Latest Update: Our newest Photography Trends 2020 Report is out! Newer Update: We have a new Photography Trends 2019 report live! New Update: Check out our Photography Trends 2018 Report here! Update: If you want to know what's trending in photos for 2017, read our new Photography Trends 2017 report, including BONUS Best Selling Images for 2016! You will discover the top 30 photography trends from 10 major stock photo agencies, and in addition, you will learn what were the top 3 selling images in 2016 in all of those outlets. This is the perfect way to know where the photo market is at for this year, and what images you should use (or shoot!) to stay at top of your game in 2017. Don't miss it!
Last year, we have asked image agencies for their take on the upcoming photography trends for 2014, and many of the 50 stock photo trends we published were spot on. 2015, we are going even further: 16 agencies replied to our request for their trends in photography, so we are presenting the top 80 photography trends 2015 and of course shooting ideas for photographers. Among them, the return from Instagram like processed images to more natural light, enhanced with soft light and flares, the return to film and its rich shadows, and the megatrends of mature and senior adults becoming an important clientele will influence how big companies will use imagery to bring across their messages. We expect some of these current photography trends to last well into the next years, they seem more sustainable than the short-lived styles influenced by the rise of mobile photography apps we have seen in recent years. So you might be well advised to learn from the agencies and their big clients for your own needs and find an image language that supports selling your products and easily convey the messages to your readers and customers.
Dive into our massive list of 80 stock photography trends 2015, which we gathered and compiled from 16 stock photo agencies worldwide
You can either scroll down to go through all the photography trends or click on the certain agency logo to directly jump to these agencies.
Shutterstock Review / 10% Off Coupon Code Shutterstock has distilled their insights from searches on Shutterstock by designers, art directors, marketers, and advertisers to reflect trends to come. The overarching theme: it’s getting harder to visually stand out, so brands are willing to be bolder with imagery. They have seen this in the growing demand for “unique perspectives,” a way for creative professionals to reposition familiar objects, and for double exposure images. Here are their photography trends in a nutshell.
1. Double Exposure
The rise of double exposure in design continues the trend of analog art and photography techniques (like lens flare and collage) resurfacing in digital imagery.
2. Unique Perspective
Views from below, from above, and from varied points of view have been on the rise in the creative industry for the past 12 months, as professionals look for more innovative ways to reposition familiar objects. The “top-down” view is commonly used in food photography, in product shots, and to tell stories from the perspective of the maker.
3. Soft Light
This gentle lighting style generally makes images look paler and more natural. It also looks authentic, often drawing on outdoor and natural light to add softness to a photo.
Macro is a style that’s consistently popular on social media — it’s something that’s not seen every day, so it really stands out and pulls you in. This visual style can bring a lot of texture, depth, and color to an image, playing with detail, and making common images seem suddenly unfamiliar.
Blurred images make great backgrounds, adding color and texture to a design without distracting from the focal point. Both bokeh and deep focus can be used to bring a blurred aesthetic to photography.
iStock Review / 20% Off Promo Codes iStock's trends expert, Rebecca Swift outlines the key visual trends shaping design in 2015, based upon the research and insights by the global iStock creative research team. From sensory immersion to super still, these are the gems that will be calling the creative shots in 2015:
6. Dynamic Woman
7. Point Of View
The love affair with our own point of view isn’t over. Thanks to technology, it’s just getting more intimate. Now we take photos from ski masks, surfboards and the collars of our four-legged friends. The visual stories of 2015 bring us unexpected perspectives, up close and personal.
8. Sensory Immersion
Bring on pixels you can taste, touch, and smell — never mind the screen. 2015 is all about embracing experience in vivid, immersive imagery. Try macro images that heighten awareness, creating a sensory wonderland.
9. Super Still Life
Inanimate objects are taking over the small screen. And not in any ordinary way. 2015 is about the artistry of still life — the interesting angle, the exquisite arrangement, even capturing the intricate handmade object — resulting in big, dynamic images for small screens.
10. Monochromatic Color
Technology’s moving so fast, we sometimes get nostalgic for the old days. Images are feeling the tug, harkening back to the look of the rich film and monochromatic color. Think bright whites and strong blacks, a modern take on Kodak Porta color negative film.
Fotolia Review / 3 Fee Credits via our Promo Code Fotolia condensed the visual trends they expect to see emerge and take visual and creative precedence in 2015. Spontaneity and realism are the hero words that capture the essence and subject matter of each of their five choices.
11. The World Is One Big City
For most of us now, the world, despite its vast expanse, is becoming smaller than ever, the ease of low-cost flying and transcontinental business partnerships mean that more of us are able to see more of it than ever before. Localized images are therefore extremely important. As we all know, images of big cities and famous landmarks are fantastic sellers but where there is a need is for images representing small towns, villages, local landmarks in lesser-known areas as well as locals going about their daily business. When it comes to shooting big cities the more impressive, the better. Go for scale and detail. Highlight the beauty, uniqueness, and intricacies.
12. Age Shows No Barrier
Age really is just a number and images highlighting people of different ages participating in activities that don’t fall under the realm of their usual stereotyped definitions will no doubt become more popular. A variety of different aged people (particularly in groups) is also important to consider when choosing your subjects and capturing them as naturally and realistically as possible. Remember that as the population as a whole gets older due to a longer life span companies are increasingly targeting them. ‘Tweens’, typically considered being those that are no longer children and yet not yet teenagers (between 10 to 12 years old), are also a demographic that is highly recommended to include in your images particularly in terms of the consumer market.
13. Off The Beaten Track
Leave the map at home and explore! Go wild, scenes of natural beauty whether that is landscapes, weather fronts or wildlife are increasingly popular. There is nature all around you whether it’s on your doorstep in suburban settings or in exotic, far-away lands. A holiday safari, mountain trekking or simply just a walk in your local park there is natural beauty to be enjoyed and photographed!
14. Family Matters
The make-up of families has transformed over recent years; we live in a day and age now where anything other than a 2.4 children family is no longer considered unfamiliar territory or a rarity. Children growing up with two fathers, two mothers, stay at home Dad, working mothers, parents of different age ranges, with their grandparents or with siblings with different ethnic backgrounds. These are all regular familial set-ups that are reflected in today’s society and as a result, need to be represented in the type of imagery we offer.
15. Smartphone Photography
The Fotolia Instant Collection has become an increasingly popular ‘genre’ in our stock photography portfolio. Rather than limiting creativity and artistry, having a smartphone on you at all times only enhances inspired photos opportunities captured at spontaneous moments. Aesthetically the Instant Collection encapsulates the character of smartphone imagery; raw, authentic, genuine moments captured in available light using real people (not models) with none, or limited post-production. Released first on iOS and more recently on Android, the app allows anyone to become professional photographers from the palm of their own hands allowing them to reap the same financial rewards as traditional Fotolia Contributors in terms of standard licensing. All images are also non-exclusive highlighting how intent we are at promoting mobile photography.
IngImage Review / 7-Day Free Downloads Every two weeks the Ingimage content scouts assemble a mini-gallery of the 50 most exciting new additions to our collection. This is principally to keep our subscribers in the know, but the process also gives us a great measure of the gradual shifts in style from our photographers. For the most part, we are predicting 2015 will see current trends evolve and develop into a range of more specific niches… rather than a radical change of thinking.
16. Aerial View
In a similar vein to ‘flat' illustration, aerial photography has the effect of transforming a scene into something diagrammatic and with generous copy space. We expect this viewpoint to be applied to more and more photographic subjects this year.
17. Candid-style Snaps
Consumers are responding to authenticity in branding and marketing. To this end, professionals are emulating the spontaneity and character of candid snaps taken by everyday people.
Right across the Arts, from crime dramas to architecture, the world is looking towards Scandinavia. We don't think stock photography will be an exception.
19. Vintage Travel
The vintage aesthetic still isn't going anywhere. Taking note of the runaway success of Wes Andersson's ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel' we expect aspirational travel-based vintage photos to thrive in 2015.
In extreme contrast to the predominant muted filters of the hipster/retro-look, this year we expect to see a renaissance of high impact vibrant imagery gradually creeping in. Pro tip: To spot new trends in photography – fashion shoots are a great place to look, often leading the way.
Depositphotos Review / 5 Free Credits + 15% Off here Depositphotos believe that 2015 photo trends will reflect our tendency to simple and dynamic life. These features only seem to contradict, in fact, they are the two sides of the same coin: as our life's tempo grows we naturally tend to get rid of excessive things, ideas and visuals. They aspire for elegant and laconic design, lifestyle, and photos. Out-of-the-box solutions also gonna be trendy as well as everything that makes us catch a break, evoke surprise and delight! They welcome such tendencies and mark out some new trends that will single out this year
We keep on worshiping a healthy and organic life. In 2014 youth stepped aside for experience, and 2015 keeps this tendency in photos and lifestyle.
22. Perspective & Geometry
Get hypnotized by rhythmic lines and curves, whether it's natural or artificial engineer construction.
23. Still Life
Hard to avoid the temptation to incarnate your vision of an ideal life in a still life. Give yourself a treat!
Leadership and creative thinking – that's all we appreciate!
25. Boundless World
The fewer places on the Earth remain unexplored, the more we struggle to keep our idea about it as a mysterious and endless place. All sciences are nothing comparing to its grandeur!
Photocase Review / Coupon Code for 5 Free Image + 10% Discount Photocase say they understand predicting trends not just as a magical look into a crystal ball. They gather their trends knowledge by talking constantly to our photographers and costumers. It's getting more and more clear that the big thing is and will be: authenticity.
26. Epic Nature
Tourism is booming. And with that comes the need for epic shots of beautiful landscape.
27. Authentic People
Fake, posed portrait photographs are no longer relevant. People are shown in natural light, real compositions and with all their personality is the way to go.
28. Socially Relevant
Social topics are more than before relevant these days. Costumers need meaningful and creative photos to illustrate real-world problems.
29. Storytelling With Details
Little snapshots from everyday life are giving visual storytelling a new extension and scope of interpretation.
30. Creative Typography
The typography trend forms the last years will continue and inspire photographers to get new ideas and explore new possibilities using typography in their pictures.
The past year saw a sway towards real people doing real things in real environments and the popularity continues into 2015 where we revisit existing stock photography trends with a fresh perspective and a sprinkle of authenticity. Creativity is also pushed to the limits; in fact, the execution of each shot is meeting a higher standard while retaining interesting elements. 123RF sees the trend going towards more dynamic concepts with the inevitable emphasis on Genuity.
31. Conceptual Business Infographics
Content is still king in 2015, but the delivery has changed a little with infographics becoming somewhat conceptual and creative, not just a simple flow chart or a diagram to get the message across.
32. People In Nature
We see people doing things all the time, but not so much indoors anymore. Say goodbye to studio shots with overexposed lights and forced smiles, it's time to ring in the outside world and the real beauty it has to offer.
33. Close Up Perspectives
Thank the advancement in camera technology for letting us take photos anytime anywhere. Selfies have also evolved from posed, “kissy” takes to more close-up perspectives of living in the here and now. Be ready for the documentation of life through photos and adding some context to them, much like visual storytelling.
34. Merging Mediums
Photos depicting more than just a straight-cut visual, it contains a deeper meaning that becomes almost philosophical. It's these shots that often get a second look and jaw-droppingly so.
35. Soft Color Tones
With marsala being the Pantone color of the year, a trend continues towards “earthiness” that exudes a warm embrace. This also applies to monochromatic images with a subtle touch of soft hues, like a kiss of sunshine on a blooming bud.
Stocksy Review / Save 10% using coupon code: STOCKPHOTOPRESS Stocksy’s take on 2015 photography trends is that we’re seeing more subtlety and nuance compared to the big shifts of 2013/2014. Shadows and light sources are more sophisticated, while dedicated shooters are returning to their roots in the richness and depth of the film. Meanwhile, skilled conceptual thinkers continue to add imagination and wit to still life.
36. Artistic Light And Shadow
Light sources and their shadows cast unique patterns, reveal textures, and play on geometric shapes.
37. Artistic Still Life
Artistic perspectives and use of geometry also carry over to still life, where photographers are using vibrant colors to bring abstract concepts and inanimate objects to life.
38. Gray Hair
Silver-haired models in 2015 break conventional norms of stereotypes of a more dynamic idea of beauty.
39. Informal Foods
Food in 2015 is about small, easy to share portions you can share with friends.
40. The Return Of Film
In an exploration of the photographic art and craft, the film makes its return, with a refined eye for depth in pastels.
Pixtastock Review / Trends for stock photos are changing year by year. It is true that images with simple composition and white background are still in demand. However, images that capture more realism in life (such as capturing a special moment or story) are becoming very popular. Here is PIXTA trends for 2015:
41. Unwashed Vegetables
42. Bright Future
Young people and elderly folks feel anxious about their futures. Images that preview a bright future will resolve their anxiety and will be used in a variety of industries such as banking, education and medical.
43. A Moment Of Joy
44. Luxury Senior Model's Hobby
45. Male Beauty
Panthermedia Review, Generally speaking, the design in 2015 will continue to focus on simplicity, usability, and a clean structure (flat design, squares, large copy space). The internet is driven by its development in mobile technology, hence we identify following photography topics to stand out from the crowd.
46. Generation Y
The target group is now becoming very attractive and will be increasingly addressed via all channels, e.g. social media, apps, streaming platforms. Images have to reflect the „hipster“ style.
Still on the rise is the need for more authentic images, increasingly shot with mobile phone cameras. Generation Y is consuming a lot of Instagram photos and this trend influences commercial photography.
48. The Internet Of Things
We will see more business models coming up that are connecting different machines. One of the most prominent examples is smartwatches or smart homes.
Smart home, for example, is focused on simplifying your life, but also to reduce and optimize the energy and costs one puts into his or her home. As a matter of fact, this development is affecting all parts of our lives.
It is not a trend anymore, but in 2015 infographics will also be very useful when it comes to illustrating complex business, projects or situations.
Photospin Review / Coupon Code – 1 additional Month free “Each year we ask our artists to push themselves, not to follow the pack but lead and be the exception, not the rule. This year we are asking our artists ‘To Keep it Real’ for real people in real situations. To show life as it really happens.” said Val Gelineau, CEO PhotoSpin, Inc.
51. Diversity In And Out Of The Home
Global- we like to think the world revolves around America but there is a big world out there. Marketing professionals need images that are not just stereotypes of what we think they should be, but real people in real situations doing regular things around the world.
52. Creative Work Places
Business stock images as we know them are not how many people are working today. We want our artists to try to capture real offices with real people, either at home or in the office. With technology, you can be anywhere. I’m writing this while sitting in my living room.
53. Authentic “Real” People
As the saying goes ‘if you do not ask you will not know’. So if you see a great situation and you want to photograph it ‘ask’ and get a release. You may get a great image and a new group of models for future projects.
54. International Families
Family, business, lifestyle, food, and locations are always needed. According to the Bloomberg report, the top 5 most innovative countries are South Korea, Japan, Germany, Finland, and Israel. We need images to reflect this trend
55. Altered States
Using the above, ‘keep it real’ create a concept, change reality into fantasy, let your imagination go. Clients are always looking to use an image to tell a story. Be bold. Think in terms of conceptual images. Don’t be afraid to try.
Peopleimages Review For the last five years, Peopleimages.com collection has been the world's top-selling, and there's a reason for that. Simply put, we love what we do, and our ambition is to never settle for mediocrity. “I believe 2015 will be the year of change. We will begin to see images that will change the way we look at stock photography. 2015 is going to be an exciting year and I look forward to seeing what it has installed”, said Yuri Arcurs.
56. The Death Of The Hipster
At the beginning of 2014, the searches for “hipster” saw an all-time high. However, the interest died down after a few months partly due to people just getting tired of the recognizable hipster style. The style was also mocked in the media and Hollywood movies. I think that “hipster” is being replaced by a more sophisticated style that looks a bit more professional while still keeping it casual.
57. The Birth Of The Reversed Selfie
Instead of taking a selfie there is a trend of rather turning the focus onto how we perceive the world. It becomes even more intimate than the selfie as it portrays you and what you see. The public readiness for such images is being matured through the same perspective in GoPro videos and even computer gaming. By GoPro, we are of course referring to the type of images where the camera is attached to your body and basically “sees” what you see.
58. From Filters To Flare
This year we'll see a reduction in the interest of over-processing filters ala Instagram. Instead, we will see a steady rise in images using techniques that produce a more natural, non-disruptive effect. Images with flare and copy space typically make for an easy read and sell well whilst still looking interesting, but not looking Instagram-like.
59. A Shift Of Perspective – Entry Of The Drone
There are few images taken between 10 meters above ground and up to whatever flyby limit or low pass limit is applicable (which is normally quite high). Because taking images from this perspective would require a plane or crane, these images are few in numbers in the stock industry. With the introduction of drones, which is basically a flying GoPro, we open up for an overhead perspective without the use of helicopters, trucks, or cranes. I believe the use of drones in photography will facilitate the demand for images from this perspective.
60. Sexy And Eye-Catching Images On The Rise
We have seen a huge rise in sales of “sexy” type images of men and women. In comparison to previous years, the sexy images trending in 2015 are more direct than previous years and represent what we formerly may have considered too sexy for standard advertising. I believe the reasons behind increased sales of more graphic or blunt sexiness is based on an increase in general public exposure through reality series such as Jersey shores, Geordie shores, etc. We are becoming accustomed to “sexy” much faster than we may realize and this is certainly evident when taking a look at the kind of selfies we see on Instagram, which could just as well change their domain name to endlessselfies.com. The continuative habituation of sexual content is definitely contributing to the image industry by turning the sexiness up a notch in order to keep people interested and get noticed.
500px Review use coupon code PRIMETIME20 to get 20% Off (expires May 1st) .At 500px Prime we’re embracing diversity, preparing for a connected tech explosion, and making sure our photos don’t look like the posed and cheesy stock imagery of yesteryear. In 2015, stock photography gets real.
61. Photography That Rejects Stereotypes
If the excitement surrounding 500px Prime’s recent partnership with the for-women-by-women stock photo agency Shestock is any indication, people are ready to say goodbye and good riddance to a traditional stock photography stereotype. Make sure your photos represent the diverse reality we live in.
62. Epic Landscape With Small People To Provide A Sense Of Scale
Beautiful landscapes aren’t enough anymore; one of the fastest-growing trends in the epic landscape complete with a small figure to help provide a sense of scale. These images allow the viewers to put themselves inside the scene and convey a sense of adventure that’s missing in traditional landscape photos.
63. Photos that Don’t Look Like Stock
Cheesy, posed, obvious stock photography is out and very far out. Candid lifestyle shots that feel and look really are in.
64. The Interaction Of Tech And Real Life
As tech integrates further and further into our lives, stock photography will have to keep pace with this trend. Be ready for the exponential growth of wearables of all types, smart home tech, personal 3D printing, and more.
65. Overhead Food Shots
The overhead food shot is still very hot, but it has to be done right. Geometrically beautiful images like the work of Dina Belenko are a great example of overhead food photos that will stand out and sell like hotcakes, pun intended.
“Be Natural. Be Real”
Visual taste of the audience is becoming more selective year by year. Everyday people see a lot of professional content from ads, magazines, social networks, etc. People became pickier with a higher level of perception. Contributors have to improve the artistic and technical level of the photographs. Content buyers’ requests have significantly changed while there are mostly still the same “Stock” images everywhere. Images are supposed to be more natural, meaningful, and casual so that other people could “believe” them.
66. Daily Life
People want to see professionally shot images of daily life: routine, hobby, nutrition, sports, etc. Anything natural, emotional, highly close to reality.
67. View From Above
New perspectives on the same topics including kids, business, family, etc. Quadrocopter shootings help to get a fresh vision at usual things.
68. Color Blending
Color blending, filter imitation, and retro-style stay popular thanks to Instagram and other mobile applications for image editing.
69. Small Business
Photostories about small businesses and their real owners inspire people to start their own businesses. Companies, which help to start their own business, are in great need of images with successful samples.
70. Mobile Application Development
Mobile application development, start-up teams, and social network themes stay popular as well.
Dreamstime Review / 3 Free Credits via this Coupon Code We've put together this year's trends in photography, but what defines them best is a simple word: sharing. Follow our tips and you will see why:
71. 4k Ultra Video And Photography
4K Ultra HD video & photography becomes more widespread and commercially available. 2015 is the year of 4k. With so many affordable 4k cameras from all the major manufacturers in the industry (Blackmagic, Leica, Panasonic, Sony, Gopro) and with the recent price drop of Canon’s 1C, we can predict a huge amount of Ultra HD videos to be uploaded this year. The trend has become noticeable since the last trimester of 2014 and it will simply explode if Canon launches the 5D Mk IV by the end of 2015.
72. Mobile News – Real-Time News
You already see that much breaking news is covered first time by footage or photos taken by eyewitnesses using their mobile phones. News has also started to be all over on social media – and this will probably create channels that will overcome traditional news agencies.
73. Healthy Lifestyle
74. Protest And Global Tension
Unfortunately, the protests and global tensions will become more popular, following an already increasing trend in the last years. We will become more familiar with words like terrorism, protest, violence, and war.
75. Fifa Woman's World Cup Tournament
FIFA Women’s World Cup, starting this summer in Canada, will bring together 24 teams in 52 matches. We expect this will attract a lot of attention for women soccer players, cheering fans, vector elements of competing teams, and, of course, stunning views of Canada’s cities.
Alamy Review The photography trends for 2015 reflect the way things are changing in society. From how we eat, to what we do for fun and when and where we travel, everything is set for a shakeup in 2015 and that will result in some great opportunities for photographers.
Perhaps the biggest buzz trends for 2015 are around technology. Of course, we’ve had the “wearable tech” trope chucked at us throughout the whole of 2014 but in 2015, with the imminent arrival of the Apple Watch, we may see this finally take off. Aside from wristbands, there’ll be an increase in technology ridden clothing like T-shirts that can monitor our heartbeat – and you really need to be up on IoT (the Internet of Things): smart technology shoehorned into everything around us from washing machines to plant pots. New technology will provide huge stock photo opportunities.
Food is always a popular subject for stock photography but this year small is going to be big, small plates that are. Apparently, we’ll see a continuation of the meal of the small plates with a particular surge in Persian cuisine. Fermented food is also on the rise and will be popular along with increased use of cauliflower as the go-to ingredient for carb-dodgers. Sherry is also on the up, apparently due to the growing popularity of Spanish tapas restaurants.
All the hours spent in front of a screen urge our generation to seek something interactive in our visual surroundings. Images that recall a smell, a touch, or simply challenge the way we perceive color, are top of the table. Transform the act of looking, into an experience of feeling. It’s predicted that we’ll see a lot more of the dusk and pastel colors this year. In addition, you can expect to find warmer tones such as peach, wine, earth, and jungle green coming up. Having a defined color pallet can be the golden key for your photos to be noticed… or sensed.
All images provided and © by certain stock agencies