Thursday, January 19, 2012

Five Trends in Professional Photography

Photography and Videography by Vanessa Joy and Rob Adams

Portrait by Dawn Shields Photography
Each January, The Professional Photographer's of America hold their Imaging USA convention where the country's best professional photographers, and those who aspire to become the best, meet to learn from each other. This year, the group met in New Orleans and I had the privilege of spending much of my time in the Black River Imaging booth listening to the featured artists on the Cascade stage. I have never met a group of more talented or creative people.

Professional photography, like other creative fields, is evolving rapidly and here are five of the most noticeable trends:

1. Young women are embracing professional photography.

Many of the artists featured were young women or husband and wife teams which included young women who are unbelievably enthusiastic about photography and amazingly talented. Artists like Dixie Dixon, Amanda Reed, Dawn Shields and Natalie Licini exemplify this growing creative trend and I enjoyed listening as they explained how they found their creative vision.

2. Photographers are becoming more astute business people.

When David and Whitney Scott launched with a slide titled Behavioral Psychology and went on to explain concepts like anchor shifting and establishing norms, I knew we had entered a new age of studio management. Prem Mukherjee shared dozens of tips on how to structure your business to fit your life and Martha Dameron explained how to formalize these into a successful business plan.

3. Fisheye lenses capture scenes with drama and emotion.

When Gene Ho demonstrates his "Fisheye Five' technique for shooting with two cameras simultaneously, it is like watching a professional entertainer, Olympic gymnist and talented artist all at the same time. The way he finds angles no one else can see is amazing.

4. Fusion of video and still photography.

Vanessa Joy and Rob Adams are a husband and wife team who have also married their videography and photography skills to transcend the characteristics of either medium. They explained how the combination of short video clips with still images bring slide shows to life.

5. Social  media sharing.

Facebook is now the primary way photographers share their vision with potential customers. Elise Ellis, who blogs and manages social media for Black River Imaging explained how a studio's website should be the center of its social media solar system and how to make every other site lead back to the website.  Facebook, Flickr and Instagram are hot. Is Pinterest the next big thing?

The talent and enthusiasm of these photographers is contagious. I am looking forward to talking with many of them again next month at the WPPI convention in Las Vegas.  In the meantime, I need to order a couple of Fisheye lenses and a second camera body.

Have you been to a photography show or professional studio lately? What are some of the trends you have noticed?

Portrait by Dixie Dixon Photography

Portrait by Amanda Reed Photography

Portrait by Natalie Licini Photography

Portrait by Gene Ho Photography

Portrait by Whitney Scott Photography

Portrait by Arising Images Photography

Portrait by Martha Dameron of Vaughn Portrait Park

Portrait by Elise Ellis Photography

The Creativity Paradox is sponsored in part by Convertible Solutions.