What are the stock photography trends for 2020? Good question. Stock photography is getting bigger and bigger every year.
There is a growing community of photographer sharing their images for free. So staying up with the stock photography trends is a good way to stand out.
Sites like Unsplash host images on some of the world’s biggest stages. From Apple keynotes to default themes shipped with WordPress.
Colleagues of mine have said they gained clients through free stock sites like Unsplash. And that’s because their pages get millions of views per year.
Now let’s look at the stock photography trends for 2020.
11. Healthy Food Alternatives
Healthy food alternatives have grown in popularity across the board. From ‘clean cocktails’ to swapping fries for green beans.
As Pinterest is visual SEO, this trend shows that we are likely to see a spike in demand for photos of healthy food alternatives.
So what will be the most in-demand stock photography for the food category? Photos that show healthy alternatives to staple food items.
That’s swapping green beans for fries. Slow food delivered fast. Air frying instead of deep frying. Sugar and alcohol-free cocktails.
Eating healthy is always on trend. It comes down to creating images that can show how people can take their much-loved food and turn them into healthier versions.
10. Home Office
The rise of soloprenuers and girl bosses have seen creatives being able to turn to digital products to make a living. From ebooks to digital courses and online coaching.
Creatives are always looking for images to help them tell a brand story. And part of that story is illustrating the flexibility of working from home.
Flatlays and styled home offices will be a huge hit. Both for website imagery but also to share on social media.
This includes admin or office flatlays with tablets and smartphones. Ensure that buyers of stock photography can insert their personalised branding.
White and pastels will continue to trend here. They are the most adaptable to brand colours and text requirements.
Sources have also quoted that millennials are also buying more houseplants. So be sure to include some cute succulent in your styling.
9. Moving Images
Moving images are not just something you see in a Harry Potter movie. Apple now has ‘live’ photos that can be taken with your iPhone.
And we all know how popular social media apps like Instagram have made boomerangs.
But more recently, I have started to see moving images, stop motion or GIFs popping up in Pinterest searches. They are also becoming more popular among stock photography galleries.
Usually involving a living subject like people and animals.
8. Drone Photography
Drone photography will continue to be a photography trend in 2020. Social media can’t get enough of it.
Landscapes that were inaccessible before are now at the top of the stock photography trend. Images that have strong leading lines will continue to be in demand for stock photography.
Images that capture relaxing scenes like beaches, snow-capped trees and fields of flowers will be the most popular.
With the global discussion about plastic and the impact it is having on our environment, we will see an increase in imagery to match.
It will mean a huge shift for consumers, companies, and governments. There will be an increased demand in how we can take interesting compositions of drone photography to shed light on the state of our planet.
In 2018, we saw a lot of comebacks from the 70s and 80s in products and images to match. With oranges and greens as the leading colours, we saw patterns and hard light combining to produce a modern spin.
The trick here will be to recreate the feeling of retro whilst still capturing modern society.
From food to home decor and fashion hard light and bold colours will continue to trend in 2020. Which brings me to the next stock photography trend.
6. Color Gels
To complement the need for that little touch of retro, we will see colored gels continue to trend in 2020. Again pairing with hard light to create a color story.
These are aimed more at social media and advertising campaigns. It’s unlikely the small business and personal client base will be after this type of stock photography.
But edgy companies like Squarespace continue to use imagery in line with this.
5. Stories of Authentic Living
Predictions for where the world’s most popular app, Instagram, will take us in 2020 was towards authentic living.
Before there was a huge interest in images depicting unrealistic scenes. It saw many accounts growing hundreds of thousands to millions of followers.
But the community is shifting from unrealistic to authentic.
Along with it will be imagery that depicts authentic living and ‘real talk’.
The stock photography trend here will be to capture every day in a beautiful way.
Engagement on these channels and with companies will depend on this. Engagement in 2020 will be able storytelling. Stories of authentic living.
4. Simple Flatlays
Continuing on from the where we will see the hottest social app taking us in 2020, we will also see a shift in the popular flatlay images.
Tying in with authentic living, flatlays will still be popular, but there will be an increasing need for simple flatlays.
Focusing on less is more and everyday items. Highly stylistic flatlays will always be eye-catching and appeal to a certain crowd. To appeal to the masses, simple flatlays will be more adaptable for the buyer.
Allowing them to add their own touches to the images before they shared in many forms.
3. Cultural Diversity
A category that will continue to be a stock photography trend in 2020.
From diversity and blended families to images that depict gender equality. In 2018, there was a popular theme of images occurring in stock photography of ‘strong women’.
You can expect that trend to continue with the current discussion of gender quality and discrimination across all media in the media.
Take a moment to watch commercials. You’ll notice about every form of advertising imagery shows people who could fit into many racial categories. Images here should be of an inclusive natural.
2. Negative Space
A stock photography trend that will never get old. Negative space will only see increased demand in stock photography.
The ability to be able to adjust an image for text requirements is always something that buyers are looking for. Having images in your stock portfolio that have negative space located in different areas is key.
It’s worth checking out the layout of a magazine or website to see how space for text is being used.
When in doubt, you can’t go past the top left part of an image. Thinking about how we read, from top to bottom and left to right.
But negative space can be more than just for text requirements. In a noisy world where we are bombarded with messages, there might be a call for some imagery to provide a sense of calm.
I use the Calm App and the imagery they use inside is mostly of landscapes with vast feelings of emptiness. An inviting feeling when we are bombarded with messages constantly on our phones.
1. Stylistic Editing for Lifestyle
We know that VSCO reintroduced the feeling of film with their Lightroom presets. Which made stylistic editing more popular to the photography community.
Giving every day or hobbyist photographers access to providing style to their images.
We will continue to see lifestyle images with a filmic or matte look being popular for websites, blog posts, and anywhere where stories are shared.
Most website themes for WordPress come with stock photos. The more niche themes have with images that have these feelings.
One thing that doesn’t go out of style for stock photography is good quality photos that tell stories. Connecting to what is most important to us.
Buyers are always on the lookout for quality work that is unique. So it doesn’t hurt to add some of your style into the images that you shoot for stock photography.