5 Photography Trends for 2017

We are well into 2017 and trends for the rest of the year are starting to manifest in unique ways. We have seen trends appear and disappear on Instagram, the same is true with photography.

Color is back

With the rise in Instagram’s popularity over the years, it’s easy to see how filters have become equally popular. Filters that have a vintage look and feel leave a lot to be desired in the realm of color and depth.  Customers are searching for the term color surge specifically looking for images high in color and dynamic range. With this rise in interest in color schemes, color is no longer a component of a picture; it becomes the star.

No Filter

Speaking of Instagram’s readymade filters, Another trend we are likely to see in 2017 is the No Filter trend.  Brands are now taking aspects of photojournalism to utilize in their marketing to relate to a younger audience. The goal of these images is to portray products or a lifestyle in such a way that the audience connects with the brand. This transparent approach to visual marketing allows consumers to connect with brands that best reflect their lifestyle and ideals.

Film is making a comeback

As someone who owns 12 film cameras, I am excited about this trend. Earlier this year, Kodak announced that they would bring a favorite slide film that consumers loved, Ektachrome. The creative process that comes with using film forces the user to understand the fundamentals of their shot from all aspects. When you shoot with film, you don’t have the instant gratification of reviewing your shot and making adjustments.


While new technologies are becoming more and more readily available, it’s easy to see how users will adapt this technology to create new visual trends. A popular trend quickly on the rise are fully immersive photos with 360-degree capabilities. Stitching panoramas together, users can now use their headsets to view these images as if they were right in the environment with the shooter. This trend allows the shooter creative freedom to utilize everything around them, instead of only what the camera lens could see.

There’s still room for new photographers

With visual content consumption always on the rise, there is a need for new photographers. Photography equipment is becoming more and more user-friendly which allows consumers an opportunity to capture the moments in their life that are important to them. With travel also becoming more affordable, photographers can venture out and see more of the world while focusing on their photography skills. If you haven’t already done so, check out our technical guide on shooting resort photos.

5 Hospitality Photography Tips

Photography can make or break a customer’s decision to purchase anything from your business. The same holds true to those in the business of hospitality. So what can you do in order to take the best possible photos for your marketing campaigns? Here are 5 tips to take outstanding photos of your lodge:

1) Stage Your Property

To make your property looks its best, people often times, will have their property professionally staged. If this is something that you can not have done, here are some guidelines as to what to do to make your property as photogenic as possible:

  • Blinds should me lowered all the way to the bottom of the window with slats at a 45-degree angle upwards. This will brighten the ceiling which then will reflect the light down into the room giving the room nice even lighting.
  • Turn on all lights and gas fireplaces.
  • Turn lampshade seam away from the camera.
  • Watch for your reflection in windows, TVs, mirrors and other reflective surfaces.
  • Shower curtains should be partially open to show off tile work and fixtures.
  • Make sure bedding, chairs, pillows, and other furniture are arranged neatly.
  • Remove anything from your photo that can detract from capturing aesthetically pleasing photos. This includes: cleaning products, trashcans, bath mats, remote controls, clothing, etc.

2) HDR Imaging

High Dynamic Range photos are one of the best ways to showcase your property. HDR allows you to expose all aspects of your shot. While you are able to take a well enough single shot of your lodge, bracketing your shots for HDR will open new opportunities to showcase specific features that otherwise might be difficult to capture. For instance, let’s say you have a room with a spectacular view that you want to show from inside the room. Digital cameras can’t expose for bright outside light while correctly exposing for interior light. We overcome this challenge by taking several different exposures of the same shot and combining them into one HDR image. The end result will show the beautiful outside view from the room while still correctly exposing the rest of the room.

3) Camera Settings

Assuming that you are shooting with a DSLR, here are some basic camera settings that will help you capture stunning photos:

  • Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Bracketing set at 5 exposures
  • Aperture at F8 or higher
  • ISO: 800 or lower
  • White Balance set to Auto

Using these settings will help you ensure that everything is in focus and you images have little to no noise visible.

4) Rule of Thirds

While knowing the right camera settings will greatly improve your photos, composition is ultimately what will make your shots more appealing to your audience. The rule of thirds helps us determining how to set up your shots. Imagine that your image has 2 verticle lines and 2 horizontal lines that cut your image into 9 pieces. These are your thirds. When taking shots of landscapes, determine what is more interesting, the sky or the land. Let’s say that your sky is more interesting in this shot, you will want to place the horizon on the bottom of those two lines to compose your shot for your landscape. From there, take your main subject (Trees, people, lodge, etc.) and place it on the left or right vertical line. As a guideline, if your subject is facing left, place your subject on the right line or the opposite if your subject is facing right.

5) Golden hour is the best time for photos

Photographers know that sunrise and sunset are the best times to take photos, but let’s take a look at why. When the sun is low in the horizon, it casts very soft light that adds dimension to your shot. The low sun causes objects in your photo to cast long shadows which help the subjects to “pop” out of your photos. This technique helps photographers separate their subject from what would otherwise be a busy and distracting background. The soft light also helps when you are photographing people. With the sun at a low angle, your subjects can be well front lit without causing them to squint or look away from the light.

Upcoming Video Trends

How are you utilizing 2016’s upcoming video trends for your business?

Trends for online video have changed drastically in 2016. Facebook now has Live video streams, Wistia now offers in video calls to action, and Instagram has incorporated Stories. Here we will take a look at all of the upcoming video trends and how they will affect your marketing strategy for 2017.

Facebook Live Video is here and it’s not going away anytime soon

Earlier this year, Facebook launched its Live Video feature. After endorsing celebrity ambassadors with a bankroll of $50 million, the new feature has caught like wild fire. Facebook Live is a great way for users to interact with their audience by inviting them real-time into the activities of their daily lives. In our recent post about Facebook Live, we give you insight on how to leverage this powerful tool for your business but creating personalized video campaigns for your audience.

Wistia embeds calls to action inside videos

While most video players give you specific stats on user engagement, search queries, play counts and visits, Wistia is one of the only services that allows for your video to ask for conversions directly in the video. Have you ever wanted to ask your user to do something before or after a video? Well, now you can. With Wistia you can build your email list by collecting a user’s email before they start the video. If your nonprofit organization survives on donations, be sure to incorporate a button for people to donate immediately to ensure you don’t lose them while they look for the proper avenue to donate through.  Wistia is a powerful tool to make your videos work for you. Check out this Video we produced for Niece equipment that uses Wistia to drive traffic to their ecommerce store.

Instagram incorporates stories

Let’s start by heading off the question as to what a “story” is. Stories are a way for users to share highlights of their day in chronological order. Since a Story only lasts for 24 hours, you don’t have the same algorithm penalties when you over post. With normal posts, you can be penalized for over sharing by posting too much throughout a day. If you have the urge to share your day to day business operations with your audience, Stories is a great way to engage with your audience and let them follow your story on their own accord. Instagram stories can be a great way of offering flash sales to your Instagram audience by introducing specials through your short videos. After the 24 hours passes thats it, sales over.

Facebook now has over 8 billion video views per day.

With a lot of these video features just coming out in the last half of 2016, next year’s upcoming video trends will be heavily influenced by how well these features are perceived by end users. Adding these new video features will only prove to help your business’s online marketing strategy and prepare you for any future technologies that will come out. Ultimately, video plays an important role in media consumption in today’s social media presence. Are you doing everything you could be to make sure you stay on top of these upcoming video trends?

Selling Products on Facebook Live For Your Outdoor Business

With the introduction of Facebook Live streams, all sorts of marketing opportunities have become available to businesses to get in front of our audiences. With that said, there are several ways we can utilize this feature to begin selling products on Facebook live. Whether you’re a local Fly shop selling products to anglers or a travel destination selling experiences, Facebook Live can be a great way to create personal connections with your clients and potential clients. Moving into 2017, let’s review some of the current trends for 2016.

Facebook live exampleFacebook Users Spend 3x More Time Watching A Video

Since users are spending more time watching these live videos, live videos have gotten a boost in Facebook’s algorithm. Ultimately that means if you want to reach more users with a quick important or personalized message, then utilizing Facebook Live might be the way to go. Using this feature, informing your audience of which products are on sale and giving them a quick video demonstration will reach more of your audience than a simple unboosted post. This increases your audience outreach without incurring any additional cost to you. Facebook videos have a 135% greater organic reach than any other type of posted content.

In 2015, Facebook Video Posts Have Increased By 94%

Although 2016 isn’t over yet, we can expect similar stats, if not greater, with the launch of Facebook Live Video. With an average of 8 billion video views a day, video is a great opportunity to reach new audiences outside of your local reach. If you run an online E-commerce store, then consider giving product demonstrations over Facebook Live to help convert potential customers into happy customers.

85% of Facebook Videos Are Being Viewed Without Sound

When creating a meaningful marketing campaign, understanding how your audience will interact with your assets is an integral part of creating an effective strategy. Facebook has found that by simply adding captions to your video, increases consumer retention time by 12%. So before you sit down and hit the live button, think about what happens to your video when you’re done with your live broadcast. When completing your live video, Facebook uploads the feed to your wall and videos section so consumers can still watch them later.

What If You’re Not Selling Products on Facebook Live?

Thats ok! Let’s say you own a local Fly Shop and this weekend you have a celebrity fly tyer coming in. On the day of the event, you could provide value to your clients by possible recording a snippet of the presentation on Facebook Live. While it might not have any immediate benefits. Another possible use of Facebook Live is to share Guide Trip experiences with your audience. This would be a great way to really illustrate what kind of experience people will be getting when they chose to book a guided trip through your shop.


Creating a Micro Brand (or Site) Around Your Holiday Campaign

With all things in life, do things deliberately and with a purpose. This includes your Black Friday campaign. Creating a Micro Brand around your holiday specials could be your ticket to standing out from your competition.

Develop a Micro Brand Around Your Specials

Brand awareness is very important to creating a solid marketing strategy for your business, so why not create a micro brand for your holiday specials? 80% of consumers will evaluate a product or service based on social media accounts they follow. Your social media account is a great place to start to evaluate what you want your holiday message to be. REI Created a campaign last year that caught like wildfire. The #optoutside campaign encouraged people to forego the hustle and bustle of shopping on Black Friday and spend it with loved ones outside doing the things you love together. Sure, it didn’t exactly inspire people to save big by purchasing today, but what it did instead was much more valuable. It built a level of Brand Awareness that resonates through its audiences today by reinforcing the trust that the company has worked so hard to establish. A people-first, shopping-second approach.

By selling to people’s emotions rather than their wallet, your marketing will be far more effective than other buzz words like, Sale, Free, Bonus.

Create Your Story With Emotion

While its true that people like being sold to, in some aspects, I’m not saying take the approach of a used car salesman. If a customer is in a fly shop, then the chances are they know exactly why they are there and what products they, in fact, do need. With this in mind, the buying process is an emotional one and it’s your job to speak to that emotion. Ever wonder why most ad campaigns use words like: consequence, lose, reward, valuable, competition, best in class, image, respect, mistake or avoid? Depending on the tone of the ad campaign, these keywords appeal to our emotions. By selling to people’s emotions rather than their wallet, your marketing will be far more effective than other buzzwords like Sale, Free, Bonus.

Costa Micro BrandDevelop a Color Scheme For Your Holiday Story.

Yes, this one might sound like a such a simple concept but it is an opportunity that is often overlooked. Nearly 80% of your brand recognition comes from a consistent color palette. This is important for two different reasons. Black Friday in itself is often branded black by other companies and has become the status quo for the gift buying season. While this in itself is beneficial because it creates a unanimous brand that everyone readily recognizes. Even with this benefit, do you really want to follow what others are doing? Creating a campaign that is different from the herd might just be the key to separating you from your competition. Costa does a great job of resounding their story through the use of blues and greens in their Instagram palette that is identifiable with their target audience

Putting Your Best Photos Forward for Black Friday

Moving into this Black Friday, traffic to your site will increase over the next few months exponentially. People have become conditioned to start their search for good deals on products they want, gifts for loved ones, and new product launches around this time of year.

First impressions

Good website imagery can make or break your e-commerce sales no matter how well written your story is. Often the quickest way to help the user’s experience on your site is through the use of high quality images. So how exactly do you increase your online sales while using high quality images?


On the Homepage, large image sliders are a great way to capture the attention of your visitors who are visiting your site from an indirect traffic source. I.e. an organic Google Search. These sliders are often used to direct traffic to specific landing pages or products. This key area is often your sites most prominent visual element so the best of the best photos should go here.

Example of a slider with a call to action Example of a slider with a call to action

Utilizing Featured Images

Another area that is frequently overlooked is the featured image. Most content management systems have this functionality built directly into the site so the lack of use is inexcusable. Featured images set the tone for your story. 34% of marketers selected visual assets as their most important content, behind blogging (45%) and before videos (19%). If you are selling guided trips, do you want to show your potential clients the above average brown that was snapped with the guides phone (this is okay for social media posts) or a high definition image that captures the emotion of your client catching the area’s “Lodge Monster”. Use your blogs to sell experiences over things.

What are Look-books and why you should be using them

An upcoming trend in the online industry is creating look-books for products. A look-book is a series of images compiled to showcase a product and the lifestyle it fits. Not every angler fishes the same and utilizing a look-book can really speak to these individual audiences.  An angler from Colorado who enjoys their weekends going on backpacking adventures fishing for Cutthroat Trout out of high country lakes is more likely to react to imagery that speaks to this lifestyle over exotic trips to the Bahamas for bonefish. Visual content is 40x more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, so make sure you are speaking to the right audiences.


Patagonia’s fly fishing section has effectively combined a quality look-book with a converting landing page. Check it out here.

When deciding which audiences to speak to, your ad campaigns will practically write themselves. But they won’t dress themselves. Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. Once you’ve determined which audience you want to target for the holiday season, the imagry for your upcoming ad campaigns will determine how well your audience will receive your social ads.

Adverts must always follow the 3 Bs. Big, Bold, and Beautiful.

The holiday season is the most competitive for ad space on the bigger social sites like Facebook. Knowing your audience and planning ahead to acquire assets in time for your advertisements will put you ahead of your competitors who treated their marketing like an afterthought. Your advertisements should appeal to emotion. Appealing to the human senses is an important factor in the buying decision. People who are engaged in the pleasure and excitement of purchasing a new product are more likely to follow through with the checkout process than the people who are shopping for the dutiful acquisition of life’s necessities.

The TL;DR (Too Long Didn’t Read)

While there might be several areas on your site that need your immediate attention, your websites visual elements shouldn’t take a back seat to everything else. The use of good imagery is key to your brand’s creditability and recognition. When shoppers are on your site, they will be more inclined to make buying decisions if they emotionally resonate with your product’s story. We have provided a quick guide to help you get through this Black Friday ahead of the game and ahead of your competition. Click the image below to download your copy today.

 black friday marketing strategy