Luc Kordas / Alamy Stock Photo

New visual trends in photography for 2016

The most exciting thing about photography is that it’s constantly transforming and reinventing itself. As a photographer you should never really have time to get bored of your work, and if you are, it’s about high time to try out something new. Refine your style and expression and find areas that can be improved upon. Staying up to date with trends not only prompts you to push your own boundaries, it also opens a fascinating perspective on the wider world, shining a light on the ways in which everything is connected. Did you know for example that a colour trend can originate from politics and social behaviour?

In this blog post we are going to have a look at four trends that are shaping photography right now.

Subtle shades

The two pastel opposites Rose Quartz and Serenity have been nominated colours of the year by Pantone. The heavy associations as girl and boy colours are meant to reflect upon social movements to gender equality, mindfulness, reassurance and security. If you take a quick look around the web you will find that both Rose Quartz and Serenity have both legs firmly planted in the ground by now and the colour trend is widely used within fashion, lifestyle, interior design and photography.

Serenity Blue and Rose Quartz abstract 3d triangle background
© sirichai chin / Alamy Stock Photo


mother and daughter together outdoors
© Oleksii Hrecheniuk / Alamy Stock Photo

Subtle hues of skin tones, moss, stone and clay will also be in the spotlight this autumn. When used in photography these earthy colours conjure a simple and somewhat romanticized human-nature relationship.

Vibrant neon

Neon is back! Great news for photographers and videographers as it’s a lot of fun experimenting with flashes and gels to create striking visuals. Anything can happen…This is a bit of a contra-trend to the neutral and muted colours we’ve just had a look at. But that is the thing with neon, it’s very much a recycled trend that just pops up when you least expect it to. Neon has been widely used in fashion photography for decades, but it is perhaps Drake and Rihanna that brought neon back to life this time around with their much debated music video Work.

woman in wreath in violet light
© Alex Buts / Alamy Stock Photo


Dark and moody

We have seen a huge rise in images with a melodramatic feel lately. They are cinematic in style and truly embrace the potential of light and texture in photography. The trend is great for storytelling and portraiture. Psychologically, these moody tones give the viewer the impression that something is just about to happen and the fragile silence can break any minute. Strangely, this trend works very well for food photography as well since the low light and gritty texture allow us to study the art of making and highlight the fine details that triggers our other senses such as smell and taste.

Fairy Tales
© Luc Kordas / Alamy Stock Photo


Folding egg whites into chocolate cake batter
© The Picture Pantry / Alamy Stock Photo


Tactile illusion

Speaking of senses, tactile illusions are something you should explore if you’re creating photography for stock. Simple joys in life as feeling a warm summer breeze in your hair, a raindrop gently hitting your skin or crunchy leaves under your feet are very sought after by clients. When done right it activates a whole set of emotions for the viewer and it shows how photography is about so much more than just good composition and exposure.

Portrait of young woman with long, curly red hair
© RooM the Agency / Alamy Stock Photo

Trends come and go and it’s definitely not necessary to follow them all. But take inspiration from them, experiment and perhaps you’ll end up creating new ones along the way.