This year is going to be all about breaking photography rules. We’re going to see the rise and fall of some key trends in 2020 and even a few comebacks. Photography trends have defined generations of hobbyists and professionals for years, and the recycling of trends isn’t new. For example, the resurgence of luxury and opulence in pop culture and photography before the market crash in 2008 was likened to the gaudy gold, diamonds, and animal prints of the 1980s. When digital filters featuring light leaks and film grain edits made a comeback on mainstream self-publishing platforms like Tumblr and Instagram, it seemed to be in opposition to the rise of digital photography. Analog mediums have also become popular again, as MP3 players are being turned in for record players, and film cameras have become a staple for photographers who mainly shot with DSLRs.

With an oversaturation of photography available online, photographers try everything they can to stand out, including following trends. Photographers have often relied on trends to define the world around them in images. From ditching the “posed” look of wedding photography to only shooting on mobile phones, check out what photography is going to look like this year.

Candid wedding photography

wedding by Jelena Simonovic on

This isn’t your mom’s wedding photography.

Wedding photography is headed in the same direction as commercial photography and becoming more realistic and candid. Check out our essential wedding photography checklist for hints on how to get the perfect shots for your clients’ big day.

Minimalistic drone photography

Iceberg by Olivier Symon on

The wonder of aerial photography reminds us of how vast the world is from a birds-eye view.

While drone photography has been around since the 1980s, modern innovations have upgraded the technology for a new generation of photographers. And now, more artistic styles of drone photography have been popping up. Minimalistic drone photography is one of the more popular styles and we’re excited to see whether this is just a trend or here to stay.

Film photography is here to stay

Beehive Market by Ben Robson on

The resurgence of film photography was thought of as a short-term trend. Turns out, analog photography is here to stay.

Film-photography aficionados combed eBay, local thrift stores, and their attics to find mint condition second-hand film cameras. New iterations of instant film cameras from Fujifilm and Kodak have also found a new market.


Feet of unrecognizable woman in front of the fireplace. by Jozef Polc on

A complete contrast to the party days of decades past, people are opting to stay in more and more. You might be familiar with the buzzwords “hygge” and “nesting”. Both refer to creating a space at home that you prefer to stay in, instead of going out. Whether reading, knitting, or cooking at home, more people are decorating their homes with candles and cozy blankets to give them a warmer feel. Capturing this lifestyle shift with shots of people preparing food at home, and staying in watching TV or reading is also on the rise in photography.

Mirrorless photography

Hintersee memories: by Chris on

While getting the lightest and the newest mirrored SLR used to be the coolest thing to do, recently, professional and hobbyist photographers have been investing in mirrorless cameras. As brands like Canon and Sony release compact and equally powerful mirrorless cameras and photographers wonder what the best camera lenses are, the SLR market has some catching up to do with speed and convenience.

Mobile photography

Iphonception by Kuba Szymik on

According to Business Insider, it was estimated that in 2017 consumers would take over 1.2 trillion photographs because of mobile phones. Cell phones have become more than just a way to communicate with others, but an extension of ourselves. Through many innovations, they have changed the way we interact with the world.

Phone speed and functionality are important to users, but keynote speakers at smartphone launches often lead with camera specs. From selfie-obsessed teens to adventure photographers, most purchasers, whether they are using them casually or professionally, will use their smartphones to take photographs. With major improvements in mobile editing apps, and the newfound respect mobile photographers have found in the professional community, we are expecting mobile photography to dominate in 2020.

Leave us a comment below telling us what 2020 photography trend you’re going to try, or let us know if we missed any!

Not on 500px yet? Sign up here to explore more impactful photography.