2016 clearly marked the final shift of photography to smartphones with the new iPhone and Google’s Pixel camera. Our image focused culture documents and shares experiences, actions, portraits, and the smallest details of our lives. 90% of these photos are taken with a smartphone and are stored and shared online competing for attention.
With such fierce competition for digital attention, brands can no longer simply rely on smartly crafted words and go-to stock images to sell product. So, what visual content is expected to resonate with 2017 image focused consumers?
Children of the 90s have become a major target audience for brands and the use of social media imagery has aided in helping them become brand ambassadors. This generation is educated and are driving digital consumer demand as their purchasing power increases.
What appeals to these up and coming consumers:
- Sincere, candid, and close-to-life images.
- Polaroid-like snapshots, flash photos and bold, colorful style.
- Add a personal touch to photographs with film filters associated with the 90s, delivering a storytelling effect.
Emotions and movement
Demand for original, candid, and authentic images continues to be popular. Visual consumers no longer react the same way to photos with posed models found in sterile stock photos.
Viewers connect with:
- Emotions, flaws, the grit of life, and real people in action.
- Relatable photos that personalize a story and capture a moment.
- What a character sees when doing chores like getting kids ready for school, driving to work, buying groceries, and choosing movies to watch.
- Imperfect, messy and hasty daily routines.
This rings true for photos of food, objects, and interiors – viewers want real-life, candid, and editorial looking content.
“People are still wanting well composed (or at least interestingly composed) images, but don’t want the sterile stock photos that we have seen so often. The challenge is to capture real life looking images – images that don’t appear set up. Captured in a way that appears natural and candid, yet has refinement enough to make the image interesting.” ~ Tyler Olson, Professional photographer, one of the top contributors at Depositphotos
Color takes center stage
Unusual color combinations can immediately ignite interest and excitement in a campaign. Whether they are overwhelmingly beautiful or exquisitely ugly, the powerful manipulation of color stops us in our tracks and demands attention.
Rather than looking at an image, we are now in the image. We’re not simply seeing the moment, but we are experiencing the moment.
Unfiltered imagery opens dynamic, honest-to-the-extreme methods of storytelling which make consumers sit up and take notice. Brands who dare to be different and add a raw, spontaneous edge to their story telling will resonate powerfully, especially with Gen Z and Millennial audiences.
Flexible cultural identity is becoming increasingly complex. The Global Neighborhood trend is about embracing this state of flux. Identities are less about where we live and more about what we believe and how we feel.
Weird and unpolished
Spontaneous and playful images, not necessarily “on brand,” that are somewhat offbeat. These images garner attention because they make people laugh.
Moody, minimalistic landscapes
A minimalist lifestyle is trending across the world and it is finding its way into blogs, brand images and mood boards. This year will be all about landscapes; deserted nature, unusual patterns, mist, rain, and quiet stillness. Austere Scandinavian panoramas and mid-season monochrome scenery.
Drone photography brings limitless possibilities. From impressive cityscapes and coastlines to new angles on architecture and travel pictures.
Video content is exploding into social media, corporate sites, and brand advertising. According to Syndacast, by 2017 as much as 74% of all internet traffic will be video content. Tip, incorporate original, high-res, candid stock footage in your campaigns.
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