Here we are at the beginning of a crispy fresh new year, full of new and exciting photography trends to explore! As the visual world continues to expand and evolve, the key to staying relevant is in decoding the style that will define this year's imagery. And that's what you'll discover in our full Photography Trends 2019 Report.
Just like we do every year we have collected the most popular visual trends in stock photography for 2019, identified by visual experts from the top stock photo agencies in the market, to give you insights on what will be hot in photography and graphic design in the months to come.
This year's report brings you a whopping 49 top visual styles, inspirations, and themes in photography to explore or use in social media!
Just like we do every year – check out our Photography Trends 2023 report!
And now, back to today!
Photography Trends 2019
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Our Stock Photo Secrets Shop not only has the best deals in stock photos for small and medium-sized businesses –as you can see in our Stock Photo Secrets Shop Review as well as in our detailed review of the cool 99Club plan— but also the latest and freshest images for your designs. Our team picked up four main trends for 2019that you must know about right now:
Undoubtedly color will play a massive role in 2019. While this has also been true for previous years and it generally is a crucial part of unique stock photography, 2019 may show something different. Pantone’s Living Coral has been named Colour of the Year for 2019, and this is likely to be seen frequently alongside other loud colors.
Vibrant, electric colors are likely to be seen from primary colors as they communicate a strong, clear, eye-catching message of strength and individuality for brands and individuals alike.
Visually, we can expect to see brighter, louder colors being used throughout the year to garner attention from image sensitive users on platforms such as social media, blogs, and marketing communications.
With the rise of newer technologies such as blockchain or artificial intelligence, hi-tech products are hitting the consumer market at a rapid rate. Wearable and domestic technology is also on the rise including products such as Google Glasses, Amazon’s Alexa and smart homes. Our lives are under continuous updates with new technology, and as this happens, we are having to find new ways of living alongside it in every aspect of our lives.
Personal Technology in stock photography means taking a look at the way technology is impacting our lives, as well as how we will develop to coexist with new technologies that may integrate with our lives in a more personalised style in the future.
From a visual perspective, it is about representing an integration of our lives into the technological sphere.
The world is becoming increasingly technology-based, our dependence on that technology rises with it. Cities are expanding, and simultaneously our natural world is being depleted. As these events occur, we feel increasingly distant from the physical and natural world, and our desire to reconnect grows. Organizations have noticed this, and efforts by corporations to partner with environmentally friendly schemes have increased rapidly over the last decade.
Millennials are also becoming more eco-conscious in the way they travel. When considering where to go and the impact it may have on the lives and environment of the chosen destination, they take a more thoughtful and eco-friendly approach when compared to previous generations. Millennials are also more likely to develop a deeper emotional connection with the location they are visiting due to the activities they undertake, which can also bring a more environmentally conscious aspect to nature and the world around us when traveling.
Modern-day consumers expect companies to participate in eco-friendly schemes and be transparent about their activity in this field. Today, a company that invests time and money into partnering with an environmental organisation or project or providing more sustainable, ethically sourced products will gain support from consumers for doing so.
Such perspective represents a shift in consumer ideals and expectations of companies, as well as how they are portrayed in media, both positively and negatively. Natural brands are also taking center-stage in 2019, with the Global Wellness Institute reporting that the fastest-growing portion of the wellness and beauty industry is ‘clean beauty’, i.e. products that are sustainable, ethically sourced and with a transparent production and supply line.
From a visual and photographic perspective, we see corporations supportively engaging with green initiatives, as well as the more negative side of consumerism, specifically the waste that be produced by business activities. We can expect to see images of a raw, close up perspective showcasing the dangers of mindless consumerism, and those that provide a powerful voice to the desire for change.
German stock photo agency Photocase specializes in authentic stock images with that unique touch of Berlin style. You can learn all about their service in our Photocase Review, and make sure to check out our great Photocase Coupon Code for extra savings. These are the trendiest photos for 2019 their team has collected:
Natural Stock Photos
Simple, natural imagery is really important, and that’s not just this year but has been true pretty much always. Real people, feelings and moments, but presented in a real way, distinct from classic stock photo cliches.
We are going to write HUMOUR in all caps this year. Specifically when it comes to everyday themes presented in a funny and creative way. Day-to-day photos with a funny twist will help our clients to stand out from the masses.
2019 will be a tidy year! Clear lines and shapes, fresh colours and a pinch of Zeitgeist. Still-life photographs have always been a hit, but overhead shots or other unique methods will put you in the fast lane in no time.
Shutterstock is one of the most popular stock photo agencies in the industry. You can find out why in our Shutterstock Review, and you must definitely check our special Shutterstock Coupon Code for cool savings. And here we bring you the trends they say will dominate this year:
In the digital age, zine culture lives on in the decentralized mindset of social media, where independent makers can share, and niche groups can discover. Built on principles of collage and primarily influenced by the invention of the photocopier, it’s paper cutouts, noise & grain textures, and rough-edged layers that define this trend.
The ‘80s are back and it’s ready to party with gold chains, animal prints, and attitude. We say forget the good taste, this is about good times. Clashing is the keyword for this trend. Think leopard print and snakeskin, peacock feathers and gold chain belts, soft fur and hard metal textures.
What’s old is new again. This trend is an optimistic redux of early-tech – a focus on what yesterday’s tomorrow looked like. It’s all about the looks and sounds that defined futurism at the dawn of the digital age, like purple, blue, and pink duotone gradients, basic vector graphics, and dreamy synth music.
With conscious consumerism on the rise, a world free of plastic looks more possible than ever before. As the climate changes, so does our attitude towards consumerism.
Now the conversation is about alternatives. Green products made from hemp and bamboo are making headway, while the Three R's – reduce, reuse, recycle – are the inescapable motto of years ahead.
The culture of cuteness was born in Japan, but it's making waves across the world as a welcomed distraction in uncertain times. We're biologically primed to love and cherish the childlike characters of Kawaii style.
Joyous, pastel-coloured vectors and sweet-faced inanimate objects are hallmarks of this positively adorable style. It grabs our attention in a way other cultural artforms cannot, offering a warm reprieve from daily life.
The Indian art of painting and printing on fabric, Kalamkari is a traditional method with stunning results. Natural colours and complex patterns are central to this traditional art form. This hand-done process uses only pure, natural colours, like indigo, mustard, and ivy green to make intricate patterns and motifs. Digital representations mimic the handmade quality through pure colours and natural patterns of flowers and animals.
The Rococo period is known for rich and elaborate art, full of dramatic vintage patterns, leafy gold scrolls, and an overgrowth of florals. Romantic undertones emanate from soft pastels, sensual light and shadow, and elegant curving lines.
Inspired by this distinctly ornamental period, this theatrical trend is all about artful maximalism. It goes beyond the canvas, taking cues from fine art to influence the elegant colors and textures of interior design, intricate lighting and set design in photography and elaborate takes on web design.
Colour never goes out of style and this trend is proof, showing every color of the rainbow in a bright and geometric frame of reference. Dazzling rainbows envelop 3D shapes and seamless patterns. The trend can be buoyant, playful, and supersaturated, or sharp-edged, moody, and neon. Through shining seamless patterns or rippling motion graphics, it showcases multicolor as a powerful design tool.
The repetitive patterns, swirling spirals, and kaleidoscopic illusions of this trend create truly immersive design fit for the digital age. Multifaceted and multicoloured illusions create a trance-like design. These elements are a mainstay of psychedelia, offering a mind-altering experience through surrealism and abstraction. Look for hints of a glitchy new dynamic called datamoshing in this classic style.
Incredible advancements that seemed impossible at the dawn of Y2K are now part of our daily lives. As tech reinvents the world, a new language and symbology are emerging to capture our everyday.
From esports' mass live-gaming events and virtual reality multiverses to consumer-level biometric scanning and the automation revolution, the world of tech is alight with imagination and excitement, and we get to watch it unfold.
Fat and sugar-dusted or round and chocolate-coated, our first-ever typography trend gives the text a seat at the table. These are types you can taste, lifted off the screen through shadow, texture, and sometimes sprinkles. The rise of augmented reality and immersive design has inspired adventurous new depth and dimension in digital typography. With vector-based tactile lettering, this whimsical typography trend shows us how sweet 3D design can be.
Adobe's very own stock photo service Adobe Stock has not only great images and prices but also makes them available right within your favourite design apps in Creative Cloud. Get the full scoop in our Adobe Stock Review, and make sure to check out our Adobe Stock Free Trial to test the service for free. These are the trends they say will rule this year:
As technology increases in our lives and more of our days are spent in the digital realm, we’re feeling increasingly distant from the physical world. This steady shift is leading more people to consciously (or subconsciously) seek balance through nature.
This desire to connect with nature is shaping consumer behaviour, too. Consumers now actively seek natural ingredients in the products they choose. Beyond contents, they are also tuned into how ingredients are sourced and how brands communicate.
Along with this desire for a natural refuge, consumers are also looking for brands to satisfy their spiritual needs. Retailers are responding with spaces that include natural elements for a serene shopping aesthetic. In the visual world, designers are focusing on aspirational images with natural elements and celebrations of physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
We’re no longer waiting for creatives to shape our visual worlds — instead, people are using technology to elevate and share their own unpolished, raw, authentic moments in full, vivid colour. Gen Z and Millennials are leading the charge but all ages are in on it, powered by mobile-first platforms that allow on-the-go content and live streams on social media.
Brands are finding clever ways to harness our desire to create our own images. Tools and communities are emerging to embrace this new creative impulse too. Diversity rules in creative democracy — both in front of the lens and behind it. Visually, creative democracy is all about unstudied images, bright colours, diverse subjects, and video that moves people.
People are ready to have their voices heard. Whether it’s in creative play or fierce political resistance, images of extreme self-expression resonate. Our social feeds are full of marching protesters and impromptu political speeches. Brands are tapping into the energy, borrowing the visual language of protest for shop windows and clothing lines.
Even when there’s no political agenda, the new self-expression is all about inclusive, unapologetic, eye-catching visuals that cut through the noise. The images range from haunting and hypnotizing to shiny and playful. In the visual context, disruptive expression means embracing a wide range of identities, celebrating fearless individuality, and forgoing the light touch in favour of power and intensity.
Consumers, especially Gen Z and millennials, want more from brands than just products — they’re giving their loyalty to companies with stated values and a commitment to transparency. Some brands are taking headline-grabbing action to show their values. Others are helping consumers become more ethically aware themselves.
To keep up with this trend, brands will need to communicate a meaningful, coherent social purpose around big issues, such as social justice and conservation. In the visual realm, this means that stunning, powerful representations of causes and popular issues on a global scale will have a big impact on viewers.
Well-established stock photo agency Depositphotos is renowned for their flexibility in prices and high quality of images and customer service. More details on this can be found in our Depositphotos Review, plus we have an excellent Depositphotos Coupon Code with free images and a great discount! And here are the visual trends their experts picked up for this year:
The Era of Personalization
Brands look to co-create experiences with consumers through UGC and influencer marketing while tailoring visual content to fit not segments of consumers, but to fit and be relevant to individuals. At a time when ad blindness is at an all-time high, personalized content is an opportunity to connect across various channels.
Rejecting “one-size-fits-all” marketing, brands and companies are opting for a closer one-on-one experience and it starts with precision in visual content curation.
To get users to pay attention, visual content on social media has to have an edge. Brave, bold, and sometimes daring choices of visuals are becoming more prominent for this reason. This kind of creative provocation can be achieved through unconventional approaches to photography, art and design.
It's no longer enough to deliver a picture-perfect moment or a flawless design. The key is memorable visuals, and today that means work that gets talked about and circulates the web as a result. Inspire conversation and you'll dig to the essence of what it means to stay relevant as a brand. How far will brands go to embrace this trend and inspire conversation? Creative teams are brainstorming hard on that answer.
Artists, designers, and notable brands follow the footsteps of the past, drawing some of the most prominent and memorable styles, moments, and notable figures from the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s. Such references to specific decades are appealing not only to those that remember the highlights but to those that look to the past with curiosity and a newfound nostalgia.
Fashion often draws inspiration from the past, showing us that it can be done with taste and a new spin. Nostalgic flashbacks are very much about embracing and glorifying the best of both worlds – nostalgic look and feel with a modern spin to establish a style.
Embracing Art History
The search for inspiration doesn't only throw us a few decades back, but sometimes centuries. Classical art is echoed in the works of contemporary artists around the world. It's another technique that is about finding inspiration and interpreting it in a more personal way.
We're seeing photographers make clear references, advertising that occasionally takes the same route and even Instagram accounts that use classical paintings to add a modern twist to them (sometimes with a touch of irony and humor).
First Global Aesthetic
We are experiencing the surging of a first, truly global aesthetic – luxury minimalism that prioritizes authenticity and rawness. This global aesthetic is heavily influenced by social media, spreading a homogenous design trend that is starting to shape interiors and still-life in the places we eat, drink, and pass the time.
It's scary to think that social media has a hand in shaping the physical world, but it's true, and it's not only seen in interior design choices. Places around the world are starting to look the same.
The specifics of this trend is a very refined, sleek, and clean aesthetic. This polished look that features raw, original materials is spreading on social media like wildfire and quickly taking over the world with the sophisticated take on lifestyle imagery.
Adding Layers of Interaction
The talk of 2018 was video and animation, with tools like Crello offering templates to make the most of the popular medium. The forecast for next year is an extension of this – new ways for us to interact with content. It's also true for web design, where interactive elements are being added to get people to engage with visual content.
The interactive element engages visitors and illustrates that people too can be part of the design. Giving people the opportunity to engage with content guarantees they remember your brand, product, or cause.
3D Design Transition
More designers are acquiring new tools and mastering new skills to deliver three-dimensional elements to their work. Adding this kind of depth to designs creates immediate visual interest and challenges the static of graphic design the way we know it.
Facebook surprised everyone with the rollout of 3D photos this year. There are many implications to the new feature, especially in application to graphic design and sharing your work on social media.
Website designs are quickly catching on to try the next big thing in graphic design. Even our own stock photographers are experimenting with 3D design, showing us elaborate works of art that will ultimately be the first place creatives looking to experiment.
Minimalism Gets Philosophical
If we look to the one trend that has never died out but gained momentum, it's minimalism. However, the forecast for the coming year is deeper conceptual minimalism not only in web and app design but product design and photography as well.
Minimalism becomes philosophical in the sense that viewers are forced to stop and think, to reflect and reach conclusions about shots that are stripped of the grandiose. A minimalistic image does not equal boring, on the contrary, adding new and unexpected elements into the composition shows that minimalism is anything but that.
New Wave of Environmental Awareness
Brands are starting to take a stance on important topics, and more so than ever, environmental matters are at the top of the list of concerns around the world, making it a place of investment, and we're seeing more visuals that reveal the true state of the world we live in.
These images take center stage in news feeds because it's time we all decide to take a stance on global concerns. Studies are starting to show that consumers would rather get behind brands based on the causes they support which is something to consider for every business.
Well-known stock photo agency Dreamstime offers great deals in professional stock photos and has a long history in the industry. You can read more about it in our Dreamstime Review. And today they share with us the top trends in photography they believe will rise this year:
Communication technology, the internet and connectivity concepts continue to play a big part in our world and grow with the technology itself. Elon Musk plans to connect us all through satellites in space, so stock photography will be ready to deliver a visual concept of this dream.
Artificial intelligence is still in its incipient phase, but rapidly evolving. No matter how many fields it will conquer next year, it has infinite photographic possibilities. From abstract illustrations to elaborate compositions, from AI-driven robots to autonomous cars, artificial intelligence is slowly becoming a staple subject in the stock photography industry.
Talks and conferences hosted by top professionals have always been an important part of many different industries. It’s not a surprise to see this kind of imagery still has a stronghold in the top trends. TED talks anyone?
Entrepreneurship is becoming less of a career and more of a trendy lifestyle. They say when you can’t find a job, go and create it. Anything startup is hot this year, so we’re expecting a lot of demand for imagery on this subject.
Protests and Activism
The world goes through some fast changes and the ideology clashes we’ve seen this past year will intensify in 2019. We need to be ready to illustrate more protests, more political and social demands, activism, and better rights advocacy. Empowered by social media, we are more vocal than ever before.
If 2018 was the year of simplicity, 2019will see the opposite. In a designer’s world of “less is more”, 2019 will turn its cheek to simplicity in design and return focus to complexity. To stand out, we expect to see designers and marketers begin to implement 3D elements into materials.
You know life is not all business when you look at family images. As the base of our society, the family will never be out of fashion. What will change is the diverse representation we see in families. We can expect to see more of this theme in stock photos next year.
Nature and Animals
Cities are the hustle and bustle in our lives, but most people want to escape to nature as often as they can, and they usually bring their furry babies with them. Expect to see more images of nature with man’s best friends in the next year. Who doesn’t love a good dog picture?
The last few years have become pivotal towards a large-scale change in the way people see the planet, in the way we use its resources, in the way we recycle, reuse and repurpose. We can see this trend translating into great stock photo concepts that will inspire people to do more for the planet. Plastic has become public enemy number one and the global crusade against it needs to be sustained.
Pantone chose living coral as the color of the year 2019, also in touch with the general trend of environmental awareness. Warming of the oceans kills coral and with it, marine life unbalancing the ecosystem further. Concept images surrounding this color and its significance should be right on-trend.
123RF is a known name in stock photography, as the agency has many years in business and a very good reputation and service. Know more about them in our 123RF review, and don't miss our 123RF Coupon for extra benefits. For this year, the company predicts the main trends in photography will be the following:
Drone Photography – A taste for the high life
Bright and Bold Colours
Street Photography – Real Emotions
Bridging the Gender Divide
Vertical Photography – Mobile is Worthwhile
Landscape Photography – The Great Outdoors
Film photography – Film is certainly not dead
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Most recent Photography Trends 2023 report!
Wow your Audience with Trendy Photos in 2019
And those are the major Photography Trends you need to know in 2019 if you wish to stay at top of your visual game and have your audience loving every design you create.
At any of the above-listed agencies, you will find large pools of freshly created photos and illustrations crafted according to these hot topics and styles.
Which trends are you embracing first? Let us know!
Great article, full of wonderful and relevant information.