COVID-19 Pandemic Expected to Cause an 15% Decline in Photos Taken Globally

May 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the photo industry hard. Efforts to slow down the spread of the virus have resulted in global travel restrictions, cancellations of events, stay at home orders, social distancing, and massive unemployment. Each of these things has contributed to a dramatic drop in sales of digital cameras and smartphones in the first quarter. Second quarter sales are also being hurt with most of these restrictions still in place.

COVID-19 has also impacted people’s photo taking behaviors. With less travel, no events, and fewer interactions with friends and family, people’s photo taking habits have changed as well. The result of all these actions will be fewer photos taken this year. Nevertheless, over 1 trillion photos are expected to be captured globally this year despite COVID-19.

Rise Above Research forecasts that the number of photos that will be captured globally will be 1.13 trillion, a decline of 15% from 1.33 trillion in 2019. Smartphones, whose installed base outnumbers digital cameras by 10:1, will account for almost 90% of the total.

Chart with Global Photos Taken in 2019, 2020, and 2021

Rise Above Research believes that the decline in photo taking behaviors is only temporary. As Governments lift restrictions, people will venture out with digital cameras and smartphones in hand and begin snapping photos again. With the full calendar year available for 2021, we are optimistic that the photo taking numbers will return to positive growth rates again and are forecasting almost 1.4 trillion photos to be captured globally.

For more information about Rise Above Research’s Worldwide Image Capture Forecast or to learn more about our services and ongoing research of the consumer and professional imaging markets, contact us at [email protected]