What the Biggest Trends Mean for Stock Contributors

December 8, 2017

What the Biggest Trends Mean for Stock Contributors

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It’s that time of year again—our annual Trends Guide is here! Each year we dig into our search and download data to surface the fastest-growing trends in digital storytelling. But once you have that data in your hands, what does that mean for the content you produce? Our team analyzed the top themes to provide a deeper dive into how you can translate them visually and create stock media that performs.

See the Full 2018 Trends Guide

#1: Awesome

What it means: Awe-inspiring aerials, breathtaking landscapes and cinematic scene setting.
The demand: Searches for Cinematic +305%

How to capture:
If you’re not doing it yet, now is the time to think about incorporating aerial shots into your scenic content. The idea behind this theme is an establishing shot that knocks your socks off. When in the field, take your time finding and capturing that perfect shot. Planning is key. Know how the weather, natural lighting, time of day, and tourist traffic will impact your shots. Nailing the ideal variables of your locations will translate into epic shots. You may also want to consider renting or investing in gear that can enhance a landscape shot. Setting a tripod down for a static shot may be not cutting it. Can you experiment with a hyperlapse or other forms of motion? Are you using the best lens for a landscape shot? Think about how your shots will set a scene and how they can tell a story. Increasing the “wow factor” will make a difference.

What’s in:

#2: Real People

What it means: Unique faces and interactions that don’t look staged. What real life looks like.
The demand: Searches for LGBT +782%, Street Photography +162%, Candid Authentic +134%

How to capture:
In photography and video, the most important thing to remember when going for the authentic look is to not heavily stage your scenes or the actions of your talent. Storyblocks contributor Ruslan Mykhalets finds that “hiring professional talent and fostering relationships with the same actors over time helps make everyone more familiar and comfortable.” Once your talent feels comfortable and you trust them, you can provide minimal direction and let them improvise in your scene. Authenticity is also about including diverse people and lifestyles that are representative of what the real world looks like. Cast talent and models of different ethnicities, nationalities, genders, etc. Consider some of these tips from our contributors who are producing authentic lifestyle content.

What’s in:

#3: Essentialism

What it means: Minimalism, wide shots, simple designs, clean shapes and colors.
The demand: Searches for Negative Space +29%

How to capture:
Essentialism is all about quieting the noise in a shot to create a sense of calm or bringing focus to a singular subject. To capture it, set up shots with clean, minimal backgrounds. Try experimenting with a monochromatic color scheme for a minimalist look or using one accent color to make an object pop. In addition to the feeling these shots can instill, they also have a very practical use. A wide shot with ample negative space leaves room for text, logos, or graphics to be inserted. (Pro tip: Tag these shots as “copy space” to make it easier for designers and marketers to find and download your content.)

What’s in:

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We hope this provides some inspiration you can incorporate into your work. To see all of the themes making waves for video, images, and audio, check out our full 2018 Trends Guide. We can’t wait to see what you create in the new year!

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Catie Peiper


Catie is a former film and media instructor and she writes about film craft and design trends. She steadfastly believes that the serial comma is never optional.