They are indeed, according to Paul Melchor.

The influence of social media and brand identification are quite a powerful force. And where once editorial ruled the sensibilities of the advertisers, it is now “brand” photography that is engaging the ad world. Images developed around and for the brands are leading the advertisers approaches.

This photography is still driven by an editorial ethic, but it also lays claim to the amateur aesthetic as well. Instagram, Hipstomatic, Flickr, Vine and others are capturing viewers, and that is the exact thing that advertisers wish to do.

In a very interesting piece, Melcher lays out a scenario where amateurs, brand aficionados and pro photographers feed from the same pipe of fan response / fan engagement.

This means that photography is beginning to be recognized for the power it has again. This will be a very exciting time for brands who can pick up on this new shift and push it to the fore.

“It will not be surprising, it is happening already, to see editorial photography influenced by brand photography. In an effort to keep pace with current trends, online and print publications are more and more looking into what works for brands and applying it to their spreads. After all, if that type of photography can sell products, it can also attract large amount of viewers. In fact, publications are  behaving more and more like brands themselves, and, as such, are seeking the same results from photos. From photojournalism to fashion spread, the keywords are becoming engagements and shares. Publications are using photography to extend their readership outside of their owned url’s, an exercise very familiar to brands. They are also very closely tracking numbers.

For now, we still live in a world slightly dominated by editorial photography, only because of cultural habits. But deeper, the evolution has already happened and is progressing with patient obstination. As generations shift, the millenniums, who consume ( and produce) more social media pictures than editorial ones, will expect no less than brands using the same visual language they do. And brands will turn to pros and non- pros photographers to execute. And because they will never run out of money, brands will get to define what photography is, how it is consumed and who gets to make a living from it. In fact, they are already.”

Read more here: