You can turn your photos & videos into money through stock agencies – that’s no secret.

Will every upload get you some cash? Definitely no.

And that’s why I’m here, to guarantee you invest your time on topics that really sell as stock footage or stock photography.

You can watch the content in the video above or just keep reading this article.

8 topics to shoot now + 5 hot visual trends

This month, not only do we have 9 ideas of what to produce next, as also a list of visual trends – which is exactly where I want to start.

The cool thing about spotting visual trends is that it makes all the traditional and saturated topics new again.

Every quarter, StoryBlocks launches an article about what is trending in searches, what customers are asking for and what is popular in visual design.

1.1 Gradient

Gradients are the first one and I couldn’t agree more. You probably noticed this being applied in different ways.

Stock Photographer Zamurovic uses it a lot exploring the transition from pink to blue. I’ve illustrated it with more examples in the video.

You’ll see people referring to this style as “holographic colors”. This is very connected to the fashion trends and you will even see graphic designers using wrinkled foil as a background.

This won’t always be a good idea for stock footage, because some buyers prefer having room to do their own color grading, so use it with caution.

1.2 Muted Tones

In a similar way, you can also explore muted tones. So instead of making your colors pop, try to mute them. It’s not black and white, though. You will just make your colors a little less aggressive.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Once again, the best way to understand it is by studying the fashion trends connected to it.

Still, I don’t think this will work for every video file and I believe it’s better for images made to be used as backgrounds somehow. You can try to color grade your footage as much as you want but always keep in mind that some buyers like having room to work on their own color preferences.1

1.3 Extreme Close-ups

Then we go to extreme close-ups. Shots that frame a person or object tightly.

Although I wouldn’t state it as visual trend, it’s interesting to learn that stock footage buyers are searching for close-ups.

So that’s something to keep in mind in your next stock footage shootings. Try to explore close-up angles and diversify the number of shots you achieve with the same topic.

1.4 Retro Cinema Style

Vintage Aerobic Training People On A 80S 90S Retro Tv Screen on Pond5

If you read my article about the bestsellers of 2018, you’ll notice there’s a big number of files like this in the list.

Taking a look at your old Mini-DV tapes can be more profitable than you think.

1.5 POV

And finally, there is “POV”, which I believe are alternative Points Of View. Like people filming themselves, first-person view, low angle, flat lays, etc.

All these visual trends are cool ideas to apply to whatever you’re producing right now. Practice them in different subjects and you will probably get good results even in saturated categories.

Don’t forget to check out our online course. We’re now raising the price to $30, but you can still get it for $20 using the coupon code: APR2019

The Shot List for May 2019

Now let’s go to the shot lists.

These are subjects and topics with high demand and represent actual requests made by the stock agencies.

1. Back to School Activities

Shutterstock is always planning ahead. They are requesting images depicting children around the world preparing for the new school year.

That can translate into parents purchasing schools supplies like backpacks and pencil cases, the first day at school, from starting kindergarten to walking into a dorm room.

The 4 Shutterstock requests can be read here.

2. Newborn Babies

Father and toddler son playing in living room on Offset

Newborn babies are in demand once again. Especially when it comes to fathers doing activities with their child as most files only show babies with their mothers.

Breastfeeding was among the requests months ago and came back again proving there’s still not enough quality content about it.

Graphic designers can work on illustrations and vectors for new baby cards, baby shower banners, and new baby celebrations. Photos & Footage depicting baby showers are welcome too.

The secret is including parents and children of diverse ethnicities, ages, abilities, etc. The more diverse, the more unique your files will be.

And that applies perfectly to the 3rd request:


3. Inclusive Beauty

Women and non-binary people indulging in everyday beauty routines. Explore the diversity of beauty, including different ethnicities, ages, shapes, and “imperfections” being celebrated. Work on beauty rituals and makeup application techniques in stunning environments. As well as broad representations of the beauty in women and non-binary individuals of diverse ethnicities, ages, abilities, and backgrounds. That will be images depicting the diversity of beauty including different ethnicities, ages, non-binary people, and diversity being celebrated in everyday beauty routines.


4. Criminal Justice

Storyblocks is reporting an increase of 150% on searches for “hacker” and “prison” as well as “jail,” “lawyer” and “security”.

Last month, Pond5 had a demand for airport security lines, so I believe it is an authentic request.

According to Storyblocks “content representing crime and criminal justice system are in demand”.

Searches for “hacker” and “prison” have increased by close to 150%, while “jail,” “lawyer” and “security” have also experienced significant search volume spikes. It’s clear that content representing the crime and criminal justice system are in demand.

Read more about Storyblocks’ requests here.


5. Farmer’s Market

Now we have 3 requests coming from Pond5.

Young Farmer Selling Fresh Vegetables by pressmaster

The first one is related to local farmers markets and their growing popularity around the world. Try to visually represent how these markets provide a place to meet and chat with neighbors, as well as getting needed groceries.

Pond5 suggests the following shots:

  • Shoppers and vendors weighing produce/fruits
  • Shoppers smelling/squeezing produce/fruits
  • Shoppers choosing fresh produce, bread, cheese, meats
  • Shoppers purchasing fresh produce, bread, cheese, meats
  • Shoppers meeting and chatting with friends/neighbors
  • Portraits of both consumers and vendors

And the following keywords: Organic Foods, Healthy Foods, Choice, Shopping, FreshnessPeople shopping, smelling, choosing products, chatting to neighbors and portraits of both consumers and vendors.


6. Record Shopping

Couple At Record Store Sidewalk Sale by TheStacks

The next request connects to the fact that Vinyl album sales in the United States have grown for the 13th consecutive year. Pond5 states that 16.8 million LPs were sold in the country in 2018, 14.6% more than the last year. So this a poorly explored theme full of concepts that reach far beyond the subject matter.

Some suggestions of shots are:

  • Shopper shuffling through records in a bin
  • Removing a record from sleeve to examine the record’s condition
  • Listening to record at the store’s listening station
  • Paying for the record
  • Portraits of both shopper and vendor

 And suggested keywords are: Choice, Collector, Examining, Shopping, Retail


7. Home Studio Recording

Young Musician Composes and Records Music by barselona_dreams

Producing & recording music at home have become a new trend in the music scenario. And buyers need visual content to represent that.

Some suggestions of shots are:

  • Wide shot of a home studio with and without talent.
  • Plugging instrument or midi controller
  • Playing an instrument or midi controller
  • Navigating through music software
  • Singing into a microphone
  • Portrait of a musician in a home studio

 And suggested keywords are: Creativity, Technology, Innovation, Uniqueness, Originality


8. Japanese Seniors

And finally, there’s this brief from GettyImages Custom Content. It is specific for their client (FIL) but represents a niche that is poorly represented in stock agencies – Japanese Seniors.

  • Groups and individuals taking part in outdoor activities
  • Aligned with the sentiment of people enjoying life in Japan.
  • Must feel authentic, natural and ad hoc, nothing staged looking.
  • Man walking alone in nature, leisurely with a fresh green background.
    Keywords: Nature, hiking, environment, healthy, well‑being, active seniors exercising
  • Couple happily in living room looking at iPad, Skype with their grandchildren. Keywords: Family, couple, lifestyle, enjoyment, togetherness, connection
  • Grandmother with her family and grandkids walking along a park/ beach.
    Keywords: Leisure, nature, outdoor, togetherness, family, enjoyment, healthy
  • Please see the client’s mood board for visual references, and remember while it depicts some non‑Asians, Japanese talent is mandatory for this brief. 

And that’s all for today.

Thanks for reading. Stay Creative.

Cover photo by niu niu on Unsplash