What’s in Store for the Future of Photography?


Photography Tomorrow – Looking into the Future

You may or may not have your own ideas of what sort of trends are coming this year & beyond and of course, we'd love to know what YOU think too but for the meantime, let's look at condensing some of the ideas floating about the internet.

future of photography
Image by Christian Brinkmann

Here are some trends and predictions for the future of photography.

Focus on Quality – Rejecting the Over Bombardment of Images

Some many people now call themselves photographers, some for very good reason (because they are one) and some because it sounds better than someone who likes photography.

Because viewers are now exposed to so many images online, it seems now because of the sheer vast numbers of images being shared (Instagram alone is too much to get your head around), quality images are more likely to stand out and be appreciated.

Our ability to learn and teach ourselves means it's easier than ever to become technically savvy regarding what constitutes a decent photograph.

future of photography
Image by Yukie Chen

Casting “Real People” for Brands as Much as Trained Models

We're looking increasingly at brands using people to convey an authentic picture of their presence. An increasing move towards imperfect models without the need for clean scenery or full make-up. The glossy magazine look is not fading but the demand for a different less “romantic” look is definitely making it's way to us, the viewers.

Continued Growth of Video

All of your favorite blogs are using video and it's on the rise. It's engaging, quicker to consume and done well, holds people's attention creating some real engagement for owners and users.

Along with this, a continued trend towards combining both stills and video too.

future of photography
Image by Mitch Nielsen

Using Film Photography as a Medium for Fine Art Styles

I don't think we'll see a trend now for film to become “mainstream” in the sense that every other person down the street owns a film camera, but of course, we have seen a huge surge in recreating a film look in post production.

With all that said, the fine arts will look to be enjoying film more – particularly for individual images as opposed to a commercial shift. We can all learn a great deal from understanding and appreciating film photography as it teaches us so much about the art of photography and most importantly, understanding light.

Accessibility for Young Aspiring Talent Looks Promising

Though it may appear that for young photographers the pool is overflowing, it certainly doesn't mean that's the end. It's definitely not.

Skill, hard work, practice and talent all play the important role of becoming recognized. These things cannot be hacked, and I believe if it can't be hacked, it's worth investing your time into because the outcome shows and as the old saying goes, ” the proof is in the pudding” (not sure if that saying is just a British thing?).

My point, there is ALWAYS room for new talent.

Adapting to newer, modern technologies more quickly plays in their favor. Grasping new techniques and where to learn with what gear provides a distinct advantage over yesteryear.

future of photography
Image by Nuno Lopes

A Unique Space of Slowing Down in a Fast-Paced Era

Everything today is noticed with a ‘now, now, now' approach, instant………Insta…gram? Well, almost. My point is we are inundated. Contradicting this ultimately means slowing down. You might say it's a reflection of how society is moving (forward).

It's becoming more natural to step back and apply a patient approach to our photography. I certainly feel this way, 100%. Doing this, using bigger and more intentional equipment (even film) I feel is paying some sort of tribute to the evolution of photography and how we should appreciate how we ended up here.

The Fading of the “Film-Look”

It's been around for a while now, I'm not referring to film – but the “look” of faded images to provide that feel of being vintage, shabby chic…you know what I'm referring to here, just pop over to Pinterest in case you're unsure.

It's sadly become over-done. The film preset “look” in digital imagery. While many have produced stunning photos and timeless ones at that, the focus now on strong intent, excellent composition and real thought into strong photos becoming more prevalent.

I don't think we're going see a sharp decline necessarily, but it is now becoming glaringly obvious to anyone with some photographic training, that this technique of slapping on an overdone filter is just masking a poor picture. It's kinda true and we're wising up.

future of photography
Image by Noom Peerapong

A Focus on Timeless Black and White Photography

Black and White photography is popular, very popular. I don't think we're going to see this slip away…ever. It's no longer about creating a vintage “before the introduction of color film” look but as an expression in itself.

True Black and White photography should demonstrate skill, the full understanding of exposure & light, tonal range and why it should be used over color in the first place.

Combining this with timeless photos, those of well-framed snippets of history will stand the test of time. We're looking at high artistic vision, creativity and strong demonstrated techniques.

Documenting the Undiscovered – A Smaller World

You don't need telling that literally everyone is traveling today. I mean, if you haven't finished your studies (high school or college) and grabbed a 12 month round trip ticket to wherever you heart desires, it's looked as a little weird.

You can go anywhere you want and this means the world is getting smaller and more accessible. With this, discovering and documenting your travels has become a fantastic way to capture your life – whether you're having a mid-life break or a retired long haul trip, photography is nowadays proving where you've discovered in a more creative way!

With more countries and regions previously undiscovered, photographers are taking their gear and going off in search of the great unknown and best of all…we get to see and hear about it.

Your View on the Future of Photography

Here I've demonstrated some ideas floating around and what I feel will become more or less popular, but this isn't a comprehensive list, folks. Please do add your opinions – both what you'd like to see and what you're looking forward to in the Future of Photography. Thanks again!

Further Resources

Further Learning

You probably know that Lightstalking has some pretty awesome Lightroom presets you can buy?
Depending on where you’re at with your photography, it might be worth learning how Lightroom works from the ground up.
That’s where this Beautiful Photo Editing course guide can really help you out!

About Author

Russell is a self-taught photographer who loves travel and capturing life as it unfolds. Having lived in the far east for a few years with some long term travel, this catalyzed his new-found passion for photography.
Lifestyle, Food, and Event Photography are areas he enjoys most.

I think photography is going to continue to move toward camera phone imaging- or mobile photography if you will. I disagree with your assertion that the proliferation of images online will lead to higher quality photography and more of the population having a discerning eye toward quality photography. In the last several years, I would say the exact opposite is happening. If there are indications that it is swinging back the other way- I haven’t seen it.

To a certain degree it doesn’t matter how the image is formed, unless larger prints are required. But making an aesthetic pleasing or story telling photo requires another skill. I see a move toward fine Art Photography. BUT there’s always going to be people making a living and amateurs. What’s important is the quality however one defines that 🙂

I’m no fan of digital picture taking. When you can just press a button at the Electronics Department inside a Walmart store and in a matter of seconds your “print” arrives is Alarming. I yearn for photographers similar to Ansel Adams. At the same time, unless and until you have taken your own photograph and Developed it yourself, one is still just a picture taker.

Started out developing moved onto digital. Built up to the Canon 5D downgraded to the M3 enjoying photography now. In one case it’s essential to have a good understanding of how to make a photograph but technicalities can bog down the creative side.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *