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10 photography trends to watch in 2016

We are all familiar with that mobile look, dull fades and the effect of SocalityBarbie blowing the top off 'authentic' stereotypes. I think creatives will agree, we're ready for what's next.

Prepare for design and photography in 2016 that escalates a deeper focus on the mediums used, a more sophisticated understanding and use of color, and a deeper connection to the moment over creating a mockery of staged setups.

It's time to shed the agenda of a perfect life and focus on what actually makes us happy. Aim to be more present this year and allow yourself to break some design and photography rules.

Here are 10 trends hitting our radar at Stocksy that we predict will continue picking up momentum in the new year.

01. Flash goes mainstream (opens in new tab)

Flash, along with its harsh shadows, has gone mainstream. It first bubbled up in youth culture magazines, giving real moments that little bit of edge, and party atmospheres a tangible element. During the late night hours and after one too many drinks, the lighting is always bad and ISO drops off the priority list. This style embraces the moment for all its grit and glory, or at least that's what it makes you feel.

Mastering the right amount of direct light without blowing things out can be harder than it looks, as any intentional lighting setup can be. Experiment with multiple light sources, even using multiple mobile phones and you may discover some happy accidents.

Danil Nevsky (opens in new tab)

Marija Mandic (opens in new tab)

Jesse Morrow (opens in new tab)

02. Complicated patterns (opens in new tab)

Patterns have always been a statement staple in the textile industry, ebbing and flowing in their popularity across seasons. More recently in photography, a backlash to minimalism has our eyes reveling in the wonder of complication with multiple layers of patterns and bursts of color. Savvy designers be prepared for a challenge in text placement.

B & J (opens in new tab)

Bruce & Rebecca Meissner (opens in new tab)

Felipe Neves (opens in new tab)

03. Everyday Tattoos (opens in new tab)

Tattoos have expanded beyond appeal to subcultures and "hipsters", now representing the everyday man and woman, your typical businessperson, barista or friend. It's not about making a statement; it's about using people who are real and less generic.

Yury Goryanoy (opens in new tab)

Giorgio Magini (opens in new tab)

Rob Campbell (opens in new tab)

04. Black and white (opens in new tab)

It might sound obvious saying that black and white is in, but it's also worth noting that black and white is making trends in advertising and design. No longer are black and whites limited to artistic captures, this palette lets you include imagery that isn't distracting, allowing the color and type that surrounds it to really pop.

Studio Firma (opens in new tab)

Vera Lair (opens in new tab)

Stalman & Boniecka (opens in new tab)

05. Resurgence of film (opens in new tab)

Nothing has us more excited than the comeback of film (opens in new tab) for 2016. At the end of the year, we brought light to film because of its distinctness in a somewhat oversaturated mobile-look market, that at the end of the day what was really just trying to look like film in the first place.

If "authentic" is as important as everyone made it out to be last year, it only makes sense that we start focusing on the authenticity of film that actually started the whole trend. Film captures real life in an unparalleled way. With its dreamy colors, tones and depth, more discerning eyes will begin recognizing this medium as a preferred source for statement photography.

Dustin Adams (opens in new tab)

Wendy Laurel (opens in new tab)

06. Neon landscapes (opens in new tab)

We love you Pacific Northwest (home to Stocksy HQ), but we're ready for something else when it comes to landscapes. Bring on the light leaks and sunrises/sunsets that cast awe inspiring and exaggerated colors.

This trend first hit our radar when fine art photographer Dustin Adams made his work available for licensing and grabbed the attention of some of our large print production clients. Suddenly we noticed dreamy hues were popping up all over photo hubs. Get inspired with our hue bursting Pinterest board.

Dustin Adams (opens in new tab)

Liubov Burakova (opens in new tab)

JP Danko (opens in new tab)

07. Horses (opens in new tab)

With continued redefinitions of beauty and "strong is the new skinny" thinking, we're not surprised to see an animal that encompasses the sleek lines of muscular definition become an intriguing icon of the animal kingdom. Horses represent strength, integrity and grace, all qualities we're looking to embrace and connect with as we forge through 2016.

Natasa Kukic (opens in new tab)

Danil Nevsky (opens in new tab)

Simone Becchetti (opens in new tab)

08. Loud & proud (opens in new tab)

We may be a Canadian company, but we still appreciate the use of the American flag as a loved treasure adorning adventure photography internationally. Don't forget to pack yours on your next road trip and help this trend extend with more variety.

Sean Flannigan (opens in new tab)

Jesse Morrow (opens in new tab)

Kristen Curette (opens in new tab)

09. Palms and ferns (opens in new tab)

Tropical palms and ferns were a staple pattern this year, in photography we were especially inspired by uses, color blocking and pairing of pinks and vibrant hues.

We could dig for hours uncovering endless ways to weave hand lettering through leaves with total confidence, see what we uncovered as favourite in design uses here >

Wendy Laurel (opens in new tab)

Daring Wanderer (opens in new tab)

Kayla Snell (opens in new tab)

10. Still moments (opens in new tab)

More than just getting in close, these arty perspectives challenged our interpretations at first glance. They're the little moments. They're the unique captures that only the eyes of a seasoned photographer picks up on in the midst of all of the chaos, especially when a photographer is out solo documenting the world around them.

Victor Dechamps (opens in new tab)

Liubov Burakova (opens in new tab)

Branden Harvey (opens in new tab)

All of these trends share a common thread of making the viewers see not just the scene in front of them but feel the genuine emotions of expression. In an increasingly busy and often chaotic world, they make us take pause to admire beauty, simplicity, truth and better connection with enjoying the moment in 2016.

Words: Stocksy

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.