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Photography Trends For 2018: Wildlife, Patterns & Inspirational Travel

Here are the image trends that are going to be making the biggest impact on stock sites over the coming year.

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Calling all stock photographers! Alamy has put together its 2018 image trend report so you can start capturing the types of images that people will be looking for this year. 

To compile their data, Alamy looked at thousands of images their customers have purchased over the past 3 months to identify trends and patterns in both UK and US markets.  

This year's data showed very similar key trends for the UK and America so as well as outlining four key trends to watch out for this year, Image Trends 2018 focuses on the stylistic qualities of the images trending in each market. Each of the four trends are also supported by examples of the types of imagery bought from each market so you can see exactly what people are searching for. 

Commenting on the report, which is the third annual image trends report the popular stock site has created, Alamy said: "Keeping track of what’s trending will give you the insight you need to make your 2018 projects relevant and keep them looking fresh. What’s more, you can impress your clients by introducing them to the images that’ll impact and engage their target audience this year."


Photo Styles

According to the report, the UK is still looking for 'authentic looking photographs' that have much more natural qualities while the USA, even though it is developing a liking for more contemporary themes is still looking for images that have a much more 'staged' appearance.  

Commenting on the photographic styles, report creator Visual communicator and design professional Ned Selby said: "Perhaps the remnants of that 50s advertising style still have America in their clutches? Or maybe British pessimism just wouldn’t stand for such gloss? Either way, there’s no sign of this stylistic division letting up."


Trending Themes

Topping the trends list again is 'Travel' with the UK wanting to see images that capture both UK-centric and international destinations. A similar split can be seen in the USA, too, with people searching for images of escapism as well as those that represent a home-front staycation. 

'Lifestyle' imagery will always be a theme that runs through stock photography sites and the UK is currently hungry for food shots and on-the-go content that focuses on healthy living, fitness, weight issues and sport, with a few searches for family and relationship imagery thrown in. Quite a bit of it is mobile photography, too. 

Over in the USA, relationships (particularly family) and sport are popular themes but business lifestyle imagery is the big player under this particular umbrella.  

A slightly different theme to last year that could be down to people needing escapism and a distraction is 'Wildlife'



"Not everyone has time to get out and immerse themselves in nature, and in our increasingly urban lifestyles, connecting with nature can be tricky. Both our US and UK customers are turning to wildlife and nature imagery as one way of embracing the natural world and using it as a focus to help switch off their buzzing minds," said Ned. 

In the UK, it's bird-watching imagery we like the most while the USA opted for a more varied selection of wildlife and natural settings in their favourite photos. 

The final trend in the list is 'Graphic Pattern' as people are searching for these to use on websites and to have some fun on social media. Quite a few trends (clothing, music styles etc.) have also taken influence from the 90s so it makes sense that bold, graphic patterns are back in favour. 

Take a look at the 2018 image trend report to see the full findings. 

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