5 Photography Trends to Avoid

Whenever something new comes along in the world of artistic expression, be it a style or an innovative way of approaching creativity, there comes a point when it becomes a trend, and once it does, it is not long before we get used to what was once novel and start considering it cliché and bland. The result is taking said trend to the level of parody and turning it into a joke. So, unless you’re looking for a comedic twist to your pictures, here are our pick of the current 5 photography trends we think best to avoid.

1-  The Selfie Trend

Frida Kahlo Selfie

Granted, the selfie trend may still be an unexplored territory and a path of self discovery for some, however, self portraits have never been particularly interesting, save some exceptions like those by Frida Khalo and Cindy Sherman (find a great interview with Cindy Sherman about her self portraits here). Whether they are of our faces or our feet, or taken with a selfie-stick, this trend has gone too far. So much so, that selfie sticks have been banned from Disney Parks because they are apparently dangerous! Better to just enjoy the ride…

2- Duckfaces and Parted Lips

    Photo by  Susanne Nilsson


Photo by Susanne Nilsson

In the future, people will look back on pictures from the first two decades of the 2000 millennium and recognize what time period they belonged to just from the duck face pout or the parted lip look. The fashion industry is probably to blame for these trends that say nothing and add nothing to the quality of a picture or the beauty of a subject. Avoid these photography trends like the plague.

3- Overuse of telephoto lens or of fisheye lens

 Photo by  daita saru

Photo by daita saru

Not all portraits need to be devoid of background. Sometimes the texture of a wall, or something about the context the subject is in adds to the expressiveness and drama of the picture, so don’t automatically go for a telephoto lens if you’re shooting a close up of a face.

And if you’re going for psychedelic or distorted reality, please use the fisheye lens with discretion as it is seldom flattering, and has been used over and over again ever since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas became a cult hit.

4- Over editing

 Photo by  Ryan G. Smith

Photo by Ryan G. Smith


Apps are great tools that can add a lot to our pictures, but we should not replace our photographs with effects, rather, enhance images with them. Some overused trends in the editing department include Photoshop abuse (which has created many a controversial image), selective colour (no more red lips on black and white photos please!), and finally, the vintage style simulation with phone apps (time to start living in the present).

5- Borders and watermarks

 Photo by  Max Stanworth

Photo by Max Stanworth

Digital borders rarely complement a picture and it’s best to leave them out of the picture. We recommend that you make a good print of your photograph, find a nice frame for it, and hang it on a wall instead.

Regarding watermarks, although they are one way of protecting your pictures, they really ruin the image. Here is an article with a few other suggestions to avoid others from copying your photos without consent. And ultimately, when you show your photos digitally, with all the benefits that that entails, if somebody copies them without your consent, you can always take it as an unfortunate compliment.