Through the years, various trends have changed how commercial photographs are taken and displayed. In 2022, we saw the revival of film photography and a lot more video content. Although visuals don’t evolve as quickly as fashion trends, you’ll still be able to tell when something feels outdated or overdone.
The trend evolution of commercial photography often pulls inspiration from other creators, pop culture, and world events. Many photographers will use a mood board to align with their clients and share visual examples of the direction they wish to go. During this process, it’s important to use popular and successful trends from top-performing brands to illustrate your approach to the project.
To stay ahead of the curve, check out our top 10 visual trend predictions for 2023.
Credit: Dana Trippe
Why capture a product sitting on the table when you can add some motion to the scene? The trick is ensuring the product is still the main focal point. It will take a delicate balance of camera movement and background composition to achieve this look successfully. This illusion of action and movement creates an exciting scene that takes practice to perfect.
Credit: Larisa Niedle
This is one of our favourite photography styles. The onlooker is immediately drawn to the image’s colours, saturation, and intensity. Bonus points if you are using colours that complement and contrast with the subject! Editing techniques such as increased clarity, shadows, and saturation can help you achieve this look. This is one striking way to do so when you try and stand out amongst the virtual crowd.
Credit: Norman Wong
Some creative trends come from unexpected places. Since the rise of skateboarding in the 2020/2021 Tokyo Olympics, multiple aspects of skateboarding culture have risen. This includes the traditional documentation of tricks and kicks with a fisheye lens. We see various brands, musicians, and industries trying to capitalize on this cool, warped aesthetic.
Credit: Doaa Jamal
Don’t just rely on adding contrast in post-production. Plan ahead of time to create thoughtful, minimalist photographs that illuminate products. Practice colour theory and think about what textures speak to the product you are capturing. Take the traditional concept of e-commerce photography and give it some character with unique lighting and backgrounds.
Largely, thanks to Tiktok and reels, we continue to see many more graphics, text bubbles, and collage-style video edits. Most of which can easily translate to photography as well, with text overlays being a top contender for 2023. Whether it’s relaxed, sharable content or a call-to-action, brands are now more direct than ever.
Credit: Gap Canada
Film photography has been rising for the last few years. We had seen a lot of point-and-shoot style photos in 2022 and the 35mm film borders (whether natural or added in post-production). An offshoot of this nostalgic trend could be physical prints. Instax is primarily to thank for offering affordable alternatives to the original polaroid prints. Nostalgia is a powerful storytelling tool because of the warm and fuzzy emotions it evokes. It will be interesting to see how brands tap into their audience’s memories using analog mediums.
Credit: Julia Stotz
Have you noticed extreme close-ups while scrolling through Instagram? We continue to see many iPhone photos taken using the maximum zoom setting showcasing food, beauty details, and much more. This trend translates to professional photography using a macro lens to capture highly detailed subject matter.
Snapshot photography captures everyday life with spontaneity. We can see brands using this style in email subscriptions to share more behind-the-scenes processes and even product photography. This aesthetic is accessible, relatable, and often aligns with authenticity. It mixes well with influencer content and gives a fun point-and-shoot aesthetic. It also aligns with the growing trend of documentary-style images and more storytelling in photography. This is something we already see with BeReal as audiences want to know the full experience.
Credit: Tracie Davis
We want to see it all in 2023. This trend prediction, inspired by still-life paintings, wants lots of textures, an abundance of decorative props, and a burst of complementary colours. The crisp details allow the viewer to explore the image beyond the product. This look is achievable with a high f-stop, specialized retouching, image stacking, or photo manipulation. Bye-bye, shallow depth-of-field, and hello, hyper-realism!
Credit: Mohamed Hakam
Like your latest loungewear set, monochromatic palettes will be a top contender in 2023 trends, especially for product and food photography. It’s very comforting when everything visually compliments each other. With a few contrasting colours, the entire set feels like a real-life home for the product.
Photography will always be an essential medium. There are many ways to make money with photography, but you must adapt and embrace new trends to stay successful. That may involve sharing more video content, learning new techniques, and prioritizing research time over aimless scrolling.
Take note of patterns you see on social media to stay in the loop as best you can. It can feel exhausting juggling all the social platforms, so remember to be kind to yourself, stay true to your art form, and have fun!21