With 2017 right around the corner, I wanted to share my thoughts on the top trends in the photography industry for 2017.

Augmented Reality

Augmented and Virtual Reality are all the rage in video gaming, marketing and, tech and medical applications. No doubt augmented reality will continue to develop and affect the photography industry in surprising ways. For now, apps like Snapchat provide entertainment with funny filters, augmenting images for social sharing. The Lifeprint app and printer allows you to print a photo which then shows up as augmented reality in Snapchat, Vine, GoPro, Facebook, GIFs, Instagram and more when viewed by a smart phone. Crazy! Virtual reality is also being used as a sales tool, helping customers visualize how a product might be displayed in their home (hello large portrait sales).

Trends in stock, portrait and commercial photography are leaning toward more authentic, lifestyle type images. No more cheesy poses, studio style lighting and backdrops. Consumers are craving authentic looking images that portray real life more fully. Diversity in model body type is a trend coming up in Fashion as well.

Drone Photography

Drones are becoming more affordable and are projected to sell in record numbers this holiday season. Drone photography and videography is becoming increasingly popular, and rightly so, since it is just so cool. If you’re getting a drone this year (or already have one) keep in mind the laws associated with flying an unmanned aircraft and register yours with the FAA. You can do so at http://www.faa.gov/uas and check out this video for an overview of important drone safety rules.

Film & Print

The popularity of film photography is growing stronger by the year. The younger generation trying out film for the first time and older photographers who just can’t stay away from the traditional medium are keeping it alive and well, especially in the wedding and portrait market. Positives to using film are the look you get without having to spend extra time in post production, forcing oneself to slow down and purposefully compose and expose shots (no “spraying and praying” with film) and the sheer novelty of it all.

The tangible nature of prints are also something we crave as humans. We want to touch, smell, and see our photos on the wall and coffee table. With apps like ChatBooks, that automatically print your Instagram photos and ship you a mini photo book each month, it’s easier than ever to have prints of your snap shots. Instant prints via Polaroid and FujiFilm Instax continue to be a hit. Portrait artists are also trending away from digital only sales and offering more printed products. Clients want them. They just don’t know it until you show it to them.

Mobile Editing

New features for Lightroom Mobile and Photoshop were revealed at Adobe Max this year. Creatives are more on-the-go than ever before and need to be able to access and edit their work remotely. Software is continuing to trend toward cloud based apps and storage and easy touch based editing on tablets and smart phones. But how well can you really edit your photos on an iPad? The software seems to be improving, making it easier than ever before to create on a plane, in a coffee shop or while lying in bed.

Video

Video and motion are where it’s at and if you’re not on the bandwagon you should be. Portrait photographers are offering video clips from their sessions, wedding photographers are offering film and smart photographers in general are using video to market themselves. It’s easier and more affordable than ever before to offer video, using the photography gear you already have. Not sure where to get started with video? Check out a class or two from CreativeLive.

360 Photography

While not a new technology, 360 Photography and videography is becoming more accessible with affordable devices like the Insta360 Air for Android and Nano for iphone. The smartphone accessory live-streams 360-degree video and captures still images while plugged into the top of a phone. With 360 images and videos being supported in Facebook ads and timelines, this technology is something fun to experiment with.


Like all trends, whether or not these are being used artistically and appropriately is up in the air. Are these photography trends that will stick around or will they disappear after awhile like side ponytails, 8tracks and boom boxes? Only time will tell.