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Top 5 social media photography trends for 2022



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January 25, 2022 | 5 min read

Creative industries are constantly changing, and so is photography

Keeping an eye on the latest trends is vital for a thriving career. Especially when it comes to digital and social media practices. But some trends last much longer than a month, or even a year. They stay around for a while and have a significant impact on how we see, capture and remember the world around us.

What kind of photography will be relevant on social media over the next 12 months? In this article we share the answers, along with our top tips that will help leverage this valuable knowledge in your career as a photographer, marketer or content creator.

1.) Shooting on film

The metaverse is coming, but the analogue world isn’t going anywhere. This isn’t a paradox, it’s one of the global creative trends in 2022. Our new reality is the one where our future merges with the past. Some have called film photography not only a subculture, but also the future of digital media. It’s an interesting take and a precise way of illustrating how major the scope of this long-term trend is.

Photos on film remain popular among brands, media outlets, and regular people all around the world. They’re praised for their color, grain, special atmosphere and aesthetics that have a fanbase of their own. Just look at @filmdiscovered and @f1rstoftheroll for reference and inspiration. If you’re open to experiments and new (old) things, consider shooting on film and you might discover your career sky-rocketing.

2.) Taking self-portraits

Numerous lockdowns have forced creatives to work within exceptionally constrained boundaries. Just like everyone else, photographers haven’t had access to other people, places and photo subjects for months on end. And they’ve embraced this challenge by being more attentive to their environments and creating self-portraits. Obviously, this genre has already been trending, but it’s a staple now. In a way, you could say that selfies have been reclaimed, and we’re here for it.

By the way, if you check out social media accounts that are devoted to film photography, you’ll discover that self-portraits on film are especially popular. Explore @selfieonfilm for inspiration and ideas.

3.) Celebrating diversity and inclusivity

If you look at professional photos created for brands and media on social platforms three-to-five years ago, you’ll discover a relatively homogeneous group of people. However, the situation is finally changing. Companies and creatives are opening up to the idea of making diverse and inclusive choices. They’re collaborating with people from different backgrounds in terms of their age, skin color, gender identity, body, sexual preferences, and other characteristics that vary from person to person.

Obviously, this isn’t just a 2022 trend in photography or marketing. This is a long-overdue transformation in our society that so many people have been waiting and fighting for. As a creative, you have the power to support these positive changes and to celebrate diversity and inclusivity through your work.

4.) Not using filters

This photography trend has been growing and spreading for the past few years, and it continues to do so. Why is it important to have it on this list? Because you need to know that it might become a norm. Nowadays, people expect a realistic approach to photography during shooting and in post-production. Social media feeds are getting a natural makeover, and it’s crucial to keep up. Otherwise, your visual assets risk having an outdated look.

Spend more time thinking your photoshoots through and preparing for them. Some effects that one could easily get with filters are also possible with the help of certain lighting or a particular setting. Remember that by allowing yourself to have imperfections, you’re encouraging others to do the same. That’s exactly what we all need after a decade of overusing filters and retouching.

5.) Going mobile

It’s not news that current mobile phones have great camera capabilities, but it’s not just about that. Authenticity has been a major trend and it has affected everything, including our relationship with visual content. When people see two high-quality photos, they tend to know which one was taken with a camera, and they like it less than the one shot on mobile. They find it less appealing because they tend to be over-polished.

As a professional, you might be opposed to taking photographs on your phone, but do consider it as an option. Shooting great visual content on mobile can help you shorten the distance between your work and the viewer, and create a stronger bond instead. And as our phones keep on improving, there’s no need to compromise the quality of your work.

In a nutshell

These are the latest photography trends that you can expect to see all over social media platforms in 2022. In short, rely on mobile photography more often, prioritize natural aesthetics and collaborate with people from different backgrounds. Now that you’re familiar with the trends, you have everything you need to implement this knowledge in your creative and commercial work. Save this article and use it as a helpful reminder throughout the year.



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