As we’ve mentioned before, there’s a culture of creating and making cool stuff among Millennials. It’s just one outlet of their entrepreneurial spirit; one that has placed them squarely in the creative arts arena. The recent resurgence of photography as a hobby is tied to this maker culture, as well as Millennials’ desire to share what they make. Digital photography has made it easy to customize and tweak images to truly put one’s personal stamp on the work before posting it widely on social media.
Sure, there are dozens of camera apps available for smartphones, but “real” cameras are cool again. The excitement is part throwback, and part technological advancement. Even amateur photographers covet vintage classics, from once-cheap Polaroids (if they can find film) to higher-end Nikons. And then there are hipster-approved Leicas and Lomography cameras — new or old — that will turn heads. At the other end of the spectrum, new camera technology is capturing the attention of young shutterbugs and getting them to think about photography in new ways. Lytro cameras, for example, use light field capture to allow the photographer to refocus pictures after they’ve snapped the shot. And now that cell phones can list some impressive megapixel numbers, camera makers are focusing on improving other technologies, shrinking the size of SLRs, boosting brightness and image quality, and adding filters and editing and HD video functionality.
As with any hobby, Millennials are exploring the full range of possibilities with photography, teaching themselves how to take better pictures, edit and tweak their photos, and even seam pictures into HDR images and panoramas, all thanks to the wealth of knowledge shared on the Internet.
And since these avid photographers are carting around their cameras on a regular basis, they need accessories to keep them looking cool (and not touristy) while they do so. Crafty Millennial entrepreneurs to the rescue! Newly founded companies like Bloom Theory Straps and SFK let photographers customize their cameras.
With the interest in visual images these days (ahem, Pinterest, Instagram, and animated .gifs), it was only a matter of time before someone got clever and found a way to return the focus to words. There’s the hilarious Text Instagram Twitter account that describes those clichéd images that make up far too large a portion of Instagram posts and the amazing “camera” that prints text descriptions of what it sees rather than photographs.
As camera technology, the ability to customize images and devices, and Millennials’ creative spirit carry forward, we see this trend lasting a while.