What’s Trending in Stock Photography for 2023? 

What's Trending in Stock Photography

For many businesses, producing high-quality visual content, including photography services, location arrangements, and model hiring can be expensive and unaffordable. That’s why they use stock images that offer a cost-effective solution. Considering this dynamic, stock photographers can generate substantial income by selling their images online, especially when they know what photos are currently relevant and in high customer demand.

This article explores current photography trends on stock content marketplaces, providing valuable insights to help enrich your portfolio with sought-after images. Read on to learn more!

Photography reflects worldwide events and societal changes, which causes rapid shifts in tendencies. For example, one of the prominent 2023 summer color trends was pink, mainly influenced by the release of the Barbie movie. However, the color trends are shifting as we move into the autumn season. Let’s delve into the prevailing shades for this year’s fall season.

#1 Neon shades

While autumn is typically associated with tranquility and soft, subdued shades, fluorescence, with its vivid radiance, is the dominant trend this year. These daring color choices allow you to craft genuinely distinctive compositions. For instance, you can heighten user visual experience with a vibrant orange hue or emphasize poignant autumn themes with glowing blue tones. This infusion of neon adds dimension to the season’s palette.

#2 Vivid gradients and duotones

While photographers preferred working on realistic images in the past years, one of the fashion color trends for 2023 is centered around creating a distinctive atmosphere through the use of dominant shades.

Gradients can be a good way to illustrate the changeability of seasons. For example, the lush greenery of summer slowly transitions to vibrant yellows before embracing a rich, reddish hue reminiscent of mahogany.

For a more dramatic transformation, consider experimenting with the duotone technique, which involves utilizing just two predominant shades. To evoke the ambiance of autumn, opt for the timeless combination of red and yellow.

#3 Prevailing colors 

Your color choice can directly influence the visual perception of an image. That’s why this year, photographers are focusing on using a single dominant color, often comprising around 90% of the overall composition.

In naturalistic photography, achieving this effect entails directing the viewer’s attention toward a specific subject. This could involve taking a macro photograph of an autumn leaf or a budding flower, where the predominant color becomes a focal point in the image.

What stock photos are in demand? 

In stock photography, the range of available topics is so vast that photographers often find it challenging to narrow down their focus to a specific niche. However, the key to success lies in addressing real-life, current needs. Here are several trending photoshoot ideas to help you enrich your stock image portfolio.

#1 Mental health care

Mind jigsaw puzzle as a mental health concept

According to Forbes, the number of individuals experiencing depressive symptoms increased from approximately 193 million to 246 million worldwide, representing a rise of approximately 28%. Similarly, anxiety disorders saw an increase from about 298 million affected individuals to 374 million, marking a 25% upsurge. 

This prompts more and more people to consider their physical and mental health, which is actively promoted in brand marketing campaigns. For example, Maybelline promotes its “Brave Together” initiative, where people can speak openly about their anxiety and depression disorders. 

Photographers can explore this important theme by finding creative expression through vivid metaphors. For example, envisioning the human brain as a battery that requires constant recharging can be a powerful way to shed light on the topic. Or, depicting individuals breaking free from chains that symbolize mental burdens and embracing colorful, uplifting environments to signify their journey toward mental wellness.

#2 Mindfulness 

Man meditating at sunset

Mindfulness is all about consciously focusing your attention on your current thoughts without inner judgment, fostering a heightened awareness of the present moment. This doesn’t involve suppressing positive or negative thoughts. Instead, it helps people break free from their habitual thought patterns. This is one more way to take care of your mental well-being.

Given the high stress levels experienced by people today, mindfulness techniques such as contemplation and meditation have become highly relevant. Stock photographers can incorporate this theme into their portfolios, contributing to the broader conversation about the importance of mindfulness in our daily lives. 

By visually capturing the essence of mindfulness practices, you can raise awareness about this crucial subject matter. For example, you can depict people:

  • Relaxing in serene natural settings;
  • Meditating in peaceful surroundings;
  • Engaging in mindful activities like yoga or deep breathing exercises.

#3 Environmental concerns

A businessman biking to work

This enduring trend in the photography industry continues to resonate with creators over an extended period. It’s a topic of global significance, encompassing global warming from fossil fuels, food waste, biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, deforestation, sea level rise, and soil degradation—consequences of human indifference.

Luckily, large, recognizable brands are committed to fostering eco-consciousness in their marketing campaigns. For example, Tesla encourages consumers to choose their electric vehicles for zero emissions, while personal care company Method offers eco-friendly cleaning products made from plant-based ingredients and packaged in recyclable materials. As a photographer, you can create high-quality images that raise awareness of different environmental concerns. 

For example, you can capture people using reusable shopping bags, biking to work, or planting trees to emphasize sustainable living practices. Moreover, you can showcase the beauty of untouched natural landscapes to highlight the importance of conservation and protecting our planet’s precious resources. 

#4 Home offices

A woman working from home

Despite increasing efforts by major tech brands to bring employees back to the office, such endeavors are met with notable resistance. According to various research findings, around 12% of full-time employees work remotely, while approximately 28% follow a hybrid work model.

Working from home has gained popularity, allowing people to maintain higher productivity levels and achieve a better work-life balance. That’s why the concept of home offices has emerged as a new photographic trend in the stock image industry; more and more companies are seeking images that capture the essence of remote work and home office setups.

As a photographer, you can showcase diverse home office environments, from cozy and minimalist setups to more elaborate, tech-savvy workspaces. You can feature individuals in professional attire:

  • Attending virtual meetings;
  • Collaborating with colleagues through video conferencing;
  • Balancing work tasks with home and life responsibilities.

#5 Inclusivity 

Diversity at workplace

Throughout human history, there has been a journey toward recognizing and accepting diversity among people. In 2023, an increasing number of brands are incorporating messages into their marketing campaigns that encourage the creation of a society where every individual is treated fairly, respectfully, and with dignity, regardless of factors such as race, gender, age, disability, or sexual preferences. This commitment to inclusivity has emerged as a major influential trend in the photography industry.

For example, in partnership with marketing agency Ogilvy, the cosmetic brand Dove conducted an extensive study revealing that approximately 14% of girls attempt to alter their authentic appearance. This discovery led to the development of the “Reverse Selfie” project, serving as a powerful reminder that genuine beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

You can contribute to this photography trend by creating visuals that celebrate diversity and promote inclusivity. Depict individuals of various backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, abilities, and orientations coming together harmoniously in everyday settings. Highlight their unique qualities and strengths while conveying a sense of unity and respect.

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While stock photography allows creators to profit from selling their images, it’s not about capturing any subject and putting it up for sale. To thrive in stock photography, you must be aware of consumer preferences and focus on addressing real-world topics, including pressing social challenges. Explore the commercial photography trends highlighted in this article to discover fresh and relevant ideas to enrich your portfolio. 

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