Five annoying photography trends that need to go away

Feb 21, 2022

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Five annoying photography trends that need to go away

Feb 21, 2022

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Every era has its trends in art, and photography in 2020s is no exception. Some trends may be here to stay, some are just a fad that will go away – and some of them you might find utterly annoying.

In this video, Adam Karnacz of First Man Photography lists five current photography trends that he thinks need to go away. Let’s see if you agree with his choice and if you’d like to see them go away as well.

YouTube video

1. Gear upgrade cycle

Technological development is fast, and it seems like very brand announces a new flagship camera every few months. This puts a pressure on photographers that they need to upgrade more often than they actually do. In fact, even a 10-year old camera will do a great job in 2022 if you know what you’re doing.

One thing I noticed, just like Adam, is that the photography conversation often revolves around gear and its specs. And we both agree that it’s kind of boring. I personally find it very, unfulfilling, unproductive, and even tiring. Adam hopes that this is a trend that’s coming to its end, and that the gear talk and insanely common upgrades will switch towards more attention on the art of photography.

2. Social media

Social media is filled with aggressive people and trolls, we’ve all had experience with them so far. But that’s just one of the bad sides of social media. The one Adam focuses on more in this video are algorithms. They’re not created to help you but feed you the most clickable, attractive videos and photos. Ever since TikTok appeared, it seems to me that all social media have become more focused on short, entertaining (and often stupid) videos. Because of this, Adam notices that content is no longer a king: it’s the catchy, clickbaity titles and potentially viral videos that can bring more ad-generated revenue.

3. NFTs

NFTs seem to be all the rage at the moment. Over the past year or two, lots of photographers and other visual artists have started using it to sell their work. Some of them earned thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars selling NFTs, which is probably what drew others to jump on the bandwagon.

While there are some good sides to selling NFTs as a photographer, Adam notes that there are some bad ones as well. In a recent Twitter thread, he wrote about the issues pretty extensively after researching NFTs for a year. Ultimately, he decided not to sell his own because the whole idea looks a bit too much like a Ponzi scheme.

4. AI

Other than NFTs, AI has also taken the photography world by storm. Every photo editing software now has AI-driven features, and so do many phone cameras. And it’s inevitable that this trend will continue. When it does – will AI be able to take better photos than us? Adam argues that it’s already better at editing than a human is, but I tend to disagree, I think it’s still pretty far. Per Adam, the development of AI technology could potentially lead to loss of jobs in the photography industry. Although, as long as artificial intelligence mixes up dunes for nudes, I think we’re safe.

Even if AI does eventually become a better photographer than human photographers – it will never be able to make a story better than we do. So, once again, I think good photographers-storytellers are still safe.

5. Lack of authenticity

Being difficult is essential as a photographer, but it’s more difficult than it sounds. And it’s not only because photography has become so easily available to everyone. As Adam notes, authenticity requires us to have a certain level of self-awareness and self-understanding of our own intentions. I personally think that these are keys to being authentic, but Adam put it in words perfectly.

Adam gives some examples of being inauthentic: asking insincere questions to boost interaction, lying (about anything), representing opinion as facts, and acting like a gatekeeper. What I’d add here is blindly following trends, which makes a bunch of Instagram accounts look as if they were made by the same person.

I don’t know which of these trends are here to stay, and which are a fad that will soon go away. Only time will tell. But if you’re annoyed by these or any other trends, Adam suggests some solutions. Make sure to surround yourself with great people in real life, but I’d add – on social media too. Always seek out truth, practice critical thinking, stay curious, and keep an open mind to those you disagree with. And last but not least, pick up your camera, go out and make some photos.

[5 Annoying Photography Trends | First Man Photography]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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8 responses to “Five annoying photography trends that need to go away”

  1. Astro Avatar
    Astro

    Of those five, simply because it affects me the most, I’d say that #4 with AI replacement, specifically, is the biggest fad I wish would end. Don’t like the sky in your photo? That’s okay, our AI software can replace it with one of these pre-selected skies! Add a rainbow! Add a moonbeam! Why not?!

    That said, I will usually try the AI/ML suggestion in Pixelmator or Photoshop when processing a raw image just to see if I like its adjustments of the brights and darks. Right now, it’s around 50/50, so that does/can save me some time, and I find that particular application innocuous.

  2. Trino Pam Avatar
    Trino Pam

    These are not trends. Just a new reality. We have to live with it.

  3. 101101 Avatar
    101101

    Sameness: all the tools and bells and whistles ultimately translate to everything looking the same.

  4. andrei ioan Avatar
    andrei ioan

    trends i’d like to see gone forever: titles containing “the truth about” or “mistakes everyone makes except the author” or “you need to do this now”

  5. Rob Smith Avatar
    Rob Smith

    The one thing that stands for me are the rubbish images that show “verticals” leaning over, lazy use of wide angle lens. Plenty in the news.

  6. Edward Weber Avatar
    Edward Weber

    Gear upgrade cycle, This is the same no matter the craft, art or hobby. All you need is X to make your work better, faster, stronger, stand out more and so on. Keep focused on the final product, if you need to upgrade because you can’t produce what you want with your available tools, that’s fine . Buying new gear, tools, gadgets or whatever just to keep up, whether it has any effect on the final product or not, is just silly IMO.

  7. slackercruster Avatar
    slackercruster

    Just how it is. This is not the film era. I was at first hesitant about ‘the list’ but after reading it…it seems to be a good list of photo annoyances.

    While I don’t fool much with social media, I do ‘mine’ it some. I made a number of films on Instagram documenting various trends. I could never have the time nor connections to get into the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people I screened for the films in pre-production without social media.

    And when I talk about screening, I don’t actually meet them. I just use their material online as ‘fair use’ educational and historical purposes. Actually, I do lots of mining on the internet. Since I hurt my foot and can’t do much streetwalking for street photos, I work with archival material, cine’ film as well as mining the internet.

    I don’t do much gear upgrades. I work with what I got. Back in the film era I got by with a Nikon F for decades and a Leica M3, eventually upgrading the M3 to a M6 after 3 decades. Some people are camera fondlers and spend more fondling than shooting.

    Now, what I do need is a cheap 16mm cine’ sound scanner. A cheap one is about $50-$60K. Cine’ film work is very money sucking as compared to still photography. I’ve got over a thousand reels to scan. Fantastic material in the Archive.

    …I keep buying lotto tickets!

  8. FairlyReasoner Avatar
    FairlyReasoner

    6. Annoying lists