8 Upcoming Trends In Photography

This guest post is contributed by Dennis Carruthers. An established photographer based in Anaheim, California. To see more of his works, visit his official website at Dennis Scott Carruthers Photography.

With the ushering of the new year comes new trends. Enthusiasts and professionals are to watch out for different niches and styles with art. Since photography is an art, photographers need to be updated with the current things that would be influencing the industry.

We have seen photography develop over the years. For comparison, here were the 2017 trends we saw in photography:

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2017 Trends In Photography

1. Natural lighting

2017 brought in the trend of using natural light such as sunrise and sunset in contrast with shadows. It gave a very “human” feel to each photo and allowed each image to be heartfelt. This was very evident in wedding photography. There are warmer mid-tones seen in 2017 photos, use of brown, orange, yellow or red filters in nature as well as in fashion photography.

2. Expressing emotions

With the ‘boom’ in stock photography used for advertising and content marketing, there are a lot of photos in 2017 that did not only present situations, but also conveyed emotions. Feelings of happiness, stress, love, and wanderlust were the big inspirations of 2017. It is common to see photos that were juxtaposed with messages within the lines of “live your life”, “free your mind from worries”, or “you’re not alone”.

3. Technology related photos

The way technology has shaped our world is truly undeniable. It would be safe to say that there are a lot more photos which are inspired by gadget use and connectivity of people through social media. You can see a variety of kids using the iPad, people chatting using their phones, or people in restaurants not interacting, meaning to present an issue about the problem of technology.

What is 2018 bringing in to the table? In this post, we will be discussing the 8 upcoming trends in photography and how we can apply it to our shooting and editing styles.

8 Upcoming Trends In Photography

1. Minimalist style photography

With the chaos found in our daily lives, some people resort to escape through minimalism seen in art. In 2018, more minimalist elements can be found in photography such as the use of a light box with a single element, a model in an empty space, among many others.

Minimalism can also be seen in interior design photography, where there are only a couple of furniture pieces as highlights to a room space. Minimalism’s goal in photography is to give a sense of calm and attention to detail. When there are lesser elements in a photo, the photographer can manipulate the viewer’s attention to a single elements that can evoke an emotion or present a message more effectively.

2. More diversity in models

Traditional models in fashion photography would be classified as having extremely skinny bodies. This gives women poor self-image as they tend to compare themselves to these models. However, in real life, there are rarely women who look like this, as beauty should be perceived in all shapes and sizes.

The 2018 fashion photography trend would be leaning more to choosing model to look like ordinary women who will more likely purchase and wear the clothing items shown. This leap towards increased diversity will also be seen in featuring models who have different racial, cultural and gender backgrounds.

The messages can be portrayed in diversity photos would be self-acceptance, showing compassion to others, and opening one’s mind to differences between people.

3. Travel photography with social awareness

Although travel photography has been a trend ever since, there is less focus on the luxurious end of travelling. Travel photography will be seen more as bringing awareness to a country or a local area’s issues, or showing off a tourism potential of a hidden gem.

As commercial flights become cheaper, the world gets closer to one another, and the more photography can participate in expanding knowledge of each other’s sights and culture. If you are a travel photographer, it would also be ideal to intentionally make your work bring social awareness for the country or place you are staying in.

Whether it is about gender equality, poverty, climate change, sustainability, you can use the power of photos to help your viewers respond to your call-of-action.

Vivid Sunset
Photo: D Scott Carruthers

4. Private photographers

The Instagram trend has created a surge of individuals who want to have their photos taken in a seemingly professional way. Hence the term was coined “Instagram-worthy” photos. However, the dilemma is not having a person who can snap photos artistically with them around. 2017 is the birth of private photography business, and 2018 will be increasing the popularity of hiring these private photographers.

The business model is simple: If you have people around the area who wants to have their photos taken professionally, not for a big event, but more for a private experience (e.g. let’s say a trip to the city with only a couple of people, or a rock climbing activity), they will be hiring you to take their photos.

This will be a lucrative business as not only will it be less stressful than covering large events, there will also be more people needing this service to create stunning photos for them considering the popularity of social media.

Private photographers
Photo: D Scott Carruthers

5. DIY sets

We all like professional looking photos, but sometimes, they do get quite old and may not get the attention as they used to. That is why there is 2018 DIY set trends to stay. This is good news if you are a budding photographer who may just have modest budget funds. You can make use of DIY sets for your studio shots.

This may include natural foliage, art paper, linen streams, and other low-cost materials. The best part of this is that you can use them repeatedly, and just modify them minimally according to your customer’s preferences. Another helpful tip is to take photos of these sets and prepare them as a part of your catalogue when presenting samples to your clients.

You can also charge clients a custom set if it were to be made from scratch for a premium price. This can also be recycled for other clients who might possibly prefer the same set.

6. Artificial editing

Photographers may need to brush up on their editing game for 2018. The upcoming trends will be bringing in clients who may want an artistic editing edge, especially for those who work in the advertising field.

Positioning subjects in unnatural locations to create a message, making unique alterations to catch a viewers attention are all important skills to learn as a photographer in 2018. An example of these would be the use of editing a subject’s background by adding 3-dimensional shapes or textures.

These trends will be bigger as media is highly saturated, and businesses want to truly stand out. It may be helpful to take a in-depth course on Adobe Photoshop to increase your repertoire of photo editing skills.

8 Upcoming Trends In Photography
Photo: D Scott Carruthers

7. Animated Photos

If you have seen recent advertising photos, you would notice that some of them were altered to look like they are moving. Some of them are clips spliced from longer videos and converted in GIFs, and others would be animated to make short segments, but is still considered as a photo.

In some ways, these types of photos are engaging in content marketing and advertising. A photographer in this industry must have the know=how of transforming small snippets of video into attention-grabbing images. It may possibly be the norm for most photos as users demand more visual content for consumption.

8. Photo Collages

This is not your typical scrapbook collage. Rather, it is the mixture of several photos with different textures and elements to create on cohesive effect or message. This can be most used in natural photography, where one can take pictures of leaves and trees, and layer them up a photo of the sky.

This can be used in photo feature of a natural landmark. Another example would be street photography–making use of elements such as building silhouettes, wall textures, or distressed locations can also be artistic.

A human or animal subject can also be added. To know which elements can blend in well is a good skill to learn as a photographer. Editing these elements to create one photo is also a plus.

These upcoming 2018 trends are guidelines to expand your creativity as a photographer. Nonetheless, do not be afraid to express yourself with a style that you feel is best to your images.

A good photographer doesn’t just capture a photo, but captivates people through images. Know which trends to apply, combine and work your way from there.

Bio. Dennis Scott Carruthers gained recognition for his works as he was featured on several local publications. Eventually, he moved on to covering major events with public icons and celebrities.


Upcoming trends in photography and how to apply them to our shooting and editing styles. The latest trends and styles that will shape photography in 2108. Lean what new techniques are being applied and how to get the most out of your photos. #2018photography #photographytrends
8 upcoming trends in photography and how to apply them to our shooting and editing styles. From the 2017 trends In photography to the latest trends and styles that will shape photography in 2108. Lean what new techniques are being applied and how to get the most out of your photos. #photography #2018photography

2 thoughts on “8 Upcoming Trends In Photography”

  1. This is really interesting. I’m already starting to see some of these becoming big this year. Would be great to see travel photographers and travellers in general becoming more responsible in the way that they travel. Hopefully your predictions will be correct! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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