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2019 Visual Trends Forecast - What Photos Will People Be Searching For?

According to Adobe, here are the top themes that will be influencing photography, art, advertising and more in 2019.

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As the end of 2018 is quickly approaching, Adobe's thoughts are already in 2019 with the release of their visual trends forecast which reveals what they think will be the 'go-to' themes for photographers, and other creatives, in 2019. 

The themes you need to have on your stock photography check-list for 2019 include 'Natural Instincts', 'Creative Democracy', 'Disruptive Expression' and 'Brand Stand'. 

We know the trend titles are a little cryptic so we've listed more detail on each theme below so you can grasp a better understanding of what kind of photo fits each trend. 


Natural Instincts

hot spring

ID: 198230318

This is a backlash against the world becoming obsessed with technology and everything digital. According to Adobe, people are looking for ways to become more connected with nature again and as a result, images on this theme will be searched for. It's not just the big picture people are looking for either with searches for 'clean beauty' going up and more people wanting to know if natural ingredients are in the goods they buy. Many are also looking for ways to reconnect with their spirituality and general wellness. 

Think: natural, outdoors, ingredients, wellness and spirituality (yoga, mountains and whole foods sprang to mind for me). 


Creative Democracy

Creative lighting portrait

ID: 213653280


Adobe says: "We’re no longer waiting for creatives to shape our visual worlds - instead, people are using technology to elevate and share their own unpolished, raw, authentic moments in full, vivid colour."

Personally, I'd say this is something photographers have always done but if more are joining in - great. 

Apparently, this trend is about 'anything and everything' and it's encouraging people to capture a diverse range of subjects and themes that 'move people'. Bright colours are encouraged, they're eye-catching after all. 'Unstudied images' are also listed but what this is, I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps it's the ability to capture an image with themes not seen before (easier said than done). What do you think? Answers welcomed in the comments below. 


Disruptive Expression

Colour Festival

ID: 171681810


'Protest' is the first word that comes to mind when I think of this term and it would seem Adobe agrees with the mention of Museums collecting protest signs for exhibitions and clothing brands using the visual language of protest for shop windows and clothing lines. 

"Even when there’s no political agenda, the new self-expression is all about inclusive, unapologetic, eye-catching visuals that cut through the noise," says Adobe. 

Groups, voice, individuality, expression, messages and identity are just some of the terms that come-to-mind when thinking about this theme.


Brand Stand

Packed Tins in a Recycle Factory

ID: 165148565


More people are wanting brands to show them that they're listening and care so as a result, want to know how they are ethically aware and what their views on conservation and social justice are. 

"In the visual realm, this means that stunning, powerful representations of causes and popular issues on a global scale will have a big impact on viewers," says Adobe. 

The Ocean Agency is one company that's already doing this by capturing amazing underwater images that, they hope, will encourage more to do something to preserve it. 

I think, recycling, images that show 'togetherness', as well as photos that show how beautiful the world is (so people are inspired to do more), will become very popular as a result. 


Adobe will be following the trends closely and providing more detail on each, as they emerge, so photographers know what people will be searching for (on stock sites) during the coming year. 

Alamy also, usually, share a visual trends forecast so we'll also share, and compare, their report once it's live. For 2018, they said that 'Wildlife', 'Patterns' & 'Inspirational Travel' would be popular themes and wanderlust is certainly something that's radiated across social media through 2018. 

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