2020 Benchmark Survey of the High Volume Photography Industry – School Pictures

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The 2020 Benchmark Survey of the Volume Photography Industry is a reprise of the annual research done by the former Photo Marketing Association back in 2005.  Since that survey was discontinued when the organization ceased operations, there hasn’t been any research done to identify and quantify Industry and Consumer trends in the Volume photography sector of professional photography. This survey analyzes the year 2019, and was conducted by the Volume Imaging Professionals, LLC, the trade Association formed in 2018 representing the interests of the Volume Photo industry in the U.S. and Worldwide.


Respondents to the survey represented all experience levels; from businesses with less than five years’ experience, to “veteran” studios with 10+ years of experience.  Geographic regions defined for specific results included the Northeast, Midwest, South and Western regions of the U.S.  Canadian and International data was not included in this inaugural survey, but is anticipated for next year’s survey.  A total of 228 respondents from a wide geographic sampling provided data for the survey.


Volume Photography Industry Survey data was taken relating to a cross-section of volume photo Programs.  Data included, all by region: Buyer Participation &  Order data averages.  Other data includes: Rebate / Commission averages,  methodology for orders taken, method of payment, most selected options, add-on’s and services added to package purchases, how digital files are marketed, average package delivery times, average Yearbook sizes and retail prices by grade level, & common production technology processes used. Employee / Contractor compensation rates by region is also included.


Consumer survey data is also included, but specifically for school portrait programs. Data includes: Demand & Value assessments for School Portraits, evaluation of portrait ordering processes, popularity of printed order forms vs online options, Average dollars spent of school portraits, Trend in buying / year over year, trends in sharing school portraits, effects on buying decisions / prepay plan versus proof plans, effects and quantification of background variety options on buyer participation, availability of Digital file sales on consumer buying, popularity of direct-to-home delivery in the school portrait process, a consumer assessment of their current school portrait provider, Consumer’s opinions about Schools’ providing of their data to School photographers for marketing purposes, and the third-party distribution of that data, various survey data relating to Yearbook purchasing; value of, trends and optimal price points. Other miscellaneous factoids are also presented.


The Curator of the Survey welcome input from readers about additional questions and content to be included in next year’s survey. Contact information is included with the survey.  Commercial users who would like to use Survey content for marketing purposes are invited to contact the Curator for Licensing information.  We welcome your inquiries.

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