2024 Photography Predictions from Narrative CEO James Broadbent

By James Broadbent

We’re flying into 2024 and change is all around. For photographers, these are exciting times for sure. 

On one hand AI is rapidly advancing, with new tools available all the time. On the other hand, people crave nostalgia and minimalism during these hectic times. Clients desire authentic, candid moments to be captured for eternity - and for Instagram.

Looking at the challenges this creates for professional photographers, here are my predictions for the industry in 2024. 

1. There’s A New Vendor On The Block

When you show up to shoot an event, you expect to see the usual vendors - planners, florists, etc. There’s another one to join the crew - content creators. 

This is something that’s already happening, but I see it becoming a much bigger deal. People want to jump on TikTok trends or post Instagram stories about their big day, and now there are wedding content creators who will show up, iPhone in hand, to capture content.

Some content creator vendors might be passive and you’ll hardly know they’re there. Others will be more active, jumping in to get their shot to capture a candid moment. Either way, photographers will have to collaborate with them. Let’s hope clients plan for extra time - and leave the wedding-party-jumping-into-the-pool shot for the end.

Perhaps this is an opportunity to adapt and include content creation in your packages?

2. AI Is Here To Stay - Get It or Get Lost

As AI becomes more mainstream, things are changing fast. AI will never replace the photographer, but it will revolutionize the creative process.

We already use AI in culling and editing - if you’re not, please go get Narrative Select now. You can try it for free. It cuts hours off of our editing time, allowing us to reinvest saved time into other parts of our businesses. 

But AI is going to elevate the baseline of what is good. Photographers will lean into AI in more varied ways to elevate their work to the next level. Successful photographers will upskill with AI to push ahead, while those who don’t use it will produce work that lags behind.

3. Return of the Naughties

Fashion and photography are best friends, and clearly the early 2000s trends are back in 2024. For photography, think bright flash, grainy texture, point-and-shoot style. We’re already seeing people using handy cams for that old school look.

We’re also going to see these pre-digital age trends return:

  • The Dutch angle - tilting the camera can add to the tension of the moment or create a feeling of unease - or it can make you feel like you’ve just jumped off a carnival ride
  • Selective color - teenagers who never knew Photoshop are picking up cameras with selective color preloaded and the trend will take off
  • Sepia - return to simpler times (remember when social media wasn’t a thing?) with muted sepia tones

4. Blur is BIG

2024 will bring on more blur. The blur emphasizes movement and creates a feeling the viewer is immersed in the moment. When done well, it’s a method of storytelling that resonates with the audience.

Think longer sessions that’ll be mostly blurred photos done in a more thoughtful way than we’re used to. Blur will also break into areas it hasn’t been popular previously, like video. 

Along with blur, we’ll see more lens flare used for that nostalgic, analog look. 

5. The VR and AR Revolution Is Here

Apple launched the first Vision Pro this year and it’ll change photography forever. The 360-degree 3D experience will be in demand within the year.

VR will allow couples to relive their day in a way that feels like they have stepped back into the scene. Imagine sharing a wedding album where you and your loved ones can experience the day again. The Vision Pro has made this a reality as of now.

As the year goes on and more people jump on board with VR/AR, we’ll see expectations for it in the photography world. Buckle up. It’s time to explore new worlds.

6. Cameras Have Built-In AI 

It’s already happening. There are cameras out there where you can drop an LUT into the EVF so you can see your edit live as you shoot. More and more of this is in the pipeline. 

Cameras will be built with AI editors in the hardware so you can immediately edit the photos, right from the camera. You can then continue to edit on a computer to fine tune the image, but that first edit will be able to be done on-the-go. 

You’ll know when you’ve captured the best image immediately and can move on to shooting the next. It's an extra tool to level the playing field for capturing high-quality images quickly.

7. Natural Light Is Out, Flash Is In

These days, people value simplicity. There is enough chaos surrounding us every day that simple, minimalist trends are emerging.

We will see a trend towards minimalist luxury in 2024. Elegant, timeless, sharp, and dramatic. 

A heavier use of direct flash photography will play a major role in bringing this aesthetic to life. Direct flash puts the focus on the subject while creating dark shadows to create a look that suggests luxury in its simplicity. Try using more flash in your work and see how it transforms.

8. Longer Sessions, Richer Narratives

Plan to spend longer amounts of time with your clients in 2024. Instead of a 1-hour engagement session, it is likely to extend to 2-3 hours (good thing you embraced AI in your workflow to save time, right?).

Clients are demanding organic, authentic moments instead of staged poses, embracing the natural flow of the couple and their day. It’ll put your storytelling skills front and center and require you to go with the flow.

Capturing genuine candid interactions will take more time - but your clients will have perfectly imperfect photos that resonate emotionally.

Only time will tell if these predictions are on point. We’d love to hear what you think and if you have any of your own to add. 

Connect with us on our socials to let us know: @narrativeapp.