Rewilding: A New Visual Trend for the Love of Nature

By Jonathon - 5 min read

Photo editor Jonny delves into a visual trend that's rooted in the desire to help plants and animals thrive in their natural environment.

The term ‘rewilding’ made its way into photography from an unusual origin: conservation biology. There, it describes the efforts to roll back human interference with nature. The idea is to give ecosystems more room, so that the plants and animals in it can thrive.

Lately, we can see the term popping up in a new context: It’s being discussed in lifestyle forums and Instagram posts–there’s evena TED talkabout it. Rewilding has been reinterpreted to mean that humans themselves should get closer to nature—or human nature, as some argue.

The idea is actually rather simple: Our modern lives have isolated us from the nature surrounding us. Contemporary city-dwellers are encompassed not by trees and fresh air, but by concrete and exhaust fumes. Spending our days hunched over laptop computers and eating unhealthy food is the norm—and something that ruins both our health and our attention spans, adherents to rewilding believe.

“Photos of this movement are all about the outdoors.”

They advocate spending more time outside of cities, being active, and turning off some of the technology we’re exposed to every day. Photos of the movement are all about the outdoors: Camping trips into the wild, blurring the lines between humans and nature, and showing wilderness from a first-person perspective.

Photography is often aspirational: We see things in photos and then want to explore them ourselves, whether that’s following a certain lifestyle or traveling to an attractive destination. Rewilding is another spin on the aspirational return-to-nature movement that’s been gripping Western societies for the past years. But while the underpinnings from biology could be make-believe, shooting this trend could still benefit your health—if only by getting some time in nature and off the grid.

Header image byJason Rogers.