Here are some interesting statistics. This survey checks for the reach of photographers on the web. It does so, by looking at each photographer’s Web Popularity Index (WPI). This index mixes the three key factors of the social web: reach, interaction with users, and external references. To do so WPI analyzes “fans, followers and subscribers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, 500px and other social networks, ratios for interaction with subscribers, fans and followers, as well as references for the photographers’ publications”. The site does not share how much each of those components contribute to WPI or even how some of the indexes were concluded. Yet, being who we are, there are now metrics on the table and we can not ignore them.
Is this a good way to see who is a good photographer? I think not. In fact I am not even sure that this is a good way to check who is the most influential photographer, as influence works not just by reach by also by who you are reaching. But, this does measure who has the most presence online and this by itself is an interesting index. (on a side note, 20 years ago, everybody on that index would rate 0).
US photographer Brandon Stanton who is known for his Humans Of New York project is by far the most web-present photographer with WPI of 1,935.10 and a huge facebook base of 15 million Facebook fans. (the next closest is Russian photographer Murad Osmann with WPI of 333.37). Annie Leibovitz for comparison is the first female photographer on the list and she ranks 18th with a WPI of 90.53.
While, as we said, the table does not consider quality, impact or it does show some interesting trends:
- 82 out of the 100 photographers in the TOP 100 are men: “Although 25.7 % of the analysed photographers are female, only 18 women made it into the TOP 100.” Of course, having only a quarter of the group be female means that it is not just the top 100 that is male dominated.
- TOP photographers are from the US: US is leading the table with 34 photographers (total of 4278 WPI points), then Germany with 22 photographers (1,240 WPI points,) and the UK closes the top 3 (10 photographers, 846 WPI points). Of course considering that the US is significantly bigger than any other country in the table while most social media is done in english can not be ignored.
To see some more insights as well as the entire list, visit xxlpix. It is a trove for data geeks.