The Summer of ‘17 is well underway, and as creators we’ve already set our sights on Fall and Winter. Between those mid-summer blowout sales, back-to-school promos, and all that pre-holiday mania, the coming months are critical for reaching our goals. Q4 is coming and we’re all getting ready—whether you’re a freelance photographer or part of a big creative team. As we gather our wits—and out toolkits—it’s a good idea to start looking into the world of design to see what photography trends are driving media.
We’ve been dreaming and imagining how we can incorporate stock photos into new and exciting design themes. While we saw some great trends over last year, 2017 is taking stock photography to a fresher, bolder level.
Bold Photography and Sleek Text
This has been the year of brave designers. Bold photography in coordination with sleek text is gaining momentum as a trend. This combination is often found in advertisements for brands that embrace adventure. Some examples include activewear brands like Nike or fashion brands like Everlane, amongst many others.
This combination exudes both class and excitement. It communicates a clear message but doesn’t bore the audience. “Bold and sleek” works well for an audience with a short attention span, and it gets straight to the point. This combination works great for display ads, social media promotions, and graphics where a small amount of information needs to be conveyed instantly. Incorporate bold borders to better emphasize your information and draw greater attention.
It’s no big secret that stock photography hasn’t always been praised for it’s diversity and inclusion, but thankfully that’s quickly changing. Marketers are learning the importance of reaching out to a wider demographic, while vocal consumers are rightfully demanding better representation in the media. Supply the rising voices with images that celebrate diversity and inclusion, and leave that saccharine “blonde woman eating salad” photo in the past.
But authenticity is more than just a choice of model. Experiment with less-than-perfect lighting, gritty textures, and real-world scenarios. Play with your narrative. You never know what potential buyers are looking for, but it isn’t always in line with traditional media’s definition of “perfect.”
As you know, Pantone leads the way with seasonal color trends. In 2017, we saw vibrant and bold colors that are incredibly true to their dominant hue. This trend started to sneak its way into a variety of design elements back in 2016, but has been picking up steam in the warm weather months. Look for colors found in nature and intensify them—be bold and up the saturation of your images.
Choose loud and deep colors—not necessarily neon. Look for colors that are heavy on the hue rather than brighter in lightness. Utilize contrasting colors in a way that is similar to what is suggested in material design. Allow each color to fearlessly draw attention to specific areas of your design.
Or Completely Desaturated Colors
Sometimes, simplicity is key. With it’s high contrast and elegant, retro-vibe, black-and-white photography has seen a major resurgence in 2017. But wait, didn’t we just tell you to supersaturate your colors? Yes—yes, we did. But there’s more than one way to be bold. 2017 is not the year to be afraid; it’s the year to push boundaries. If you’re looking for some photos that can really set your designs apart, try going old school with crisp, timeless black and white.
Because these images don’t compete with colors, they make an excellent backdrop for graphic posters, social media, and event promotions—really any project that you’d like to give an edge to. They also work for almost any brand, because designers don’t have to worry about color schemes clashing. Want to add a touch of 90s texture to these works of art? Try adding a grunge overlay to roughen them up a bit.
Organic design may just be the biggest change we’ve seen in recent trends. A far cry from the graphic, edgy style we’ve seen (and continue to see) in digital media, this emerging style features textures and patterns drawn from nature. This breezy style may continue to gain traction over tech-driven designs as we continue to move away from the sharp-edged compositions of yesteryear.
What does all that mean for photographers? The visual aesthetic must communicate clearly with your user while creating a calming, natural ambiance. Draw inspiration from real-world materials to keep your photographs grounded in reality, yet lightweight and minimalistic. Create with those principles in mind and think about how you’re weaving together the fabric of the Internet.
Hygge may be taking a break for the summer months, but this cozy Danish trend (pronounced hoo-gah) reigned supreme this winter and is sure to make a comeback for the Fall and Winter seasons. Hygge is all about getting cozy—whether it’s with a big fluffy blanket, a convivial dinner party, or a cup of hot cocoa, it’s basically cold-weather marketing gold. Capture that sense of comfort and joy in your photos to capitalize on hygge’s feel-good vibes.
Social Media Madness
Instagram and Snapchat took over in 2016 and new social media apps are keeping the momentum going. However, one thing is for sure: social media is more powerful than ever for business. And it’s really not as simple as it seems.
It can be hard to nail down what sort of content will perform successfully, and social media posts are often worthless without captivating photos. Stock photography can provide the perfect backdrop for any variety of social media content. One of our favorite combos? A stunning landscape with a motivational quote to accompany high-performing hashtags such as #motivationmonday, #thursdaythoughts, and #fridayfeeling. Need some help finding your inspiration Explore our 50 favorite picks for social.