Visual Communication

What You Need to Know About 2019 Stock Photography Trends

By Lindsay Pietroluongo - 5 min read

This article is about elevating your brand to show your audience that you care about quality. You’ll learn how to find the best images for your business and which trends to tap into for 2019.

According to Inc.), posts that include an image have 650% more engagement than text-only posts. Are you willing to give up a 650% increase in engagement? Probably not.

Your business can have stellar photos without hiring an in-house photographer. Here is your ultimate guide to making your brand’s visuals go further in 2019.

How to Choose Photos for Your Business

There are all types of stock photography. Some images are corny and posed. They look generic and even campy at times. You may see them as placeholders in mockups or used ironically to poke fun at a topic. Often, these images are free to use, which means you’ll see them over and over on various media (blog posts, social media, YouTube videos, etc.).

Man standing with bicycle in corridor

Businesses that value quality will opt for the other type of stock photography: high quality, premium images shot by professional photographers. These photos come at a higher price point, which is part of the appeal: they won’t be as widespread online, which means your audience may have never seen them before. These images will be superior to standard stock photos and much more authentic.

Another option is to hire professionals to shoot custom stock photography for your business. You’ll be able to build your own in-house portfolio of images to reuse for your brand.

Close-up of leaves on face of woman

Authentic Images Reign Supreme in 2019

In 2019, there’s an increasing need for authentic, inclusive images. This is possibly pushback against fake news and other societal issues – people want imagery that represents the world as they see it, that’s diverse and inclusive.

The reason this trend is so important for brands is because it connects with today’s audience. By continuing to use images that are tone deaf or overly-staged, you’ll alienate customers.

Eco-conscious images are a huge part of that.

There’s a shifting attitude toward consumerism and an increased focus on eco-conscious living. Green products made from hemp and bamboo are especially popular, which is good news for brands that make sustainable products.

This goes beyond recycling and choosing eco-friendly goods, though. There’s an enormous trend of environmental awareness in society today, and that’s being reflected in 2019’s stock photography trends. This means recycling, yes, but also living a life that’s respectful of the environment.

Close-up of seashells on woman shoulder at beach during sunny day

Not only is this an opportunity for eco-focused brands to get noticed, but it also paves the way for a company with a conscious corporate culture to differentiate themselves. Today, pretty much every brand, regardless of industry, should have some stance on an environmental issue.

Brands are spreading the word by using real imagery that shows the truth of what’s happening to the environment, and they’re also using stock photography to illustrate the role they’re playing in improving the world.

3 More Stock Photography Trends for 2019

Authentic images are huge this year, but there are a few more stock photography trends to consider. They have to do with the future, the past and the abstract.

Close-up portrait of young woman with face paint in darkroom

The future is here…again.

There are two types of futuristic styles that are popular for 2019.

The first is a sort of throwback future, the 2019 we expected to see when it was still the 1980s. Think light grids and brighter-than-ever neon. The other type of future that’s popular in stock photography is the future we’re actually in – the tech we use in our daily life and the tech that’s quickly becoming the norm, like virtual reality

What’s old is new again.

The 80s and 90s are making a comeback in fashion, accessories and stock photography trends. The imagery may not be the most sophisticated, but it’s absolutely fun.

You’ll see nostalgic fonts, palettes and patterns, as well as vintage technology. A few things you’ll notice as this trend takes off are bold animal patterns, bright colors, clashing patterns, cartoonish faces, metal textures and an overall loud design that’s undoubtedly alive.

Low angle view of loudspeaker on building terrace against clear sky

Minimalism is purpose-based now.

Minimalism has been around for a long time, but 2019’s minimalist stock photography trend isn’t simply pretty. Instead, it tells a story, often in an abstract way.

A coffee cup doesn’t simply imply that the content creator likes coffee. It can show a dedication to reaching goals or a positive work ethic, or even a penchant for being a workaholic. If the coffee is black, it can represent a no-frills approach to life. If there’s a crack in the cup or a coffee spill, it can represent upheaval in a relationship.

Stock photography is heavily influenced by what’s going on culturally, from fashion to politics. To stay ahead of the curve and predict trends for yourself, keep up with what’s going on in the world.

Low angle view of silhouette person standing on sand dune against clear sky

Looking for fresh talent and industry-leading pros to tell your brand’s story? Take a look here to discover how our technology enables you to be connected with emerging photographers all around the world.