There are multiple businesses and brands that benefit from using photos of senior people in their communications and marketing efforts. As with every other photography subject, senior images evolve with time –and with generations–, and it’s important to identify and understand what sells today in senior stock photos.
Today you’ll learn what images to avoid, what pictures to look for, and where to find the best photos of senior people for your designs.
Here we go!
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Why Include Baby Boomers in your Visual Strategy
We all enjoy a good “okay, boomer” meme poking fun at this generation’s perceived disdain for the ones that succeed it —hello, Millennials! But when it comes to marketing visuals, do we really understand the relevance of baby boomers in society, and in the consumer market in particular?
Baby boomers represent a segment of 76 million people whose collective identity was marked by their rejection of old traditions and embracing of at-the-time new values. Yes, despite their stereotypical hatred for Millennials and their social-media-absorbed mindsets, baby boomers were actually innovative and disruptive socially, in more than one way.
What’s even more important to know now —as this article by Danschawbell.com details— is that they currently represent 44% of the U.S. population, and control 70% of the disposable income in this country. Furthermore:
One thing is clear: baby boomers are a very big, very relevant consumer segment, and you absolutely must consider them, target them, and represent them in your business’ visual strategy, including your social media images.
How to Adjust Senior Images to Relevant Mediums
Speaking of social media, this is one of the most important mediums for marketing, from branding to online presence to sales pitches and product promotion. When you are catering to senior folks, things become a tad more specific when it comes to selecting high converting stock images. You must keep in mind they adopted this medium later in life, and their behavior is nothing like Generation Z folks whose lives have been on these platforms since they were born.
Boomers love Facebook! According to this article from Forbes, the original “social network” is preferred by 68% of them, while they don't really have a big interest in the channels that are all the rage amongst the younger population, such as Instagram and Snapchat. This is great, as Facebook is a perfect medium for user engagement. If you select the perfect elderly stock images –which we analyze in-depth below– and plan your content strategically, you can go a long way on this platform! The best practices for Facebook ads and posts catering to baby boomers? Avoid slang, keep the message simple, use bullet points, and emphasize the cost-benefits of your product/service. Check the full list of standard photo sizes for Facebook and other relevant mediums!
Interestingly enough, our senior citizens also enjoy YouTube, as 70% of boomers prefer the streaming site. Another valuable piece of info, considering the many marketing opportunities YouTube offers, including developing visual stories that really penetrate into your audience's daily lives. Be it on YouTube or Facebook, video content is a great way to catch boomers' attention, just keep in mind: they prefer slower-paced videos, with concise information and easily understandable messages, preferably with short-format captions. Did you know that stock photos can be used in videos? Learn how here!
Finally, baby boomers use their smartphones and desktops to check emails daily, making email newsletters a potential goldmine for your brand. As you're about to learn what would make the perfect images to appeal to these users, make sure to also learn everything about the ideal newsletter images!
Which Elderly Stock Photos to Stay Away From
Following that disruptive, tradition-breaking nature we mentioned baby boomers have, they are nothing like the previous generation of elderly folk.
So, forget about canonical senior ladies knitting on their rocking chairs and affable-looking grandpas watching the day go by from their comfy spot on the porch. Run away from images of weak-looking elders with a young and perky caregiver leaning towards them. You also don’t want imagery that focuses solely on their age-related roles such as empty-nesting, grandparenting, and retirement.
Such images will do nothing for boomers, and thus will do nothing for you.
What Are Perfect Senior Stock Images Like
So, what does that left us with, you may ask? After all, aren’t there stereotypical services aimed at senior citizens that need images, like healthcare, healthy lifestyle, nursing homes, retirement communities?
Trendy and current images of senior citizens portray them in daily life situations that reflect very little change regarding their routines: senior couples enjoying romantic outings, senior women in yoga classes (rather than the cliché tai chi!), senior entrepreneurs in brainstorming team meetings or hands-on working on their workshops, mature women having a wine break with friends in their living room, cool grandpas rocking their jeans and t-shirts while taking the grandkids for ice cream. If you can’t avoid the elder-centered topics (i.e. retirement), make sure to approach it from this modern POV.
Plus, images should clearly show elder citizens engaging with the type of services/products you are promoting with your visuals. We are talking about people over 60 using touchscreens and VR sets, enjoying luxury trips, etc.
Last but not least, aesthetics: for years now the trendiest look for people’s photos is that of authenticity and mold-breaking individualism. We want to see more photos of elderly women proudly showing off their gray hair and men embracing their Santa-like beards! Don’t forget to be diverse and inclusive, and have a representation of different ethnicities, cultures, and lifestyles.
Where to Find Awesome Stock Photos of Active Seniors
When you start searching for the perfect stock photography for adding senior people representation to your visuals, you’ll immediately notice there is an overwhelming amount of less-than-ideal, super-dated photos in this genre. But fear not, because there are stock photo agencies where you can find lots of modern senior photos that align well with the boomer market. Here they are:
Senior Stock Photos – The Specialist
Senior Stock Photos is a stock image library completely focused on current and accurate representation of senior living and has thousands of professional photos covering multiple popular topics like sports and fitness, family, leisure, medical and more, all with senior models.
Getty Images – The High-End
Getty Images is a prestigious stock photo agency with millions of exclusive, very high-value images from renowned photographers. Their dedicated staff curates collections around the subject of senior living, such as the Disrupt Aging collection, and you can find many more with a simple search on their site.
Photocase – The Quirky
Photocase is a German stock photo agency that excels in unconventional, artsy, and fun-loving stock images that break the visual routine. Among the thousands of royalty free photos they offer, you’ll find a great number of modern pictures of senior people living their best life and having fun, just like the ones that illustrate this article!
Want to see it for yourself? Search for your desired keywords in the bar below and summon beautiful images from Photocase!
Shutterstock – The Commercial-Ready
Shutterstock is one of the most popular stock photo sites of today, and its huge catalog with over 230 million images is full of commercially-valuable images, ready to be part of your marketing visuals. Among them, you’ll find millions of senior-themed photos with the most current style.
iStock – The Artsy+Commercial Styled
iStock is a renowned stock photo agency –also a property of Getty Images– that stands out for their split offer that includes budget-friendly photos and exclusive, higher-value images. This mix of commercial and artistic gives you a great variety of authentic and very modern photos of senior citizens.
Alamy – The Specially-Curated
Alamy is a traditional stock photography agency that modernized into a full stock photo site, offering both royalty-free and rights-managed (traditional) licensing. This provider is known for their specially-curated collections that bring trendy content to the forefront for creatives, and that includes fresh picks such as the Actively Ageing selection, a gallery full of very modern and high-converting photos of senior citizens.
Embrace the Boomer-Styled, Senior Living
If you want to cater to the senior community with your visuals, this is the way to go.
Use current, authentic, and non-stereotypical stock photos that will resonate better with the senior audience and drive the results home.
Header image: Copyright by Criene/Photocase.com, all rights reserved