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Emerging Photography trends

Tips & Tricks

April 05, 2017


We live in an age when trends rise and fall faster than ever before. The hyper connected culture that we inhabit sees over 3 trillion photos shared on the internet each year. The astronomical rise of social media culture causes us to celebrate the micro documentation of our lives and continues to drive our constant experimentation with photography. Our everyday routine, our food, our small and ordinary actions become the subject for artistic expression and rich visual communication. 


Our photos appear for but a moment before the eyes of our viewer, competing for a coveted like or a double tap before being buried forever underneath a mass of competing attention-grabbing material. The evolution of smartphone technology and the ever changing landscape of social media have forced us to reconsider and redefine the way in which we take our photos. In this dynamic landscape, what photographic trends can we expect to see coming to the fore in 2017?



1. Bold & Bright are back

In the frantic hyperactive world in which we live, bland ordinary colour combinations are leaving audiences feeling unsatisfied. While vintage style faded images have become hugely popular through Instagram, bold bright vibrant colours are set to make a comeback in 2017. The annual visual trend report by Getty Images suggests that we’re going to see ‘manipulation to create powerful and unconventional colour combinations that can immediately ignite interest and excitement’.  The use of vivid colours and high levels of contrast will turn the everyday and mundane into bright pop art inspired pieces. Andy Warhol eat your heart out.






2. Authenticity 

The rough documentary style aesthetic that has become popular in recent years is a trend that is set to grow throughout 2017. Gone are the days of high gloss photography and beautiful groomed models, in a world dominated by unfettered consumerism and big corporations, millennials and generation Z are seeking more and more to find images that boldly reflect their desire for the small scale and the authentic. Visual consumers nowadays relate to images that are filled with genuine emotion, with flaws and with real people. We have come to crave images that resonate powerfully with the imperfect experience of life. In the mass market in which we find ourselves, such works communicate more effectively with us as individuals. By adopting the gritty aesthetics of photojournalism, creatives can add a raw and powerful element to their visual story that is sure to connect deeply with younger audiences.






3. Retro 1990s Feel

As the generation of 1990s kids grow to maturity they are driving consumer demand and creating a whole trend of pre-noughties nostalgia. Many brands have already hopped on the bandwagon and launched retro feeling advertising campaigns. Indeed the fashion and music industry have also seen a trend towards styles and influences from the decade that gave us Mc Hammer. The demand for 90’s feeling images is another feature of the widespread desire for more close-to-life photographs that reflect sincerity and authenticity. Various film filters associated with photography from the era can add a storytelling element that resonates on a deeper level with millennials, especially when compared to standard digital photography.






4. Drone Photography

As the price of drones continues to drop it’s inevitable that they are going to establish themselves as a mainstream photography tool. The advances in drone technology have opened up a world of possibilities to photographers; from experimenting with new and exciting angles to showcasing powerful aerial perspectives. Photographers can capture never before seen images that conjure a sense of wonder and awe amongst audiences. Drone photography in 2017 will inspire top-down images of everything from impressive rugged coastlines to sprawling cityscapes and offer us a fresh perspective that was previously only the reserve of winged creatures.






5. Tackling Female Stereotypes

In the connected and diverse context of the digital age, people’s identities are becoming increasingly more flexible. These rapidly changing attitudes are finding their expression in visual communications particularly with regards to traditional gender stereotypes.  Images of ‘unconventional women’ that highlight the pressures of society to adhere to the social norms have gained solid traction with audiences. Pam Grossman, Director at Visual Trends explains that “As the debates around gender politics intensify, we are seeing the emergence of a new type of woman who is ready to claim the battleground.”  Depictions of tough, tenacious and independent women that call on audiences to challenge their perceptions of the traditional gender roles of women are set to become increasingly prevalent in 2017.






6. Minimalism

The concept of minimalism is increasing in popularity around the globe and the trend is being explored through a variety of visual mediums. The desire for simplicity in the midst of the complexity and excess of our always-on world is influencing the demand for images that reflect our yearning for less. Distraction-free frames with only a few key elements are sure to be on trend; particularly popular right now are minimalistic nature shots; think of calm mist, gentle rain and quiet stillness of the forest. The strong geometric lines, rich textures and deliberately empty space associated with minimalistic photography are set to create a narrative that resonates deeply with visual consumers throughout the year.






7. Virtual Reality 

The developments of virtual technologies are changing the ways in which we interact with photography. Taking inspiration from the popularity of first person story telling platforms such as snapchat and Instagram, VR is expanding the definition of photography. This growing field enables us to enjoy more immersive viewing experiences and make the move from mere passive onlooker to active participant. With some of the major players of Silicon Valley jumping on board, mesmerising virtual photography is sure to go from strength to strength over the coming months.



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