into both the Google and Bing search engines.
  • Compelling and optimized software. Nearly every top software company has some amazing offerings in the app space.  Whether it’s Adobe Photoshop Express (or the newer Touch), nik’s Snapseed, or Photogene… full-featured editing apps allow for cropping, adjusting, toning, and repairing of digital photos immediately.
  • Location-aware updates. The fact that those in a breaking news situation can actually read updates is critical.  The real-time feedback of services like Twitter help those concerned with documenting events find the story and often interact with others.
  • Helper applications. From maps, to sun tables, to weather guides… it’s all there.  How a modern photographer could shoot without a smartphone is a valid question.

So…  will professional digital photography evolve?  Why not allow the tethering of your smart phone to your camera.  Couldn’t Nikon, Canon and others offer intelligent apps that tie your phone to your camera?  Couldn’t journalists and others push to a tablet for basic touchup then publish without having to lug a laptop?

As we move closer and closer to digital only delivery for our news and periodicals… the DSLR may go the way of the designer.  The quick and the agile will evolve and survive while the rest become extinct.

Want to see the impact on video journalists? Read this –

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Nov 14, 2011 at 6:10:00 pm BusinessPhotography

ASMP Strictly Business Hits Chicago April 1–3

I'll be speaking at the final stop for the ASMP Strictly Business 3 conference. It brings together an extraordinary level of industry expertise with some great classes and workshops.

When and Where
April 1 - 3
Allerton Hotel
701 N. Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL
Hope to see some of you

ASMP Strictly Business Hits Chicago April 1–3 Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Mar 27, 2011 at 7:20:23 pm BusinessPhotography

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