1. Point of View
A distinctive point of view draws the viewer in – the caught moment and emotions feel recognisable and human. We connect with these experiences and instinctively react to them. Partly due to Instagram, Flickr, Snapchat and so on, there is a consumer hunger for point-of-view photography and customers relate to this approach because it makes them feel part of what’s going on.
2. Visceral, Tangible, Real.
To be honest, viewing imagery is like having a second hand experience. You weren’t there – but if the image can give you a feel of what it was like when it was taken; if the photograph can convey something tangible – the smell of nature, the noise of the city, the sun on your face – then we as human beings will respond positively. We need visceral, real, tactile, smelly, flavoursome imagery more than ever to counteract our digital fatigue.
3. Handmade Feel
Integrating technology into pictures where it’s a means to an end, not the end itself is really showing us the way we actually live. We’re not just using technology functionally, to communicate, we’re using it to support age old ways of earning a crust or expressing ourselves in our everyday lives – through cooking, making music, art, crafts, artisanal produce or working the land.
A retro feel has been introduced into the imagery everyone’s creating – thanks to contre-jour shooting, various filters and plug-ins you can buy and the sharing of imagery on social media. Many people won’t know they are aping Polaroid’s aesthetics or old Kodak and Fuji film stock from yesteryear. People are documenting their lives, their very existence and dialling it up visually to add individuality, character and personality. Imperfections in the imagery (again nostalgic) are part of the fun of it and make the pictures – and us, human, engagingly flawed and accessible.
5. Human Truth
How do people really behave? How do they exercise, stand, carry stuff and react to jokes? For consumers, emotion has a very powerful pull. Pictures rely on emotions, recognition and visual cues that people identify with. These small visual cues mean a lot – couple that with intimate camera angles that involve the viewer and the result is real life shot truthfully.