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Printing Photos Still Popular Especially with Younger Photographers, Study Shows

Interest in photo prints is high despite prevalence of digital imagery
Photo of woman hanging a photo on a wall

If you thought printing photos had gone the way of the public pay phone, think again. A new study shows that despite being able to view and send images digitally, photo printing is still popular, particularly with younger photographers.

According to the 2022 US Photo Printing Study from Rise Above Research, “25-34-year-olds were the most active age group for printing photos, with 79% of them reporting that they print photos.” Along with demonstrating that a younger generation is interested in actual physical photo prints vs digital images, 25-34-year-olds are a highly sought-after demographic amongst advertisers, indicating that photo printing appeals to a “sweet spot” of consumers in the US.

But interest in photo printing is even broader than that, according to Rise Above Research’s findings.

“The 25-34-year-old age group has the highest percentage of consumers who print photos, but it’s especially encouraging to see the high proportion of teenagers and young people under age 24 who print photos,” Rise Above Research said in a news release about the study. “Those over age 55 are the least active photo printers, but they still drive the market by requesting prints from others.”

A total of 1,324 respondents between the ages of 13 and 79 participated in the survey, which included questions specifically on the printing of photos at home, online and at retail. Here are some other highlights of the 2022 US Photo Printing Study.

  • Overall, there were 71% of respondents who print photos to some degree.
  • Family (other than children) and children are the top two most common subjects for printed photos, followed by friends. Friends and selfies were an especially popular subject among 13-to-17-year-olds.
  • The home printer is the most popular method used for printing photos, followed by ordering prints online for retail store pickup and ordering online for mail delivery. HP was the most popular brand of home printer owned, followed by Canon and Epson.
  • Photo prints are most often printed to be framed and given to family and/or friends. Hanging them in rooms and putting them in a book or album were also popular uses.
  • COVID-19 is still impacting photo print behaviors, according to survey respondents. 20% said they have printed more photos as a result of COVID-19, while only 13% said they have printed less. 54% of them considered this change in habits a short-term change.
  • COVID-19 resulted in more photos being printed at home and through online orders rather than in retail stores.

“The photo print market has, of course, been impacted by the ability to view and share photos electronically on mobile devices, but photo prints are still an important way for many consumers to express themselves through their photography” said David Haueter, director and founder at Rise Above Research. “The majority of every age group in our study are still printing photos, even teenagers who have largely grown up with the habit of viewing photos on screens.”

The study tracks with the strong interest in photo printing we’ve seen amongst Digital Photo’s readers. One of our most popular stories of the year, so far, is this piece on “The 3 Best Photo Printers of 2022.” And on our sister site, Digital Photo Pro, this story on “The 7 Best Photo Printers of 2021” was one of the most popular of last year.

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