Top Business Photography Trends

BBC Research indicates that the digital photography market is growing at 3.8% and its value is estimated to cross $100 billion in 2017.

The photography industry is changing rapidly alongside the industries of technology, marketing and design. As 2017 gets fully underway, get ready for lots of innovation within the photo industry.

But how does this effect you? What are consumers expecting to see when coming into contact with your business?

That’s what we’re about to find out. Here are the top photographic trends coming to websites, branding, product lines and social media accounts everywhere.


Your audience has decided not to be fooled anymore. They can do without the cheesy poses, studio style lighting and backdrops. Consumers are now craving authentic-looking images that portray life realistically.

Authentically-constructed photos often defy professional photography convention. Many elements of the photo’s composition aren’t staged. In these photos, people are going about their normal, everyday lives with real interactions. Authentic images are proving more convincing to a media savvy audience. Even changes in acceptable model body types are coming down the pipeline, and soon too.

That media-savvy audience is the Millennials, by the way. If your audience includes these incredibly particular youngsters, authenticity should be the cornerstone of your image strategy. 63% of them have college degrees and all of them are digital natives, meaning they can't be fooled by stock photography and staged photos. In order to win over this audience, your business needs to be as authentic and honest as possible. 


Photography in 2017 will find inspiration in social media and POV cameras. Both the stock and news photography company Getty Images and video stock platform and VideoBlocks expect social media to influence both what’s behind the lens and what’s in front.

Photographers can expect 2017’s popular images to closely resemble photography dominating social media. While the traditional stock photos of smiling families and men in business suits have been going out of style for several years, both Getty and VideoBlocks have identified complete opposites of these trends by looking at user search and download data.

As traditional advertising evolves with the growth of social media, more advertisers as well as smaller consumers of stock graphics are looking to create content that more closely resembles a Facebook or Instagram feed than a glossy magazine ad.


The "Instagram Effect” is the filtered, shadowed, sharpened, brightened, tilted, faded, structured, saturated way of seeing life through a lens. It's changed the way people portray themselves and see others.

And it’s having a tremendous impact on brands.

Design teams are beginning to see the benefit of moving away from over-lit, over-staged and generally over-edited photography for their campaigns and instead are favoring a more organic look and feel that matches Instagram itself, obviously, but also in print and across an array of other media.

"We kind of call it 'perfectly imperfect,'" said Nathan Iverson, EVP and design director at Deutsch LA. "People will call you out pretty easily if your food looks overly propped or overly perfect because that's not how it is."

Getty’s annual research also pinpointed social media influence; the company describes the “New Naivety” as imagery that’s spontaneous, unpolished and sometimes even awkward, sparked by an increase of searches for authenticity by 104 percent and real life by 99 percent. The category is essentially the opposite of those posed smiling families that once dominated stock photography and embraces a less polished, more spontaneous look initially sparked by social media.


“Unfiltered” is another trend Getty describes as dominant for 2017 as commercial photography begins to take hints from photojournalism. Like the spontaneity of Instagram without the filters, the Unfiltered trend moves toward a more documentary style that helps cut through the noise of traditional advertising. Shooting a less-polished, more real-life image makes consumers sit up and take notice, Getty says, and businesses are catching on.


" You don't take a photograph, you MAKE it.”

- Ansel Adams

It's not only what you depict in your brand images, it’s how you capture them. When consumers share photos and videos on social media, it’s often from their unique perspective. Wherever you look within 2017’s photographic trends, first person perspective is winning. Just the position of the camera is proving to be a significant factor; from obtaining a complete 360 perspective to placing that camera on a drone.

Drones are projected to sell in record numbers as they become more affordable, user-friendly and more readily available on the market. Drone photography and videography are immensely increasing in popularity, and rightly so. 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 Fly safely!


The photos taken behind people in front of a stunning landscape are slowly disappearing. In its place are rising images of products or people with plants, creating a similar, but different natural aesthetic. Dark, leafy greens are a perfect backdrop for individuals, products, or to include in working spaces. Moreover, in an increasingly wireless world, organic elements bring technology back down to life, which people crave underneath all of their digital fluency.


The amount of people being introduced to photography has been rising drastically in the past decade. More people are becoming educated and visually literate, and advanced equipment and technique are continually being introduced in this field. This trend is here to stay, and the quality of finished photographs will be more desired and appreciated in the coming year. Getting the framing and focus right in photos is a very important factor in photographic technique. The props used, the alignment of the frame and the incorporation and elimination of certain objects define the quality of photographs. The focus on certain objects and the blurring out of others is another important factor when it comes to picture quality. Of all the elements that proclaim an image’s quality, the reigning element is lighting. The parts to be highlighted and the place where shadow falls are keen details to take note of. Visual aesthetics can be highlighted better with lighting. With budget being a major factor while shooting, there will be an increase in the number of people who will consult visual and/or lighting directors to learn how to capture better photographs. Capturing a well-lit image requires technique and training, two things that may be well worth mastering in order to benefit the photos your business is posting. 

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