5 Tools Photographers are Embracing in 2017

Back in the early 2000s, as a pint-sized, wide-eyed kid, I often fantasized about the world of tomorrow. While there may not be flying cars, hoverboards or self-lacing shoes, the future is most certainly here, and there’s never been a more exciting time to work in the creative industries—especially in the visual arts.

In this post, I will detail 5 ways in which visual storytellers can evolve with technology to enrich and refine their work.

1. Digital Portfolios & Personal Branding

Gone are the days of creating a website entirely from scratch, writing line after line of code. What with the array of web-builders currently available, publishing a digital portfolio could not be easier.

Apart from the common, go-to options—like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace—there is a service that specifically caters to the artist community: Format. Launched in 2008, this Toronto-based company provides creatives with an intuitive and customizable platform for building strong, web-based portfolios. By offering a wide selection of modern, responsive and well-designed theme templates, visual artists can use Format to assemble a portfolio that reflects their own, distinctive style.

Format Online Portfolio Builder Example

Format’s Portfolio Builder Tool (screenshot via Format)

However, the Internet is a vast place with a bevy of different options to choose from—just find whatever platform works best for you and build, build, build away!

2. Film-to-Digital Converters

Despite recent advancements in digital capabilities, there are many photographers who prefer the control and flexibility of film. Be it aesthetics, purity or nostalgia—whatever your reason—it’s totally cool. But for those who want to showcase their work online, ultimately, the images will have to be digitized.

Perhaps the analog vs. digital debate will finally come to an end, because reliable conversion technology has arrived. Through a simple piece of hardware, your original slides and negatives can now be converted into bona fide, digital media files without any loss in quality.

Interested? If so, we recommend the Wolverine FD2 Mighty, which is, by far, the most trusted and revered product out there.

3. Media Server Apps

As they say, a clean computer is a clear mind, and for the artist in today’s digital world, maintaining a sense of organization can be a challenging feat. But it doesn’t have to be like that, thanks to the development of media server applications. Forget about opening up the search bar and manually locating each picture or video. Through the power of, say, younity, all of your media files—regardless of where they originated from—are automatically cataloged and stored in one place. Better yet, in the case of younity, you can access any media file, any time, from any device. So kick back, relax, and rest assured that everything you need is merely a few clicks away.

4. iPhone Lenses & Mobile Add-ons

For all intents and purposes, anyone with access to a smartphone—which is nearly half of the world’s population—is, in one way or another, a photographer. Due to the proliferation of mobile technology, the barriers to entry are effectively nonexistent. Today, immortalizing a moment through a picture is as easy as reciting the ABCs.

Cinemagraph by Aaron Paul

And as mobile camera technology grows increasingly more powerful, the market for add-ons has, likewise, exploded. Tripods, selfie sticks, supplemental power sources, and, of course, lenses. The evolution of add-on lenses is absolutely staggering—over the past decade, the technology has gone from chintzy and bulky to sophisticated and compact. Incorporating an iPhone lens into your arsenal of tools can dramatically improve the quality of your portfolio, because you never know when a photo opportunity will arise, and it’s always best to be prepared.

Seeing that most of us here at Flixel are, ourselves, photographers, we’ve experimented with heaps and heaps of different products. And at the end of the day, we would have to recommend any lens from Moment’s diverse offering of add-ons and accessories.  The product speaks for itself: besides improving the quality of your output, a Moment lens can also provide the freedom and creative latitude to further explore the art of photography, regardless of skill level. It’s like working out at home versus going to the gym—building muscle is considerably easier when you can access more machines, more space, and the leeway to decide how you’ll do it.

Late last year, we joined forces with Moment to co-host a meetup in New York, where tens of us gathered to roam the streets of Brooklyn, taking pictures, gathering footage and creating cinemagraphs. Check out the short video below, which details our neat little escapade:

5. Dynamic Images, Like Cinemagraphs

How often do we get to live through the genesis of a new medium? Not often, folks. And that’s what makes cinemagraphs so incredibly exciting. Finally, the unbridgeable gap between picture and video has been bridged.

More and more, people are using cinemagraphs to, quite literally, liven up still photographs. With our app, Cinemagraph Pro—available for both macOS and iOS devices—anyone with an interest in this innovative new visual format can join in on the fun. And because awareness of this hybrid medium is still building, those who adopt now will blaze the trail for future generations of photo artists. Whether you’re an ardent hobbyist or a consummate professional, what better way to elevate your artistry than through an entirely new medium, where the possibilities are truly endless?

Cinemagraph by Virgo Haan

Just like flying cars, hoverboards, and self-lacing shoes, cinemagraphs are a manifestation of our retro-futurist ideas. Except, well, they’re real, and a heck of a lot less dangerous.


Get started with Cinemagraph Pro today by downloading a free trial of our macOS or iOS software. And if we’ve missed anything, or if you’d like to add something, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below.

(Content Intern)

Peter flexes his fingers/writes copy at Flixel. His enthusiasm for content creation is only surpassed by the Oregon Dunes, as well as a lifelong goal to soar through the clouds on a blimp.