This New Company Thinks Motion Photographs Are The Future of Photography

Earlier this year Lukas Renlund, a 30-year old professional photographer from Scandinavia, sat down and tried to imagine what the photography industry might look like in 5 or 10 years. That imagination-session lead him to quickly start a new photography/media company named 'Not So Fast | Media'. Instead of offering still photographs to their clients, the new company focuses only on creating motion photographs- Beautiful moving images.

Lukas believes a greater number of media consumers and clients will shift to motion photography in the near future and he decided to get on board before it became too popular or over-saturated (like the still photography industry today). It is a big risk for him, but seems like there is a demand for his business. One of the things that made Lukas start his new company was the videos shared here about the 2.5D/Parallax images. These interesting videos, along with a research and a lot of guessing, made Lukas start focusing on motion photography. "What will Digital Photography look like 10 years from now? It is my guess that the gap between video and still imagery will become increasingly blurred, and I want to do my part to push the boundaries of this still young medium. At the core of the Not So Fast | Media mission is a belief that slowing things down gives us the time to appreciate life’s beauty. And, we want to work with clients who share this same belief. Our content is simple, exquisite and tells the story in less than 15 seconds."

"We hope to work with Digital Agencies and other interesting collaborators to tailor our moving content so that we can help them communicate in images that not only illustrates clear messages, but also speaks to people. For us, this is Motion Photography. Together we can create a new format where art, advertising and entertainment meet on equal terms. "

Unlike other methods of freezing areas in a slow-motion videos, the company is using only still photographs as the base. "Still photographs form the basis of all our moving content. For most impressive results the image should contain AT LEAST two layers; a foreground and a background," Lukas says. "The images are then ‘brought to life’ in After Effects by manipulating them in a 3D space. We add movement, camera pans, focus shifts/ depth of field and so on. There is a fine line between creating an image that makes a long-lasting impression on it’s beholder, as oppose to just ‘making it move.'

"Furthermore, because we love getting technical... To publish our Motion Photographs we use Giflike and their HTML5 video technology to create "highres" gif’s from our finalized products. Giflike also allows us to embed our content on various online platforms - just like you would with a traditional gif. But the huge difference is the quality!"

The video above is only one example of what "Not So Fast | Media" will offer its clients. "In the case of the AfrikaBurn video (seen above) — our first production of its kind -- we decided to stack our Motion Photographs back-to-back to present them in an entertaining flow that would give justice to the vibe of this unique event in the South African Tankwa desert."

What are your thoughts about this topic? is motion photography really the future of the digital photography world in your opinion?

Noam Galai's picture

Noam Galai is a Senior Fstoppers Staff Writer and NYC Celebrity / Entertainment photographer. Noam's work appears on publications such as Time Magazine, New York Times, People Magazine, Vogue and Us Weekly on a daily basis.

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I have seen good examples of motion photographs but these aren't them. The movement is all kinds of wrong. When you begin to understand that 99% of photography is viewed online, it doesn't take a stretch to know that the format can and likely will improve to match the device capabilities but here's the thing; people like to explore photographs in their own way. When I see something amazing, I let the composition determine my eye movement. I look at it for as long as I want to and not a second sooner or longer.

Devilish, I agree with you - from a fine art perspective - that people like to explore photography in their own time and way. In fact, some of our biggest influences come from the art world (Rene Magritte and Salvador Dalí for example).

At “Not So Fast | Media” we emphasise the art of storytelling. With this comes determining a certain flow of events. By controlling the tempo (amongst other things) of our productions, we believe that we can add more to the art of telling stories. And, this is a sacrifice we are willing to make.

On a note of ‘composition’: as photographers, that is what we do - we frame the world around us. We choose what to include, and what to exclude, in our representation of it. Great photographers instinctively know how to make these choices in the blink of an eye. With our Motion Photography we aim to bridge the gap between video and still imagery. By adding movement and natural shakes to out Motion Photographs we compromise some this 'composition', yes. But for us, the enjoyment of bringing photographs ‘back to life’ is worth the sacrifice of a few pixels.

Why not just take it in video?

Because... it's not the same.

We're one step closer to Harry Potter moving-picture-newspapers!

That would be pretty awesome.

Gimmick hell.

I find them annoying in the same way I find flash ads on a website annoying (and they aren't used as much as they once were for that reason). I can't control the pace. Take away the photographer in me and I still don't like to look at these things. Admittedly, I think the use of Flixel on the last cycle of America's Next Top Model was not badly done (and you can make fun of me for watching that lol). But motion was used as what my art teachers would have said was decorative... it adds something to the photograph but didn't change the composition. I think the example above isn't what people will want to see because we like to look at things at our own pace, that's why most slide shows have options to watch or click thru.

It's motion. Until the age of the DVR you just had to watch it at whatever speed the guy who made it intended you to.

I personally have no interest in stopping for 1,2,5,10 seconds or whatever to see the media through so that it's full message can be presented.
The benefit of the still photo is the viewer gets the message instantly in one quick glance.

Biggest problem of XXI century in a nutshell.

Or that media is getting thrown at us everywhere we turn and fewer ways to avoid it.

Well that is a big part of the problem. Nowadays almost everybody have the means to create visual forms, visual marketing creeps in to every aspect of our lives and it seems that screens have to be everywhere now. With this vast visual overstimulation shorter atention span is one of many inevitable effects on our society.

I know it's only a matter of time, but I'm not looking forward to the day when we live in a world of screens surrounding us.

Latest Terry Gilliam film, The Zero Theorem is a nice comment on this particular matter. :)

I think that if it's done correctly, the results are captivating. Sometimes more than just a still photograph. more chances ill spend 5 minutes watching a slide show such as the one above, than spending 5 minutes on looking at event albums. With still photography it can be so easy to just skip through and pay no attention. I usually dont look at images more than 2-3 seconds. With this format I can easily sit down and gaze at the screen and look at all the different details and depth.

I think it is a very interesting business model/idea - and only time will tell if it will catch or not. None of us in the comments can know.

I agree. People glance at most photos, they don't actually look at them. While motion photos are still a novelty and not very wide spread, people will be caught by the movement and it will make them stop to look. However, as this becomes more widespread, people will glance at them and ignore them the same way they do with still photos.

It's kind of cool, and I admire the creativity that goes into them. To me, it seems a whole lot simpler to just capture a series of sequential images and animate them. Maybe not the same thing, but within the technical realm of many photographers.

Ok, so basically its a gif. The future of photography? Not so sure about that

Steve, hello. Thank you for the comment. I like how this topic is sparking quite a bit of debate. I’m not a 100% sure either. But stranger things have happened. Nobody knows what the next 'look' or 'online trend' in Digital Photography is going to be 10 or even 5 years for now. But, I hope we will all be here to find out. (Steve, that last one is not a threat btw :) )

Lukas- don't let the detractors sway you my friend. Many people think this form of art/story telling is beautiful. Best of luck to you. I started doing some recently:

Thanks, Jack. What is interesting about the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is that it has been around for a looooong time. Since 1987. And, their popularity are now soaring again! GIF's have gained a role in popular culture - there is a 'style' to them. Now, why shouldn't there be room for similar kind of experimentation in high-end Digital Photography as well?! What I'm proposing aren't cinemagraphs btw. I'm talking next level, high-quality Motion Photography. And, with's video technology the tools we need are already here.

Considering the shift to mostly digital consumption (even billboards if you live some place modern) I can see this finding it's way into some ad campaigns as long as the resulting images are clearly different than results that can be achieved with video.

Greg, I think you hit the nail on the head there.

This has been done thousands of times, it's way too easy in AE. Here is an example I did recently for a baby shoot (starts at 41 second, the one in second 51 is a new technique I'm trying, a mix of a picture and a video):

Thank you for the comments! I think there is an interesting discussion happening here. The beauty of the whole thing is that nobody knows where Digital Photography is heading 5 or 10 years from now. But, it is up to us - the photographers - to keep bringing our best to the table.

In my case, Motion Photography is what I'm most excited about now. It’s more than a job - it's a pleasure and a hobby. And if I can have a fun time, whilst challenging the status quo, I am right where I want to be.

To me these are filled with nuance that makes us question the image. In confusing the mind with motion versus, slow motion and still images it wakens the senses. We have seen these many times before but I am still very much excited by the art form.


Video played with html5 results in smaller file sizes than a GIF which most sharing platforms won't even let you use if it's over 1mb. 1 second clip full size gif is about 10mb or more. Lowering the size, isolating motion areas, decreasing length , etc taints the overall vision behind the image. Don't spend hours only to destroy your work.

The future of photography is photographers utilizing hybrid media of still + motion & sound. I shifted my entire business in 2009 to one that creates for screens and have not looked back. What blows my mind is the lack of most photographers (and media) to get it. Every photographer has their portfolio on a screen, a screen can display still + motion & sound. Photographers cameras can capture still + motion & sound. Furthermore consumers are all about it, ever hear of Instagram??

Sadly at most photo tradeshows and industry workshops there's little education in the area of hybrid media. Teachers keep on with the same old lessons designed for creating for print media.

We live in an age of screens people!

Photographers that shoot for hobby don't need to change a thing but professionals who only offer 1 service (still photography) are on a sinking ship.

Amen! Thanks for your thoughts, Giulio. Our industry is a cool and exciting place for those photographers who are embracing changing times. For those who aren't - well that's different story. I've also discovered your blog now so that's good.