Artur Marciniec / Alamy Stock Photo

Stock photography trends for 2017

Find out what you should be taking photos of in 2017…

For my stock photography trends 2017 post I think it’s good to focus our attention on the three main areas of technology, lifestyle and society. From here we can extrapolate and apply themes and shoot ideas to specific areas of your stock photography. This is the approach I took previously in 2015 and 2016, and those older posts are still worth looking at as they contain a number of themes still going strong. At this time of the year I like to scour the internet to get up to speed with what different people have to say about upcoming trends and as usual, I’ve found the posts from The Richards Group, FjordNet and Forbes (among many others) extremely insightful.

Now, lets have a think about how we can shape what we shoot this year and look at some stock photography trends for 2017.


playing Pokemon Go game
picturelibrary / Alamy Stock Photo

Always a great subject for stock (as it constantly needs refreshing), technology in 2017 will build upon the huge advances made over previous years in a number of areas. Even though Virtual Reality made a huge push last year to get into people’s homes, 2017 will see this truly become more mainstream with several companies releasing VR units. We are increasingly living in an instant, on-demand culture; no waiting, no barriers – one click purchasing and same day delivery. We’re seeing an increased blurring of the lines between the physical and digital world (Pokemon GO anyone?) and this is set to continue through augmented reality appearing in more and more places. On the flip side to this there is also a big trend in “going back to analog” – think shooting film and the rise of vinyl records yet again.

Shoot ideas for technology:

  • Virtual Reality being used in ‘everyday’ settings
  • People using on-demand services
  • Smart devices, particularly modern kitchen tech
  • Images that depict machine learning and artificial intelligence

Lifestyle and food

Winter scene with hot chocolate
Sam Kovak / Alamy Stock Photo

Healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle choices are de riguer across many demographic groups and the “Scand-wagon” also continues to pick up speed via the Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) philosophy being embraced by many. Remember, people born in the 90s are running social media channels and nostalgia for that era is at its peak so also think bold colours and unfiltered “in the moment” content.

Shoot ideas for Lifestyle and food

  • Hygge imagery – wellbeing, cozyness, togetherness, enjoyment of life
  • Authenticity, POV shots, unfilitered ‘in the moment’ content
  • Healthy living, healthy snacks, meditation
  • Synthetic food, vegan food and clean living


New York, United States. 08th Nov, 2016. Voters in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City line up to vote on Election Day, November 8, 2016. Record numbers of voters are turning our for the historic United States Presidential election betw
Adam Stoltman / Alamy Stock Photo

The strength of populist movements can be clearly seen following Brexit and the win for Donald Trump in the US election last year. More people are interested in politics than ever before and the dialogue between the left and the right is more visible than ever via our always connected and no-wait, instant lifestyles. Perhaps in contrast to both Brexit and Trump, themes of inclusion, openness and equality are everywhere and images depicting authenticity in these areas are in strong demand, as they have been for the last few years. Authenticity doesn’t just mean “real looking” people though, think about framing and point of view shots. Due to the increasing popularity of sharing images across social media, brands want to tap into this “look” of realness and candidness.

Shoot ideas for Society

  • Images from within the LBGTQ community that are authentic and positive
  • Everyday life and politics
  • Images that depict an ‘always connected’ population
  • Images showing equality in the workplace including ethnic minorities and strong, empowered women

I hope these themes get you thinking about what you can do with your stock photography in 2017. There is always an opportunity to refresh what is already out there and be quick to capture new themes. We can’t wait to see what you produce in 2017!

James Allsworth

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.

Read more from James