All form of art is a depiction of the values, norms, and beliefs of the society in which they are produced. Arts always evolve with the changes in society. So, what is the meaning of ‘contemporary photography?’, and how does it differs from traditional photography that dominated mainstream society a few years ago? Contemporary photography is an abstract concept, making it difficult for us to comprehend what it is and what it represents.

If you are an enthusiast of art and want to understand the concept of contemporary photography, you may go through this guide. So, let’s dive into the abstract world of contemporary photography and try to understand it.

Evolution of photography with the evolution of society

All form of art evolves in relation to the society and time in which they are produced. What was once considered to be Avant-guard will also become part of the past. In the case of photography, what was once accepted and considered the norm by society like good posture and focus on the subject has become part of the aesthetics of the older generation.

Earlier, images that are not focused, blurred, odd facial expressions and imperfect postures, and cropped features were considered as wrong aesthetics. Such photography was disregarded as the work of amateurs. But with the evolution of mainstream culture, contemporary photography also evolved. These incorrect aesthetics gained momentum and became the correct antics. Today, what was once considered wrong has become the most celebrated concept of the present.

In modern times, easygoing and anti-formalism have become the trend. The relaxed nature of the youth who do not believe in established rules is also reflected in the contemporary tendencies in photography. Due to the carefree and relaxed attitude of the youth, informal arts came into the mainstream culture.

What is contemporary photography?

Contemporary photography delves into the idea of wrongness. The focus on more informal aesthesis makes them more relatable. The theme of the photography will be as abstract as the way the pictures are taken. We can say that contemporary photography is photography with meaning. More than the theme, the picture will be speaking to the audience and conveying messages.

contemporary photography

Unlike the photography of the previous generation, contemporary photography need not be pleasing. Instead of focusing on the aesthetics of the photo, it will be telling a story that needs to be interpreted by the audience. The viewer has to ponder over the photo to understand what it is trying to speak.

One of the main features of contemporary photography is that it is not just for mere observation. Instead, it evokes some reaction or emotion from the viewers. This photography, by embracing incorrect aesthetics like blurred faces creates a sense of rawness.

Contemporary art is an abstract concept that is very difficult to define. It cannot be constrained to certain characterizes and attributes. It is a concept that changes with the evolution of popular culture. Thus, defining it as an expression that the audience appreciates or relates with at a particular moment in the history of photography will be the right thing.