Each year our friends at Adobe share their insights into visual trends for the coming year. The Adobe Stock team takes a look at what’s happening in social media, advertising, global news, fashion imagery and much more to bring us the creative and motion trends for 2020.

With the globalization of visual culture growing faster all the time, brands need to keep up with the constantly changing shifts in aesthetics. Based on the trends they’re reporting, here are what they are and how they apply to the photography community.

The aging demographic

The perception of the older generation is changing. Those who used to be portrayed as declining in health, needing help or care are now being shown as more fit and leading more active lives. If you are a portrait photographer, now is the time to offer “senior” portraits, not just senior portraits. Stock agencies are looking for more images of the older generation in travel and beauty photos.

According to the World Health Organization, by 2020 the number of people aged 60 or older will outnumber children under five. Businesses are spending more marketing dollars to target this generation and include them in their marketing campaigns.

Sharing more

Social media plays a big role in people’s publicly sharing more and more about their lives and feelings. This has changed what consumers want to be shown, they want real-life, authentic situations and images. The public is looking for the same honest life experience from the companies they purchase from and public figures. This way of life has opened up discussions on diversity and inclusion and people are looking for those topics to be included in the marketing and advertising from the companies they buy from.

Adobe 2020 Visual Trends

Being human

The definition of beauty is being redefined. Cosmetics are no longer strictly a way to be more beautiful or enhance beauty, they are being used to focus on unique styles, to present oneself more artistically and be more expressive. This goes hand in hand with a new understanding of what it means to be a person, to connect with others and also to connect with ourselves.

Beauty brands are offering a wider variety of colors and shades. Make-up is being used to help people stand out and be authentic, not blend in. Think about this if you’re a portrait photographer or shooting images for commercial purposes. The old standard of beauty is disappearing.

Come together

Supporting causes, experiencing life and choosing a more meaningful lifestyle are becoming more prevalent in the younger generation. They are getting more involved in local and global communities. Brands are looking for images that portray this trend.

Adobe 2020 Visual Trends

Motion trends

Motion trends are just that — movement and motion in imagery. You’ll see documentary-style videos on environmental issues and climate change. Consumers expect videos and graphics that grab their attention. Images that depict movement, flowing, natural and organic shapes and compositions. Another of the motion trends is neon, glowing, flickering and electric.

Adobe 2020 Visual Trends

What does this have to do with photography?

Any of these trends can be used in your photography business whether it’s portraits, commercial or stock photography. Keeping yourself informed of visual trends can help you, your work and your clients stay relevant and not appear outdated. You can read Adobe’s blog post here.