What’s next for fashion photography?
Saying that fashion photography has made mammoth strides in the last couple of years is an understatement.
Instagram and Pinterest have exploded right in our eyes to usurp fashion magazines as the official home of engrossing visuals while women photographers have landed on the mainstream as evidenced by the dizzying rise of London photographer Zuzana Breznanikova.
Brands have also realized that a model’s face can lure millions of eyeballs to a new product and are now firmly part of the game.
In short, it has been up all the way.
And it seems, more breakthroughs are around the corner as an all-embracing visual culture takes hold globally.
Here is what’s next for fashion photography.
AI creativity will be gaining currency
Creative fashion photographers are already exploiting the limitless abilities of artificial intelligence to create breathtaking works of art.
Already AI has been used by online fashion tech rising star Vue.ai to analyze garments and automatically generate a precise image of how a piece of cloth would fit a model.
And since no real-life models are involved, the AI can conceptualize how different models would look like – be they tall, short, skinny, plump, black, white, and more.
This won’t spell a death knell for high-end fashion photography or glamorous cover shoots but sessions involving photographing a headless model against white backgrounds will soon be a thing of the past.
Interestingly, experts at IBM contend that AI will be taking up more roles in artistic studios and opine that this can only be good news for the ambitious client and her photographer.
The resurgence of the natural
And it looks like we are moving back to where it all began.
In their latest visual trend forecast, Adobe Stock suggests that the fast-paced, profoundly visual age has made us feel increasingly separated from the real world and we don’t want the status quo to remain.
This is leading more players to consciously seek to create a balance between digital realm and nature.
The idea is to bring together mysticism, surrealism, and organic forms as well as to explore the interconnectedness between the planet and its most influential inhabitant, humans, in illustrations.
Creatives adapt fast and it’s predicted that photoshoots will be taking lots of inspiration from the intriguing mysteries of our natural world.
This desire to reconnect with nature is informing consumer behaviour, too.
For example, the clean beauty industry has been outshining everyone else in the multibillion global wellness and beauty arena, according to the latest Global Wellness Institute reports.
The shift has spread its wings even to spirituality with consumers slowly moving to brands with products that satisfy their beauty, healing, and spiritual needs as proved by the emergence of companies selling products bringing all the three benefits like Zephorium.
In a nutshell, natural instincts are back in vogue and will be shaping fashion photography in a big way moving forward.
The age of creative democracy is beckoning
The next generation of Naomi Campbell’s and Linda Evangelista’s of our world may be technology-hatched.
Indeed, technology is self-liberating and the upcoming talent is spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding how they want the world to savor their best visuals.
The numbers are mindboggling- each day, about 95 million images are uploaded to Instagram while people spend an estimated 100 million hours watching videos on Facebook.
The usual suspects -Gen Z and Millennials- lead the charge in publishing own unpolished, passionate, authentic moments in vivid color but other ages are hooked also, powered by addictive mobile platforms that allow viewing of spectacular shows on the go.
Brands are joining the bandwagon as well and are finding smart ways to profit from our craving for likes and retweets.
For example, the #aeriereal campaign by fashion company American Eagle saw tons of thrilled women post raw photos of themselves celebrating their body positivity.
For fashion photographers, creative democracy means visuals that move people - hyper-real, sensual, elegant, and vibrant photography at its exotic best.
And with more tools and software coming to the fore to ramp up their creativity, creative democracy will continue to unlock new opportunities for contemporary fashion photographers and their clientele too for the foreseeable future.
Multi Modal fashion photography to stir up the future
Giphy revealed that it has surpassed the 200 million daily visitors mark back in 2017, just a year after announcing that users were watching over 1 billion GIFs every day on the platform.
Additionally, all the leading social media systems are fast evolving towards an intensively visual direction, in regard to both the way content is created and distributed.
It’s because GIFs have certain qualities that make them perfect even for brands including an inherent ability to efficiently communicate the brand’s identity, tell a story in a manner that resonates best with the audience, and emotionally impact the watcher.
In this context, the dynamic fashion photography industry is gearing up for a multi modal future and could be championing the integration of GIFs and motion photography in advertisements and brand storytelling in the coming days.
The mixture of still and motion imagery is a sure way to capture viewers’ attention as it introduces dynamism to intricate portraits creating a more persuasive narration.
It also allows people behind the lenses to improvise when undertaking projects, depending on the specific intent.
And based on what we have seen so far, multimodality in visuals could herald the era of fresh attention-grabbing content (and a sweet break from good ol’ image-saturated photography).
Diversity to become the new norm
Another turning point could be the appreciation of diversity as communities become more inclusive.
The good news is that the industry has already made tremendous progress in this aspect and we can see the glorious fruits.
Case in point? Size 12 models are starting to land the same gigs as the size 2’s thanks to initiatives like the All Woman Project (founded by UK model Charli Howard) which bring women of all sizes, ages, and even ethnic backgrounds together for scintillating but diverse displays of beauty.
Additionally, the world appears readier than ever for exposure to various cultures - diversity research indicates that gates are opening for black, Asian, and Hispanic models to rock fashion runways in New York, Milan, Paris, and elsewhere.
In fact, whereas certain segments of the industry have been dragging their feet, labels like Nasir Mazhar and Yeezy line (owned by Kanye West’s) have long used ethnically diverse models during their shows.
Progressive activism across the planet might also portend good fortunes for other minorities including LGBTQI communities in the fashion photography world in the years ahead.
For example, autostraddle.com has in the past sought out, shot, and published extraordinary imagery of the day-to-day lives of ordinary LGBTQ people.
There are also truly, truly wonderful photos of glowing LGBTQs showcasing their rainbow lives at unsplash.com.
It all started with lifestyle magazine featuring LGBTQs as cover models a few years ago.
The evolution of the fashion photographer to continue
One of the most expected fashion photography trends is a continuation of the evolution of modern fashion photography as we currently know it.
This is because fashion photography is inextricably intertwined with marketing, which itself is persistently changing.
For example, as fashion ecommerce expands, there could be a need for photographers to realign their art to improve customer experience.
Some brands are also participating in discovery platforms like fatakafashions hoping to gain from the users browsing clothes, shoes, and other accessories online.
Since these platforms are primarily community- driven, fashion photographers can get endless inspiration from the fashionistas and regular buyers alike and employ these ideas to create interactive and engaging portraits to elevate the conversion rates for involved fashion brands and designers.
Similarly, fashion photographers are in a better position to invent aesthetically pleasing photography to influence fashion-nerds to order the fashion items businesses wish to promote on personal shopping apps like Depop and the Hunt.
Summing it up
The above thrilling fashion photography trends are certainly on the horizon and will continue to further open doors for today’s fashion photographers and their customers.
Fashion never stands still and neither its twin, fashion photography.
What is important is for businesses, models, and their managers, and other decision-makers to analyze the future and strategize on how to pounce on the huge opportunities it promises to open in the next couple of years.