2021 Trends In Commercial Photography | Denver Photography Blog
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Commercial Photography Trends In 2021: Seeing The Influence In Visual Arts

We’re officially into the swing of 2021, and even with COVID-19 protocols still in effect, there’s a silver lining of normalcy to be seen in the growing number of trends cropping up in commercial photography. In this guide from David Glessner Photography, we’ll give you a rundown of the top trends being reported, including those we’ve already seen here in Colorado metro areas.

Want more photography tips, guides, and professional tricks? Be sure to visit our full blog archives here, and contact David Glessner for additional information about his commercial photography services in Denver! 


From silhouettes to color schemes, here are the top trends in 2021 that all serious commercial photographers should be keeping up with:


Masks On Models

As one might expect given the unprecedented events of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has already found a way to “infect” the commercial photography industry. Indeed, as much as we want things to return to normal, they just haven’t yet. In 2021, professional photographers will have to reflect this massive cultural shift with a certain filter: by changing the way they choose to shoot, interact, and collaborate with live models.

The motto of 2021 when it comes to commercial photography modeling? Don’t ask, just mask. Easy to do, but perhaps a bit strange to capture on film. Hopefully, this unusual trend won’t stick around too much longer — after all, there’s not much point in portrait photography if you can’t see one-third of the subject’s face!

Independent Excursions

Adventuring alone? You might not be at this very moment, but plenty of Coloradoans and other outdoorsy Americans are gravitating towards excursions of the “solo” sort. From a lone hiker in the Rocky Mountains to an unaccompanied spirit in the Great Sand Dunes, there’s no shortage of shots and backdrops to enhance and illuminate an “indie expedition” style of photo exhibition. 

Not only does this 2021 trend allow commercial photographers to get some pretty great nature shots and stylish landscapes, but the open-air setting of the adapted style goes hand-in-hand with photography subjects engaged in a COVID-friendly voyage. All things considered, this growing influence in the photography industry is a rather refreshing, digestible take on what would otherwise be pretty traditional in terms of outdoor photography techniques.

Striking Shadows & Silhouettes

The shadows cast in the golden glow of a Colorado sunrise or sunset can be quite remarkable, especially when captured on film. In 2021, many professional photographers may wish to wield their cameras during dusk or dawn hours, as silhouettes are especially in vogue in the new year. Since these shapes are meant to be outlines of subjects, and not to emphasize details, they can be an excellent way to work with live models while still socially distancing yourself in a reasonable and safe manner.

Since it started rising in popularity due to the creative craze of the Victorian Era cameo, the silhouette has established itself as a classic, timeless technique of the photographer’s trade. So how can it be made different, novel, or unique for the current age of art? 

Consider a series of photographs that aim to highlight or expose the profound emotions so deeply wrapped up in today’s climate of pandemic-induced panic. Alternatively, you could create silhouettes modeled into recognizable shapes and forms, but do this by using non-traditional or unexpected objects to produce the illusion. Is it dozens of books arranged in a series of stacks, or is it a city skyline just before sundown?

In the age of COVID, the social possibilities and levels of “normal” might be limited, but there’s never a cap on creativity as far as we’re concerned! 


Also trending in 2021: Drone photography.

Need more details? See the infographic here.


Pantone Colors Of The Year

As they do every year, in 2021 Pantone® has released its annual selection of shades intended to define the design world for (at least) the next 365 days. This year two hues are featured and awarded with the artistic honor: Ultimate Gray is paired with the contrast of Illuminating, a yellow tone that’s just as sunny-side-up as the name suggests.

As for commercial photographers, those who work in this professional sphere may wish to draw inspiration from the colors chosen by Pantone, as well as the symbolism of what they represent about our current society. Gray and yellow aren’t very often paired together, or, at least, most people don’t think of them when asked to recall a favorite color palette combination. 

Whether you dabble as a hobbyist or you work full-time as a committed commercial photographer, pretty much anyone with an artistic bone in their body can see that the juxtaposition of a steely neutral and a kitchen-fresh lemon tone perfectly encapsulates the sentiments of the COVID-19 pandemic: Ultimate Gray shows the cloudy weeks and occasionally inconsolable days, while the Illuminated yellow provides a perky reminder of the bright, compassionate moments of light throughout the ordeal. We really do appreciate and express our thanks for the pep talk, Pantone. But in all honesty, we’re kind of hoping that 2022 brings culture-defining colors that are a little bit less . . . symptomatic.

Combat COVID In 2021 With Creative Trends in Commercial Photography

If you’re still not feeling jazzed about the next trip around the sun, let a commercial photography professional brighten your day with some seriously impressive shots! Explore past projects, portraits, landscape photography, promotional auto features, and more — start the journey to create something great by contacting David Glessner Photography in Denver today!

2 Comments
  • erotik
    Posted at 11:34h, 16 February Reply

    A big thank you for your article. Really thank you! Rora Saunderson Fin

  • escort bayan
    Posted at 23:48h, 01 March Reply

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and the rest of the site is also very good. Carlin Gar Hannon

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