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Web Photography In 2017: A Look at the Dominating Trends!

By Eva Barnes , Dec 9 2016
Web Photography

Featured Image: iStock/focalmatter

Images are a dominant part of any visual form of communication, and websites have become the virtual headquarters of almost all businesses in the sprawling domain of ecommerce. Website photographs are powerful because they offer a chance for the visitor to instantly connect with your brand. With attention spans getting shorter, designers can be sure that most people don’t bother to read text, and will scan through webpages. How do you make sure that you communicate important information about your brand and products to people who aren’t paying attention? By using images of course!

Another factor that will make you ditch walls of text in favor of images is the ubiquity of smartphones. Smartphone usage has risen sharply over the past years:

Smartphone Generation

Image: iStock/assistantua

Web Photography Trends That Will Dominate 2017

Web design is a field driven by innovation and experimentation, as such trends are constantly shifting over time. The visual and interactive elements of websites often change in unexpected ways, but experts often have an inkling as to which direction the current wave of innovation will travel.
The visual elements used in websites are not immune to these shifts. Different styles of web photography and illustrations become popular and wane according to website building tools as well as changing customer preferences. We will explore the dominating trends of one of the integral visual elements in web design, the humble photograph

The art of photography is dynamic, as is science of web design. Web photography is the merging of these vast and exciting fields and responds to changes in both. Web design is becoming a more artistic and visual medium as 2017 approaches. The trends discussed in below will focus on both content of web photographs and their usage in websites. Here are the biggest trends web designers need to watch out for.

1. The Rise Of Black And White

You might think color is more eye-catching, but the lack of color can also have the same impact. In web design, it’s all about setting your brand apart and creating the right visual rhythm. Designers are embracing the lack of color and going monochrome with their web photography choices. You will observe that the absence of colors actually brings the lines and structure of the object into sharper contrast.

Cute And Broke

The homepage of this ecommerce website uses a bold grey scale photograph as the hero image to accentuate the minimalistic design.

Cute And Broke
Image Source

Cyril Masson

A similar approach is seen in the example below, the striking monochrome image draws focus to the subject of the photograph. The thin text overlay is almost invisible, giving a unique look. This is a great way to highlight the image and make the website more immersive.

Cyril Masson
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Maison Ullens

The monochrome photograph is pretty powerful when used in individual or portfolio websites. Here is a collection-specific website that perfectly illustrates this idea.

Maison Ullens
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2. Rekindling The Love Of Film

Nothing says classic photography like film. This medium saw a significant jump in popularity this past year and will continue to rise in 2017. Film captures the raw color of life and is perfect for statement photography. Immerse your website in the dreamy soft depths of colors and tones by using film.

Rekindling The Love Of Film 1
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Rekindling The Love Of Film 2
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Rekindling The Love Of Film 3
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3. HD Photography Takes Over The Web

Photography is playing a bigger role on the web, often showcased as hero images, photos need to be top-notch quality if they are going to be effective. HD photos look more professional and give a sophisticated feel to the entire website. Design trends also seem to be favoring large moving images backgrounds or slideshows, this definitely calls for the crystal-clear quality that only high-def offers.

HD Photography Takes Over The Web 1
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HD Photography Takes Over The Web 2
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4. Combine Stock And Custom Photography

The biggest drawback of custom photography is the large budget required. If you are a startup and looking for a more feasible solution, try combining simple, custom photos with standard stock images to strike the right chord. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer, nowadays you can take amazing photographs with your smartphone. Here are some non-Photoshopped photos to get your creative juices flowing.

Combine Stock And Custom Photography 1
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Combine Stock And Custom Photography 3
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5. A Touch Of Dramatic Typography

Text overlays written in dramatic type will raise your web presence a notch or two. Typography is as powerful as photography, combine the two in the right way and you get the best of both worlds. GO all out and combine custom photos with custom type to experience the full effect of these communication mediums.

A Touch Of Dramatic Typography 1
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A Touch Of Dramatic Typography 2
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A Touch Of Dramatic Typography 3
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6. More Content Through Smaller Images

This innovative trend moves away from the standard large hero image and uses a bunch of smaller but equally powerful images to tell a story about your business philosophy. Smaller images give you more room to maneuver as far as branding is concerned. Showcasing products is also easier with a series of smaller images as compared to one large image. Plus smaller images work well with smaller smartphone screens.

More Content Through Smaller Images 1
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More Content Through Smaller Images 2
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7. Creative Photo Manipulation

Personalizing boring stock photo moves into a whole new exciting dimension with highly capable photo editing tools. Complex elements help the stock photographs look fresh and unique. Tailor your photos and bring them more in line with your brand’s image by using clever photo manipulation tricks. Here are a few examples that will inspire your creative side.

Creative Photo Manipulation 1
Image Credit: Koen Demuynck

Creative Photo Manipulation 2
Image Credit: Alltelleringet

Creative Photo Manipulation 3
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8. Bring On The Drones!

Everyone is raving about drone videos, what people don’t realize is that these powerful devices are going to change the world of photography as well. Think about it, a drone is basically a flying camera that can snap a picture from hundreds of unique angles. Put them to creative use and showcase your images on your website. Drone photography has become popular, in fact, there is even an Instagram from drones, the aptly named, Dronestagram!

Bring On The Drones 1
Image Credit: The Huia dam in New Zealand by Brendon Dixon

Bring On The Drones 2
Image Credit: Estavayer – le – Lac by airproduction

Bring On The Drones 3
Guntur , India by Aurobird

9. Death Knell For Stock Photos

Stock photos are a fixture of the web, at least for now. Photos of smiling business executives sitting at a messy desk or involved in intense brainstorming sessions is a visual everyone is sick of. We realize, they are convenient and everyone uses them, which is exactly what’s wrong with them. Do a reverse image search of your chosen stock image and you will see a slew of other websites that are using the same cookie-cutter image. Using a stock photo means your website looks similar to the thousands of other websites who decided to pick out the same image. Your brand gets lost in the sea of similar websites. Ditch stock imagery and try your hand at custom images.

2017 seems to be an exciting year for web photography. As the year rolls by, we will definitely see new trends emerge, keep an eye out for them by following us on Facebook or Twitter. Noticed any major trends missing from our list? Comment below and let your voice be heard!

About The Author

Eva is a marketing major with a keen interest in web design. She is also an explorer and loves to dig into web trends from mobile apps to visual communication and everything in between. Feel free to send her your web design queries or blog related feedback in the comments below.

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