SIC 7221 Photographic Studios, Portrait


SIC 7221

This category covers establishments primarily engaged in still or video portrait photography for the general public. Establishments primarily engaged in commercial photography are classified in SIC 7335: Commercial Photography; those engaged in video tape production other than portrait are classified in SIC 7812: Motion Picture and Video Tape Production; and those engaged in film developing or print processing for the trade or the general public are classified in SIC 7384: Photofinishing Laboratories. Establishments primarily engaged in processing film for the motion picture production industry are classified in SIC 7819: Services Allied to Motion Picture Production; and those engaged in computer photography are classified in SIC 7299: Miscellaneous Personal Services, Not Elsewhere Classified.



Photographic Studios, Portrait


The photographic portrait studio industry serves the general public with a range of portrait services. The industry includes portrait photographers, school photographers, home photographers, passport photographers, and video photographers. Specific portrait services include family portraits, wedding photos, passport photos, glamour photos, school photos, and team photos.

There were 14,587 portrait studio establishments in operation in the early 2000s, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, up from 13,245 establishments in 1997. These establishments employed roughly 66,148 people and earned $4.91 billion in revenues.


The professional portrait industry is segmented into two major categories and numerous subcategories of portraits. The first group is school portraits, which are further divided among kindergarten to grade 11 students, high school seniors, high school prom, and college. The second group, non-school, encompasses wedding, family, adult, daycare/nursery school, sports/team, children outside of school, glamour, class/family reunion, pet, hospital baby, church directory, and executive.

The general portrait studio provides services ranging from passport photos to family portraits. The studio offers these services at rates according to the size of the prints or the number of photographic print copies sold in a package. The studio keeps the negatives because they legally own the copyright, although proofs may be given to the purchaser for reordering purposes. Because of many studios' reliance on the school market, the industry is often a cyclical one, with peaks in the fall (yearly student pictures) and the spring (prom and graduation portraits).

Professional portraits may be taken in a variety of locations including a professional studio, a chain studio, a department store, a school, a church, an outdoor setting, a day care center, or an...

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