The Age of Hard and Soft: Technology humanised.

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1. Point of View

A distinctive point of view draws the viewer in – the caught moment and emotions feel recognisable and human. We connect with these experiences and instinctively react to them. Partly due to Instagram, Flickr, Snapchat and so on, there is a consumer hunger for point-of-view photography and customers relate to this approach because it makes them feel part of what’s going on.

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Photographer: Aleli Dezmen, Cultura RF

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Photographer: Moof, Cultura RF

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Photographer: Christine Schneider, Cultura RF

2. Visceral, Tangible, Real.

To be honest, viewing imagery is like having a second hand experience. You weren’t there – but if the image can give you a feel of what it was like when it was taken; if the photograph can convey something tangible – the smell of nature, the noise of the city, the sun on your face – then we as human beings will respond positively. We need visceral, real, tactile, smelly, flavoursome imagery more than ever to counteract our digital fatigue.

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Photographer: Chad Springer, Image Source RF

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Photographer: Edwin Jimenez, RM Signature Collection

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Photographer: Seb Oliver, The RM Signature Collection

3. Handmade Feel

Integrating technology into pictures where it’s a means to an end, not the end itself is really showing us the way we actually live. We’re not just using technology functionally, to communicate, we’re using it to support age old ways of earning a crust or expressing ourselves in our everyday lives – through cooking, making music, art, crafts, artisanal produce or working the land.

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Photographer: Chad Springer, Cultura RM

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Photographer: Zero Creatives, Cultura RF

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Photographer: Matt Hoover Photo, Cultura RM

4. Imperfections

A retro feel has been introduced into the imagery everyone’s creating – thanks to contre-jour shooting, various filters and plug-ins you can buy and the sharing of imagery on social media. Many people won’t know they are aping Polaroid’s aesthetics or old Kodak and Fuji film stock from yesteryear. People are documenting their lives, their very existence and dialling it up visually to add individuality, character and personality. Imperfections in the imagery (again nostalgic) are part of the fun of it and make the pictures – and us, human, engagingly flawed and accessible.

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Photographer: Chad Springer, Image Source RF

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Photographer: Chad Springer, RM Signature Collection

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Photographer: E.V Binstock, Cultura RF

5. Human Truth

How do people really behave? How do they exercise, stand, carry stuff and react to jokes? For consumers, emotion has a very powerful pull. Pictures rely on emotions, recognition and visual cues that people identify with. These small visual cues mean a lot – couple that with intimate camera angles that involve the viewer and the result is real life shot truthfully.

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Photographer: Kevin Kozicki, Image Source RF

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Photographer: Sverre Haugland, Image Source RF

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Photographer: Seth K. Hughes, Image Source RF

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About Author

Ashley Jouhar is the Creative Director of Image Source. He has worked as a senior creative in the photography industry for over 12 years, previously as Deputy Director of Photography at Getty Images. He is also a photographer in his own right, shooting lifestyle, documentary and portraiture for a wide range of clients.

Before turning to photography full time, Ashley worked as a senior Art Director and Group Head at McCann Erickson, London, creating award winning advertising for Bacardi, Shredded Wheat, Black & Decker, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Birds Eye, amongst others.

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