2016 was a great year for photography: with the continued rise of technology and social media we’ve seen some inspiring trends emerge and now have all the reasons to believe that 2017 is going to be even better. So no matter whether you are a savvy photographer or someone just starting out, we’ve put together a list of trends to give you some fresh ideas and elevate your photography.

1. Aerial Photography
Drone videos caused quite a stir in 2016 when we saw several brands embracing the trend to create unique marketing campaigns e.g. Red Bull commissioning heart-stopping action sports film the Ridge and GE livestreaming drone video tours of their top-secret facilities at #DroneWeek. But aerial photography is also gaining momentum, as drones are so much more affordable these days. So in 2017 we are sure to see more mesmerizing photos, made by what is basically a top-notch flying camera that can easily get where no one else can. If you need more proof, check out From Where I Drone - their Instagram @fromwhereidrone is the place you don’t want to leave.

2. Authenticity is the Key
Since stock photos are now officially considered mauvais ton - because who wants to see thousands of identically “posed” images - more consumers opt for custom ones. Instagram research on 25 major brands shows that 69% of the top three photos are fan-originated content. More brands choose content that resembles your average Facebook or Instagram feed, e.g. fashion brand Aerie, that stopped retouching its images inspiring women to love their flaws or Universal Studios Orlando, that tries to make its Facebook page more customer-focused by posting photos created by fans.

3. No Filter
This is yet another call for authenticity: seems like only yesterday Instagram filters were where it’s at, but now we see more real-life images both from brands and people. Trying to move from commercial to a more documentary style, Fortune 500 brands upload 89% of their Instagram content tagged #nofilter - and it looks like this trend is here to stay for another year.

4. From a Different Perspective
With the growing popularity of virtual reality, people no longer want to be just viewers, they want to participate. 360 videos are on the rise and photography is also affected: the first-person perspective gives a particular sense of presence, that makes a viewer sit up and pay attention. In 2016 image-sharing websites documented a significant increase in search for action camera type photos, so this trend is likely to go mainstream.

5. Complicated Patterns and Bold Colors
Using interesting patterns is a pretty obvious solution, if you want to break through advertising noise, and they’ve been around for quite a while. But in 2017 we’re going to see more minimalist images, featuring complex patterns and color bursts. It’s no coincidence that Bobby Doherty, who’s been a staunch advocate of this style got the 2016 the ASME Next Award.

6. Flash
Flash photography is no longer a domain of hip youth magazines: many advertisements and event photographs tend to have that obvious flash look. Adding flash is another element of the massive 90-s nostalgia we see in today’s culture: it gives definition to the image and creates certain atmospheres, as long as one is not trying too hard.

Photo by Andrew Semark #AlterView

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