2021 has brought us some new photography trends and this year will be very different from any other year. Many photography trends that were famous before, might not be acceptable these days. For instance, group photos are discouraged and even if you planned on taking such photos, safe social distancing needs to be in place and wearing a mask is a must.

We can see that some of the niche photography trends will continue to suffer in 2021, such as event photos, nightclub photography, live music photos, etc. But not to worry as there will be other trends replacing that. With that in mind, we have narrowed down 10 photography trends for the new year.

1. Social Distancing

Miniature people on chalkboard with white arrow representing social distancing by Mohamad Faizal Ramli, 123RF.

Group photos now will vastly follow social distancing rules and people wearing masks. Many businesses are going through a rough time due to the pandemic and to survive they need to ensure that their marketing and social media content is consistent. 

Countless brands rely on group photos to get their message across. So if you’re planning to shoot a group shot anytime soon, remember to practice safe social distancing of at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people and that everyone wears a mask the correct way. Preparation is key, so make sure to brief your clients and models beforehand and have hand sanitizers on standby.  

In the past year, many clothing brands have added beautifully designed masks to their line. We can definitely expect to see more photography trends that include colorful and printed masks being worn.

2. Silhouette Photography

Silhouette of a girl by Ekaterina Vidyasova, 123RF.

The beauty of silhouette photographs is that they are always open to explication. Silhouette photography transforms your subject into a shape which adds mood and drama to the finished photo. 

Silhouette photos usually portray a solo figure representing the feeling of detachment, isolation, and mental health issues which is very relevant in the world we live in today. These photos are easily achievable by using backlighting. Just position your subject in front of a strong source of light and start shooting.

3. Food Photography

Woman capturing a photo of food by citalliance, 123RF.

Food photography is fun and super easy to get started. Natural light is the best when it comes to food photos. Usually the aim is to try and keep things looking clean and natural. This is the perfect subject for beginners and even pros when you’re stuck at home with limited resources.

4. Street Photography

Image of photographer with camera by Volodymyr Vorona, 123RF.

With various places closed due to the pandemic, many event, travel and architectural photographers have become restricted. Which is why some photographers are moving their focus into street photography. Find alternative places that are easily accessible, such as the street you normally use to get groceries, your neighborhood or even the street right in front of your home. Now’s the time to be creative and get out of your comfort zone.

5. Plant Photography

Image of a plant by loulouvonglup, 123RF.

Many photography lovers have also moved their focus to nature. Nature provides you a diverse setting that helps you create breathtaking photos. Whether it’s from doing a full on shoot in your garden to capturing images of your plant friends in your little green corner. The possibilities are endless.

6. Staged Still Life Photography

Shot of computer keyboard with camera and digital tablet on table by Kjetil Kolbjornsrud, 123RF.

Staged still life photographs have become very popular among aesthetic photographers. The photographer generally gathers different items to stage an image but focuses on the main subject. The focus of the subject comes alive with many other things playing a part that are relatable to the theme or situation. 

Though there are no rules when it comes to capturing staged still life photographs, photographers often capture it from top view so that you are able to see every detail in the photo. Most of these pictures are taken on a table or on a simple piece of cloth.

7. Subtle Filters

The influence of social media plays a big part in regards to subtle filters. The most famous use of this new trend is gentle and softening of the light in photographs that create a little bit of a color cast. The muted tone is very subtle and generates an exclusive feel for the image.

8. Drone Photography

City street view from above by Ross Tomei, 123RF.

Photography featuring a bird’s eye view has become trendy nowadays. All credit goes to drone photography as it helps to capture photos that previously could only be taken from planes or helicopters. This popular technique has grown exponentially due to recent restrictions. The main attraction of this technique is its solid composition as it takes the perfect eye to generate a birds-eye-view photograph that demands attention.

9. Authentic Imagery

This type of photography is being done without any overdone effects and retouching. There is a stronger connection to the photograph and the viewer because this imagery looks more authentic and relatable. Authentic photographs are more candid and do not look posed or staged.

10. Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraph of pasta with tomato sauce by Halim Lotososerdtsev, 123RF.

Cinemagraphs are pictures with a hint of motion. You must be wondering what’s so cool about that? Well, this type of image surprises most people enough to keep them engaged with the photo. Cinemagraphs have plenty of balance, depth, and visual interest. It works great for digital design projects.


Now you know the most popular trends that are happening in 2021. If you are a photographer or avid social media user, then you must not be left out. Here is the chance to explore and try it out for yourself.