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Enterline Design / Alamy

2015 stock photography trends

Find out what you should be taking photos of in 2015…

We’ve all seen them. Pretentious lists from an endless amount of faceless ‘art experts’ telling you what to shoot over the next 12 months using phrases like “immersive synergy”. What? Exactly. Let’s get in the real world shall we? As interesting as these lists are, they’re quite often impractical and far too lofty to be of any use to the majority of photographers. Let’s take a look at what’ll be happening in the real world and base our shooting plan for 2015 on that.

The Telegraph admit they’re looking into their own “very murky crystal ball” but their take on the 2015 upcoming trends is an interesting read. It also gives us some good, practical inspirational direction for what we should be taking images of for the next 12 months. For a more quirky take on what we’ll all be talking about in 2015, check out the Guardian’s Random Prediction Bot. Other articles of interest can be found at Fast Company, TrendWatching, and Forbes.

I’ve picked out some highlights here and offered some ideas on how we can work these themes into shooting for stock.

Technology

Perhaps the biggest buzz trends for 2015 are around technology. Of course, we’ve had the “wearable tech” trope chucked at us throughout the whole of 2014 but in 2015, with the imminent arrival of the Apple Watch, we may see this finally take off. Aside from wristbands there’ll be an increase in technology ridden clothing like T-shirts that can monitor our heartbeat – and you really need to be up on IoT (the Internet of Things): smart technology shoehorned into everything around us from washing machines to plant pots. Huge stock photo opportunities.

Shoot ideas for technology:

  • Connectivity and automation inside and outside the home.
  • People using technology for health and well being.
  • 3D printing. Practical uses as the technology becomes more affordable and widespread.
  • Digital currency, people using smart phones to pay for things and share wealth.
© Haiyin Wang / Alamy
© Haiyin Wang / Alamy

Food

Small is going to be big this year. Small plates that is. Apparently we’ll see a continuation of the small plates meal with a particular surge in Persian cuisine. Fermented food is also on the rise and will be popular along with an increased use of cauliflower as the go-to ingredient for carb-dodgers. Sherry is also on the up, apparently due to the growing popularity of Spanish tapas restaurants.

Shoot ideas for food:

  • Fresh looking, small plate, tapas style meals.
  • Persian dishes and ingredients including saffron, sumac, dried limes and rose water.
  • Fermented foods (such as kimchi) being prepared and used in various dishes.
  • Cauliflower being prepared, presented and eaten in new ways. Think of bases for pizza or cauliflower ‘rice’.
© dbimages / Alamy
© dbimages / Alamy

Society and lifestyle

Gender was a hot topic across all of 2014 in all its forms; equality, same-sex marriage and a growing awareness and understanding of the transgender population. In the UK, there’ll be a general election this year so politics will be on the agenda and the world will be watching how the UK responds to a new political party (UKIP) potentially having a say in what happens. The world economy will remain a hot topic everywhere as will the environment, with a focus on those who are working to make the future brighter.

Shoot ideas for society and lifestyle:

  • Transgender people living in a strong, positive way – not as ‘victims’. Gender equality.
  • Everyday people (UK) in politics, particularly voting, demonstrating and campaigning. Also, showing people being directly affected by political policy.
  • Images of inspiring individuals working towards a positive, green future.
  • Environmental themes, positive and negative. Sustainable, innovative energy, micro-farming.

This list isn’t exhaustive but it will hopefully get the wheels in motion for some fresh ideas for your stock photography in 2015. Once you’ve taken the pictures of course it’s all about the keywording. Tips on that, here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and why not share your ideas on what you think will be shaping the stock photography landscape this year.

A photographer, digital media degree holder and part of the Alamy Content team for 15 years. James has a strong interest in all things visual and is our Head of Content.