Over the past few years, the demand and expectations of stock image customers on PhotoDune have gradually, and positively, changed. The cliched and implausible scenarios we have become accustomed to are starting to look outdated. Instead, more customers are looking for high-quality, authentic imagery.
With these recent changes in mind, we asked Gaby Jalbert for his thoughts on some of the latest stock image trends and to share what he felt our stock authors should be focusing on in 2015.
PhotoDune Trends for 2015
This past year on PhotoDune the usual subjects have been in high demand, including but not limited to: business, fashion & beauty, wedding, sports & fitness, food, healthcare, education, technology and green energy. These will predictably remain high up on the popularity charts this year.
That being said, the advertising industry is evolving and this is reflected in what our customers are shopping for. For years, the microstock market has been flooded with high-quality content but also numerous stereotypes.
Fake poses/expressions and fake backgrounds are already abundant everywhere. Images that look and feel genuine are harder to find.
Customers need real people doing real things in real environments. This doesn’t mean shootings can’t be staged, prepared or directed, but they should feel as genuine as possible and even spontaneous.
Images should be processed in a way to naturally flatter the subject instead of overpowering it. Bright images with natural tones, short depth of field and uncluttered compositions are not about to disappear. Also, with the volume of images being submitted, we will gradually start raising the bar to improve the overall quality of our offering.
In the examples below, A is much more credible and appealing than B where we can easily imagine it’s just a model playing the “role” of an engineer. The model in example A is not a real construction worker either, but the image was produced in a way that it is much more realistic and believable (he could have been looking at the camera and/or smiling as well, the context would still remain genuine).
Not only is shooting on location more inspiring, but the results can’t be reproduced in post-processing unless you spend a huge amount of time on editing and even then, unless the lighting, isolation, depth of field and perspective all blend in seamlessly, it will still end up looking fake.
This doesn’t mean we no longer encourage creativity, far from it, but simply that the execution must meet slightly higher standards and should have an interesting concept.
It’s also a safe assumption to expect that emerging markets will be searching for images they can identify to. This applies not only to the models themselves, but the food, architecture, sports, technology, and all the specificities that differentiate these from the more readily available North American content.
Every country has it’s own flavor, style and trends, and taking this in consideration when producing content should increase your chances of finding buyers.
Nobody is expected to re-invent the wheel when it comes to stock photography. But with that said, 2015 will be a great opportunity to revisit existing themes with an updated vision and a touch of authenticity. We’re looking forward to seeing your fresh perspective coming through the queue!
– PhotoDune Quality Team Leader, Gaby Jalbert.