5 Photography Styles Making a Come Back and How To Achieve Them

As the decades come and go, the vision and creativity of photography continue to evolve and change. Yet, even when new concepts are emerging every day – certain styles have proven to withstand the test of time. Here are 5 photography trends and styles that are making a comeback and how you can effectively achieve them in your work.

Polaroid Pictures

The first Polaroid Land camera was introduced in 1948 with the inclusion of color peel apart film. Over the past 60 years, the art of Polaroid photography has grown with large format prints to mini instant film shots. Now more than ever, Polaroids are resurfacing in the photography world, especially in the fashion scene, as photographers aim to infuse their personal style by recapturing the essence of instant imagery.

In order to achieve creative and alluring Polaroid prints, you’ll need to decide which camera model you prefer.

  • The land camera, a rectangle print framed by a white border
  • Wide horizontal prints from the Instax
  • Classic Square prints from the Polaroid Originals.

Whichever method you use, shooting Polaroids should be done with planning and intention. Most packs come with only 10 shots, so be intentional when composing your image.

1980’s Glamour

Dramatic makeup and even bigger hairstyles are what the 80s were all about and they’re making a return in 2018. Creating an 80’s glamour look is all about color and production. When aiming to create a shoot that encapsulates this beauty era, you will need:

  • Dramatic, colorful makeup – especially for the eyes and lips
  • Big, huge, massive hairstyles that stand out (the curlier, the better)
  • Styling and clothing that emulates the time period – think satin, white gloves, sparkles, and velvet.

On the production side, you may consider shooting against a colorful backdrop. Matching the color of your subject’s clothing with your background was a common technique during this period. You also want to employ lighting that gives a dramatic accent to your model’s features, adding shadows and heavy contrast to give it a truly 80’s look.

1950’s Retro Swimwear

Although less of a photography technique and more of a fashion style, the retro beach shoot has become increasingly popular among photographers. Whether it’s the clothing you use for your model or the way you edit your images – achieving this notable trend is relatively simple.

With the reemergence of one-piece swimwear, you can use these styles as the wardrobe for your model. Paired with curly or pulled back hair, pop of lip color and a creative accessory – you’ll have a look that effortlessly replicates the likes of Elizabeth Taylor.

As for production, shooting at the beach and boardwalk can make for the ideal background. Pose your model against vintage cars, bright colored umbrellas or riding a pink bicycle. Adding props and set elements will allow you to recreate the scene as if you were shooting back in the 50’s. If you’re a film photographer, your images will already have the color that effortlessly represents the era. For digital editing, make sure your images are well lit and have enough contrast. Add a bit of grain, desaturate the colors and overall keep it simple. Recreating a retro swimwear look is perfect for the photographers looking to create work that hints at the nostalgia of early fashion trends.

Colored Light

Using a predominant color within your light source goes back to the beginning days of film processing in a darkroom. Red light was used to control the setting in order to ensure that the images would be properly exposed.

Although, this was more of a photographic developing style, using colored light has now become way of infusing creativity into your traditional portraits. Often seen in situations such as cinematography, theater and event productions – the use of colored light is to provide a dramatic effect on your subject’s features.

An easy way to achieve this is by integrating the use of color gels or filters into your strobe lighting setup. You can watch a great tutorial on using this technique here.

Kaleidoscope / Prisms

Our last photographic style that has recently resurfaced is the use of kaleidoscope or prisms when photographing portraits. Giving a psychedelic, 60’s vibe – this technique a guaranteed to add dimension and creative perspective to your work.

Although it is possible to achieve this through post-production editing, we recommend testing this out by shooting through a traditional kaleidoscope. You can create your own with this step by step guide.

Another object guaranteed to create a unique effect for your images is to shoot through a prism. Prisms curve and distort your surroundings, which will give your images a surrealistic impression.

With fashion styling, use of light and different mediums of shooting – photography is in a constant state of reimagining past techniques while creating innovative concepts for the future. In a world of endless creativity, what are your preferred photographic styles and trends that have made their way back into the present? Share with us below.

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