Creative and Authentic are the Stock Photography Trends for 2018 According to Polling


Stock photography gets a bad rap for its stilted models, but is all of that about to change?

Whether you’re a commercial photographer trying to develop a multi-season, multimedia ad campaign or a stock photographer grinding away on the major websites, you probably want to know what consumers and clients are looking for – after all, staying on the cutting edge is what keeps you and your art relevant, right?

In an effort to predict what consumers will be looking for in terms of stock photography for 2018, stock photography companies have gleaned through reams of data to predict that “authenticity” and “creativity” will dominate the year’s biggest image trends.

Digital Trends reports that images that fuse together “creativity” with “reality” will get the most positive reactions from clients and consumers.

Image via Suvan Chowdhury from

Storyblocks, formerly known as VideoBlocks, has scoured 64 million searches for data to derive this conclusion. While “authenticity” was one of the trends for 2017, the emergence of “creativity” for 2018 points to larger demographic changes in the way products are marketed and advertised. Gone are the days of soulless, suit-wearing jack-o-lantern smiles and here (for at least now) are images of real people doing real things from a variety of walks of life.

In many ways these trends might be part of an emerging shift in stock photography to eschew the somewhat comical nature some of its images had attained in the past. Few would equate stock photography with authenticity, but if this trend takes off, that could soon change.

Users are looking towards images that not only more accurately reflect the world around them in a demographic and aesthetic sense but also want things that are uplifting and positive. Pictures that distill a sense of happiness and inspiration are preferable to those that convey efficiency or conformity, while images showing a diversity of actors are preferable to those that portray a kind of generic aesthetic unity.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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