The success of every creative project rests on the power of its visuals. So whether you're using photography, video or a combination of the two, you need to know about the latest visual trends.
That doesn't mean blindly following every trend, of course. But it does mean an awareness of what's popular right now, so you can make selective use of such visuals where they will help you convey your message effectively.
As providers of millions of high-end, low-price stock photographs and videos to creatives around the world, iStock by Getty Images (opens in new tab) is in a perfect position to gather information about the latest trends. Here we explain five key trends that iStock (opens in new tab) has identified and how they can help make your content, whether this be stills or video, extra-special.
01. Real women(opens in new tab)
In 2010, depictions of women are rapidly moving away from old stereotypes. Both media and marketing are becoming more relevant to how society is today, by featuring a diverse array of women with dynamic careers, and a range of lifestyles, loves and looks.
Body shapes are becoming more varied as branding and the media celebrate people of all shapes and sizes. Older people are also being more widely represented, with women in their mid- to late 60s becoming face of major beauty brands.
iStock by Getty Images (opens in new tab) hasn't just identified this trend, it's actively driving it. Working in association with LeanIn.Org, the women's empowerment nonprofit founded by Sheryl Sandberg, the company is working hard to change the representation of women: you can view the collection of images on iStock here (opens in new tab). Collated by Getty Images & LeanIn.Org the collection features images of female leadership in contemporary work and life.
02. 21st century families(opens in new tab)
The 2010s have seen big brands change the way they portray families in a bid to remain globally relevant and emotionally engaging. Marketing and advertising now commonly features single parents, gay parents, stay-at-home dads and blended families.(opens in new tab)
Diversity is also gaining more visual representation in other areas, such as depictions of disability that show people living rich, active lives. This kind of imagery is becoming less about shock value or making a political point, and more about reflecting a wider range of human stories and experiences in the 21st century.
03. Getting creative with POV(opens in new tab)
iStock (opens in new tab) reports that demand for POV (point of view) content has increased dramatically in recent years, and it's easy to see why. With wearable tech like the GoPro now in widespread use, consumers are creating their own images and video from a first-person point of view, and this trend is now being reflected in mainstream content.(opens in new tab)
Starting life as a trend in sports photography, we're now seeing POV used more and more in other areas, such as lifestyle photography and video. This trend draws the viewer in by offering a more intimate and involved view of people and lifestyles that feels more authentic and believable; a central requirement for content in the social media age.
04. Supersensory images(opens in new tab)
Another visual trend that's creating a more immersive experience for the viewer is the rise in imagery and video that has a rich, sensual feel to it. These kind of visuals feature the kind of meaningful textural detail that works hard to engage all the senses.(opens in new tab)
Using techniques like macrophotography to capture scenes of food, nature and more, such visceral content can evoke feelings of taste and smell, heightening people's emotional engagement with your content.
05. The letterbox look(opens in new tab)
Here's another content trend that's inspired by new technology. With consumers increasingly viewing content on smartphone and tablets, more and more digital designers are designing for mobile first, and this is driving a huge demand for widescreen imagery and video. Such panoramic visuals look great as the hero image on apps and websites, bringing an epic, cinematic feel to your designs.(opens in new tab)
You can view the video by Getty Images on the visual trends outlined in this article here (opens in new tab).
Are you looking for stock photography, illustrations and video footage for your creative projects? You can view iStock's 4K video footage (opens in new tab) and 'Best of' Stills & video (opens in new tab) for further inspiration.
You can be sure to find high quality, royalty-free assets at low prices at iStock by Getty Images. So why not sign up for a free iStock account today (opens in new tab)?