School photography is a rite of passage for Australian schools and students that has remained largely unchanged for more than a century. Take a look at a class photograph taken way back when and one taken recently. Although the differences will be clear, the similarities will be too.

However, while the school photographer of the past could afford to think only of delivering photographs, today’s school photographer must be a master not only of photography, but also of data and file management, software development, online security and so much more.

With that in mind, I want to share five emerging school photography trends that you will soon notice, if you haven't already.

new_group1. Virtual Groups

Virtual group photography is a process that involves capturing individual portraits and combining them to create whole class, year or school photographs. This method offers numerous advantages such as eliminating the need for subjects to be physically present at the same location and time, allowing the photographer to focus on capturing each individual portrait perfectly regardless of the weather.

While Virtual Groups have their merits, it is unlikely that they will completely replace traditional group photography. Many schools and students cherish their traditional group photographs, as well as the experience of gathering together on large stands with their peers, finding value in the knowledge that they stood alongside their classmates in real life.

virtual_group2. Yearbooks

There was a time when yearbooks were only for elite private schools and universities, but not anymore. School photography is all about preserving memories and experiences from this most formative time of an individuals life. Yearbooks take the preservation of memories and experiences to a new level and now everyone from primary school students to sporting clubs are choosing to preserve their cherished memories in a yearbook.

yearbooks3. Image galleries and the importance of digital files

The importance of digital preservation and image sharing is huge among consumers. Whether you’re sharing images with a loved one overseas or posting images to social media, the availability, quality and resolution of digital files has never been more important.

image_gallery4. Data security matters

Data security is a priority to consumers after numerous recent data breaches made headlines across the world. It is vital that all businesses have robust systems that safeguard the data they collect and that they protect the privacy and confidentiality of their customers in accordance with Privacy Act of 1988, Australian Privacy Principles and to deliver industry leading data security policy and practice.

5. Bonus Complimentary Services like Virtual Tours

School photography is just one of the services provided by school photographers. Other services include ID cards, framed prints, promotional videos and even online tools to assist with school administration.

One particularly popular service delivered by some school photographers is virtual tours. Virtual tours capture 360° images that are linked together in a virtual school tour that can be posted to the school website and viewed by parents and families considering enrolling their children.


Like everything in the modern world, school photography is evolving and schools are looking for suppliers that not only deliver quality portraits and group images, but who also deliver a complementary suite of services that help schools achieve their educational goals across a wide range of services.

About advancedlife

Over 39 years, advancedlife has photographed thousands of schools and millions of students. They create systems and products that are easy to use and instantly available. If you're on the hunt for someone to capture, print, and archive beautiful school photos that your community will love, this is the team for you.

Published 20 June 2023