Visual trends influencing wedding photography in 2018


The new year is well underway and we’re already looking forward to wedding season 2018. Based on predicted trends it’s going to be a bold and beautiful year.

A few teasers have already landed on our desks with regards to popular wedding photography styles and wedding themes thanks to brave couples choosing to marry in January! And so we’ve gathered trends from the hottest wedding photos we’ve seen in this chilly month so far.

We’ve also scoured leading design publications to see which visual trends are leading the way in photography now, and how colour and artistic themes could influence the wedding photography landscape this year.

Here goes…

Wanderlust – documenting our great escape

When does a trend stop being “trendy” and become a way of life?

Wanderlust = life, right?

Wanderlust travel photography will of course continue its upward trend as the need for silence, solitude and wellness dominates trends for 2018. And with overseas weddings now more popular than ever before it’s no surprise that destination wedding photographers with a diverse geographic wedding portfolio are hot property.

Wedding photographers can inspire 2018 couples by showcasing shoots from beaches, countryside, mountain tops and more. It’s a great way to leave potential new clients with a lasting memory of your wonderful wanderlust-inducing work.

Portraying a carefree lifestyle, escaping the grind and ‘telling your own story’ is set to remain a popular theme amongst smartphone photographers and Instagrammers.

The irony of travelling to remote places to escape whilst documenting that solitude on social media does not elude us, however it demands behavioural psychology investigative work than we’re not qualified to provide at this stage.

Conceptual realism and surrealism

A preference for the surreal over reality is a trend that’s set to continue from last year into this, and it serves as a means of escape from political, economic and environmental world concerns.

However the desire for realistic, authentic and believable images in a world where media content is freely invented and shared is more important for both photographers and consumers now than ever before.

2018 photography is about blending incredible experiences with raw, uncut nature and adding a dose of human imagination to the mix to provide people with the escape they’re so looking for.

Be creative with your wedding photography but ‘keep it real’. We’re fortunate to work in an industry designed for capturing raw emotion from real subjects in photographs. With skill and experience, wedding photographers can create dreamy wedding stories within the realm of reality.

Banishing stereotypes

Male stereotypes are being challenged and many brands are looking to tackle overt masculinity by introducing more complex, gentle and emotionally astute representations of the gender.

As wedding photographers, you have an advantage here. You’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to capture these kinds of raw emotions in a pleasing, gentle and natural way…

“Accept me for who I am” is a visual trend based on challenging stereotypes. Expect to see photographers inside and outside of the wedding industry capturing women and men as ‘their true selves’. The interchanging roles of genders will also be a focal theme for many creatives.

And it was all…purple

This year’s must-know (and must include) colour is ultra-violet purple.

Pantone has officially named it colour of the year for 2018, and describe it as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”

This colour inspires and represents the exploration of new technologies, the cosmos, artistic expression and spiritual reflection.

It is a colour that we often associate with mindfulness and meditation; offering an escape for those seeking refuge in an over-stimulated world.

We’re expecting all shades of lavender, plum and other purples to be popular too, not only in design, branding and photography but in homewares and fashion too.

Wedding photographers…if life gives you lavender fields, you’re one lucky shooter.

However you can still show that you’re at the cutting edge of photography trends by making sure that any wedding you shoot that does incorporate this colour is featured at the top of your portfolio and on your homepage.

Incorporating this Pantone is good for securing bookings from style conscious couples and great for getting you noticed prior to wedding awards in 2018.

Bold and brave colours in general are “in” this year, leaning away from the more natural palette of 2017. However a great way to make ultra violet purple less brash and more crowd pleasing is to combine it with greenery (Pantone’s 2017 colour of the year), greys and more neutral tones for a pared back yet on trend wedding look.

Space is ace

In keeping with our ultra-violet year, fantasy and space are set to grow in popularity across all consumer based industries, including photography. Shutterstock has seen a massive increase in search demands for fantasy characters and the most savvy photographers and videographers are already honing in on space-themed conceptual realism by enhancing an already starry night sky, for example.

Conceptual realism can be best described as imagery that looks real, even if the idea does not seem to be so.

This fantasy theme will continue to be seen in branding developments, including the use of vivid colours, creating a sense of escapism from reality.


Unfiltered images are expected to enjoy a long awaited revival after what we’re now creatively calling “the age of the #filter”. This style is also known as Dead Pan and was popular in the 50s, and it involves subjects represented as they are – raw and ready.

You’re ready to visually delight the critics of 2018

Wedding photographers – it’s time to develop your photographic style and more so, your portfolio, in keeping with this years hot visual trends.

Stay relevant, stay popular and earn critical acclaim.


Looking for more wedding industry trends and couple insights? Head to the Bridebook Business Hub, the home of wedding industry knowledge.