Like all hobbies, interests, or professions, the times take can take photography in different directions. Trends come and go. What is fashionable and in vogue, one year may be passé the next.
Sometimes it is the environment, social aspects, or the era itself; such as the 60s, that defines the styles around us. The period of Woodstock, The Beatles, and the Summer of Love is told through thousands of photos in books and magazines and is easily recognizable for the clothes, hair, and imagery.
2021 brings its own challenges, and, with it will come newer styles of photography and some older ones returning into common use.
How does 2021 define the way photography will happen?
The biggest difference to life over the last year has concerned the pandemic; Covid. It is now an intricate part of life and limits what many people are able to do. One of the most glaring omissions in the photography world in 2020 was images of music festivals. No Glastonbury, no Coachella, and just a virtual version of Burning Man.
The biggest event that was missing though was the Summer Olympics. Dropped for the only time since the Second World War. This is expected to extend through some if not all of 2021. Photographers will need to get more inventive and adopt different ways to work alongside social distancing and empty arenas. Below are some ways things may change, there are different photography styles and you can pick up any one of them and try for yourself.
This area has been on ascendence for a few years now. The difference between now and recent times is the quality of cameras on drones is the quality of the camera and the functions they come equipped with.
The obvious attraction of a drone is that it allows the photographer to take photos from viewpoints not easily reached. In the past, someone would have had to have access to rooftops, a vantage point, or even a helicopter to achieve what the best drones can now.
Drones allow the photographer to actually track a subject automatically and are ideal for city and nature photography.
Natural shots with no filters
As things come into fashion, they naturally have a lifespan. You have seen haircuts and clothes come and go, along with different styles of music. Photography is the same when it involves gimmicks. You may also start to see more natural and relaxed wedding photos as these events are toned down.
There are professional photo editing software such as Photoshop to allow photographers to balance hues and colors, then there are hundreds of filters available. It can seem like every photo has had half a dozen filters thrown at it sometimes. It is likely this trend will start to recede and photography showing the true beauty of a people and nature will become on-point again.
One challenge to professional photographers will be to capture the excitement of sporting events while they are played behind closed doors. Empty stands can on their own tell a story but expect to see more action shots of athletes and less of anything involving crowds.
Although you have read about gimmicks coming and going there are two that may stay popular. Smoke bombs and 360-degree photography. 360 degree or panotography is where photos are taken in a panoramic format. These are useful to estate agents and in eCommerce to show off products as they can display something from multiple angles. The reason they may become more popular is that it is not practical now to view buildings in person with social distancing in place. Add to that the increase in people buying products online instead of viewing them in a shop and you can see the benefits of panotography.
These, when used correctly, can add a dynamic flash of color to an otherwise average image. They need to be used responsibly but they can be used when photographing urban landscapes and fashion. Instead of adding filters, smoke bombs add a real, physical element to the shot.
As the quality of the cameras installed into phones increases, so does the usage. Expect to see more smartphones being used for quality images instead of just selfies. They can be used to take photos at the moment and upload the image quicker than a DSLR can. Plus they are the most mobile form of camera available and can have a number of photography apps installed to help the artist.