Top Stock Footage Trends | What to Shoot in 2019

August 2, 2019

Best Selling Stock Footage for 2019

SHOOT SMART

If you want to sell stock footage, you need to shoot the right footage from the start. You can’t just shoot a beautiful sunset or a field of flowers and think it will sell. There are already millions of clips of sunsets and flowers out there, and even if yours is the best, it simply will never be seen.

Shoot smart and make the most of your valuable time by only shooting content that actually has a chance at standing out from the crowd.

Lucky for us stock contributors, almost all of the major stock sites provide a monthly shot list to let us know exactly what is the most popular stock footage, keywords customers are searching for, and where the existing content is thin. This information reveals areas where there is a strong demand, but short supply of content.

Capitalizing on this information is invaluable for a stock contributor. Instead of wasting your time shooting and uploading content that is already completely saturated, you should target areas where you can dominate a certain niche and shoot those stock categories that are most profitable.

You automatically eliminate a wide margin of the competition simply by shooting what they have yet to shoot.

I have done the grunt work for you and compiled all the latest trends across various sites into one list.

I will be updating and adding to this list each month so that you have the most up to date ideas for shooting your stock videos.

The following suggestions have come directly from Storyblocks, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock and Pond5’s latest stock trend research.

Also don’t forget to check out my top 5 tips for selling stock footage, where I share all my secrets for ranking high on stock sites and selling clips often.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

Keep in mind: just because a suggested trend is something like ‘Scandinavian Lifestyle’ doesn’t mean that you have to travel to Scandinavia to capture relevant footage. You simply need to think outside of the box.

Shoot something with that style in mind and then be sure to use those relevant keywords in your titles and keywords. A few shots of you or a friend sipping tea from a clean, white mug in a brightly lit room with simple, modern decor. Strategically tag it ‘Scandinavian Lifestyle’ and boom. You’ve just teleported yourself.

ALL TYPES OF MEDIA

If you are a graphic artist or know a bit about motion effects, use these trends to animate 3D graphics or your own animations as well.

Now, on to the list.


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  • How to find keywords that will quickly rank high in search results so that your photos and video clips sell over and over again
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HOTTEST STOCK FOOTAGE TRENDS FOR 2019

1 | SOCIAL MEDIA RELATED

  • With the amount of social media users and the constant introduction of new apps, this one is not going out of style any time soon.
  • Footage of people using apps that focus on video, such as youtube, instagram, and facebook. Or close up shots of the buttons within those apps.
  • Searches for “subscribe button” are up 774%, “Instagram” up 154%, and “YouTube” up 70%.
social media user on iphone

2 | SCANDINAVIAN LIFESTYLE TRENDS

  • People looking cozy and content
  • Scandinavian style design, with an emphasis on simple, minimalist decor
  • Elegantly tailored, minimal clothing that shows quality over quantity
  • Slow living and travel that pauses to admire and reflect on life
scandinavian interior design

3 | ABSTRACT VECTORS, DRAWINGS, AND GRAPHICS

  • Zine culture: creative, intriguing, bold colors with paper cutouts, textures, and layers. 1376% increase in zine culture searches on Shutterstock in 2019.
  • Kawaii: joyful, pastel-color vectors with adorable objects. Searches on Shutterstock for ‘Kawaii’ up 911%, ‘Cute Illustration’ up 182%.
  • Prism: very bright colors, usually in the form of rainbow colors, 3D shapes, and seamless patterns. Searches on Shutterstock for ‘Disco Lights’ up 7293% and ‘Rainbow Geometric’ up 434%.
art-artistic-abstract

LAY FLAT STOP-ANIMATION

  • Lay flat photographs have been on the rise for a while, especially as platforms like youtube and blogging are on the rise.
  • Using photo sequences or videos to create simple stop animations, especially of food is an incredible niche to explore.
pink abstract art

JAPANESE CULTURE

  • Subjects revolving around Japanese culture have been steadily increasing in demand
  • Specifically, searches for “sushi” are up 338% and “Tokyo” are up 52%
red japanese architecture

MEDICAL AND HEALTH ISSUES

  • Treatments such as chemotherapy, mammograms and diagnosis
  • Skin conditions and remedies like eczema and psoriasis
  • Visible and non-visible medical conditions in everyday life situations
  • Non-visible disorders including dyslexia, dementia and Alzheimer’s
medical check up

OUT OF THIS WORLD / OUTER SPACE

  • Topics like universe and space exploration
  • Searches for “UFO” are up 192%, “black hole” up 155%, and “universe” up 25%
  • As graphics technology improves each year, older animated content will become stale to buyers. This is an excellent opportunity for animators to answer the high demand.
action-astronomy-constellation

METHODS FOR WELLBEING

  • People of all ages, genders, sizes, and ethnicities practicing yoga (indoor and outdoor)
  • Images and illustrations depicting concepts of namaste, ying and yang, and karma
yoga beautiful outside

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS

  • Recycling and waste reduction techniques that help the environment
  • Environmental disasters as well as disaster relief and recovery
  • Eco-friendly transportation including electric scooters and e-bikes
  • People involved in philanthropy, including volunteers and social outreach
pollution in water

COMIC BOOKS AND CARTOONS

  • The summer blockbuster movies may be influencing this popular topic
  • Marvel Intros, cartoons, and cartoon-like characters are tremendously popular

GREEN SCREEN

  • Along with terms such like Social Media, dancing and background are still trending up

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

  • Some of the top selling footage across all sites in 2019 has been the connection between humans and computers
  • The ever growing idea that technology is constantly advancing

HEADPHONES - SONIC HEALING

  • According to Pond5, footage of people wearing headphones is always in demand
  • Specifically, you would do better to niche it down to wearing headphones for ‘sonic’ healing
  • Instead of swaying to the beat, show people wearing headphones in relaxing, spa, healing type environments
  • Suggested Keywords: Relaxation, Rejuvenation, Introspection, Sonic Therapy, Balance, Detoxify, Restore, Transformation, Wellness, Meditation, Stimulation

SLEEP CYCLE

  • Pond5 is specifically asking for a number of shots relating to getting healthy sleep
  • Target customers would include mattress companies, pillow manufacturers, OTC sleeping pills, sound machines, etc.
  • Think about close ups of turning off lights, making a bed, actors (or real people) in restless sleep as well as fully rested sleep
  • Suggested Keywords: Rest, Comfort, Relaxation, Rejuvenation, Restoration, Transformation, Wellness, Dreaming, Insomnia, Restlessness

INDOOR CLIMBING

  • Based on Google trends, searches for indoor climbing and climbing gyms is trending up
  • Close ups of climbing equipment, people climbing, and indoor climbing gyms are all in demand
  • Suggested Keywords: Preparation, Concentration, Focus, Determination, Skill, Technique, Agility, Climbing Gym, Bouldering
indoor climbing gym

UPCOMING CURRENT EVENTS FOR AUGUST

Here are a few thought starters based on some major events that happened in August history. I have sold a number of footage clips revolving around holidays or themes of the months throughout the year, so these are some great events to keep in mind for footage ideas.

RUNNING FOOTAGE

  • On August 5, 1936, Jesse Owens won his third gold medal at the Berlin Olympics and beat his own Olympic world record for the 200 meter sprint. He won a fourth gold medal four days later.
  • Theme ideas: determination, overcoming goals, gold medal, running, etc.

OUTDOOR CONCERTS

  • The 50th anniversary of Woodstock is on August 15-18, which still remains the most legendary festival ever
  • Theme ideas: images of large crowds of people in outdoor concert scenario, enjoying each other and music
outdoor concert

TENNIS

  • On August 19th, the biggest starts of tennis return to compete at the 2019 US Open
  • Theme ideas: close up shots of tennis match, close ups of ball being served, victory, sportsmanship, even creative shots of an empty tennis court
close up tennis racket

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

  • On August 28th, 1963 MLK addressed 250,000 people from the Lincoln Memorial to deliver his historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech
  • Theme ideas: inspirational themes, race issues, diversity, people coming together, overcoming social issues
casual-diversity-women

UPCOMING CURRENT EVENTS FOR SEPTEMBER

WORLD WAR II BEGAN

  • 80 years ago Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, marking the beginning of World War II.
  • Any kind of footage that represents this piece of history could be relevant for this month.

OKTOBERFEST

  • This world famous festival begins on September 2, held in Munich and surrounding Bavaria Germany.
  • Footage or photos that depict large crowds of people celebrating over food, beer, and festivals could be especially relevant this month.

EMMY AWARDS

  • The 71st anniversary of the Emmy Awards will air on Sunday, September 22.
  • Fashion, celebrities, red carpet style depicting the entertainment industry would all be great ideas to shoot for this month.

UPCOMING CURRENT EVENTS FOR OCTOBER

images of acts of kindness

ACTS OF KINDNESS

  • Customers will be searching for images depicting acts of kindness in authentic situations.
  • Content can include individuals participating in non-profits, like charities and soup kitchens.
  • Try capturing moments where someone is assisting the elderly or disabled, and always showcase inclusivity and acceptance when possible.
holiday decor.jpg

MODERN HOLIDAYS

  • The holidays are quickly approaching, which means customers are already starting to look for seasonal images.
  • They’ll be looking for images of holiday greenery, beautiful home decor, and winter festivities.
  • In demand will also be alternatives to traditional holiday trees, for example cactuses or palm trees.
  • Try capturing delicious holiday drinks like eggnog and prosecco, as well as holiday themed-parties.

SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

  • Customers are searching for images showcasing small businesses and beautiful storefronts. Now’s the time for property releases!
  • Try and capture small businesses from around the world, including cafes, retail stores, office environments, and start-ups.
  • Images showcasing shopping at small businesses is also a popular subject matter.
  • Try photographing shopkeepers and entrepreneurs at work.

UPCOMING CURRENT EVENTS FOR NOVEMBER

SPECIAL OCCASIONS WITH DRINKS AND FRIENDS

  • The holidays are approaching, and customers want images of people getting together to eat, drink, and be merry.
  • Capture images of family meals, romantic dinners, picnics, and other special moments.
  • And remember—it’s not the holiday season without eggnog!

THE MODERN APOTHECARY

  • Images focusing on the apothecary of natural wellness will be searched, with a special focus on self-care.
  • Content depicting an organic, minimalist lifestyle and the comfort of aromatherapy (essential oils, incense, candles, etc.) will be a hot commodity.
  • Make sure to add images of herbal formulations, including wildflowers and herbs, to your uploads.

SEASONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Customers will be searching for the energy and possibilities that the new season brings.
  • Capture images of everyday indoor and outdoor activities in aspirational environments.

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU

  • A new year is upon us, so provide images celebrating this milestone and the resolutions that come with it.
  • Customers will want to see lifestyle images of people ringing in the new year.
  • With a new year comes a new you! Upload visuals depicting a fresh start, with goal setting, vision boarding, and bucket listing.

UPCOMING CURRENT EVENTS FOR DECEMBER

NATURE FOOD AND MEDICINE

  • Images of all things CBD will be in-demand, particularly graphic design and creative representations of CBD products in a mature, minimalist way.
  • A call to nature and wellness.
  • Lifestyle images of people using natural ingredients such as turmeric, aloe vera, charcoal, hibiscus, and eucalyptus are popular.
  • Top-down visuals of unbranded natural kitchen and bath products will also be in high demand.
top-view-photo-of-cereal-bowl-2835751-3.jpg

SPORTS LIFESTYLE

  • Users will be searching for images of people playing individual sports (boxing, bowling, skateboarding) as well as team sports (football, soccer, basketball).
  • Images of parties where people are watching sports will also be popular (free of any intellectual properties).

INTERIORS OF BEAUTIFUL SPACES

  • Creatives will be searching for beautiful images of interior spaces as well as kitchen and bathroom interiors.
  • Visuals of home spaces, social areas (breweries, cafes, coworking spaces), and well-designed markets and restaurants will be sought out, and don’t forget those property releases!
brown-wooden-stools-1451471.jpg

SOCIAL MEDIA STARS

  • Influencers are so hot right now, images depicting the 'influencer lifestyle' of social media celebrities.
  • Create visuals of influencers and social media stars taking images (or selfies) in aspirational locations.
  • Showcasing social media marketing and the website creation process will also be #popular.
woman-taking-selfie-2050979.jpg

I hope that this running list of ever growing trends gives you plenty of ideas to get started with your stock footage.

Don’t forget to check out my 5 tips you need to know to get started selling stock footage, where I reveal my top 5 secrets to help you maximize all the opportunities out there to sell your work.

Comment below and let me know what you’re working on. Happy shooting!

BECOME A SHUTTERSTOCK CONTRIBUTOR

Hi, I'm Beth.

I started Handcraft Films to give other filmmakers and photographers the gift of documenting their own stories for years to come. I hope you'll learn something new and share your creativity here.
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