How Technology Has Transcended Photography as We Know It

Chicago, IL

In preparation for World Photography Day, Schawk brings you a series of thought leadership regarding photography in a digital age, with a global perspective. We’ll be celebrating the entire month of August, so be sure to check back for more insights!

This blog post was contributed by Owen Pratt, Creative Director, Schawk Chicago.

Digital content has changed the way we interact with the world and with each other. The immediacy of the technology has fundamentally changed the speed and the way we make decisions. What do we capture? What do we share? Should I add to cart? Proceed with purchase? Like it? There are a myriad of decisions that we make throughout our waking days. What does that look like?

The digital age has transformed “photography”. The process really no longer exists. What we consider photography, using traditional cameras and approaches is now digital content. World Photography Day, August 19th, is the day we celebrate the French government’s sharing of the patent of the Dauggerotype, the first process of creating a recorded image of the world as seen through the optics of a lens.

“Selfie” culture has impacted photography in that everyone who has a mobile device has the ability to capture a visual moment and instantly share it with the world.

Technology has transcended the process of photography as we know it. Gone are the days of chemicals, enlargers, dark rooms and printing. The photo labs have been digitized. The devices that we carry in our pockets and purses are not really phones. Nor are they cameras either. They are communication devices. 

We communicate through language, through texts, selfies, shared imagery, “likes”, even emojis. These devices connect us to each other, to communities and to brands and commerce. Selfies have allowed the consumers to become active participants, not passive observers who are just being marketed to. They become a part of the market. Shoppers and consumers can now see themselves reflected back into the marketing world. They can share user-generated content. They can instantly comment, share, upload and advertise to their communities in their own unique and authentic voice. 

How are brands adapting?

As for how brands are using photography to message to their markets, I continue to see more of a desire and need for finding the authentic and the genuine moments.

That means, to me, the growing need to see ourselves reflected in the marketing we see every moment. More lifestyle, more humanity that shows not the idealism that brands have always strived for, but the genuine and the real moments that make up our lives.

As technology has removed the human element from the photography process through automation, AI, smart apps, we will always be ready to see more of ourselves.

Learn more from Owen Pratt in his recent BrandSquare webinar -- he outlines the power of photographic storytelling for brands. Watch the webinar by clicking the image below: