More 2018 Visual Trends

Posted on 3/12/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

I have been looking at some of the Visual Trends 2018 reports. I hope they are helping customers because I don’t think they are doing much for image creators.

Take Getty’s trend report which evidently came out of the UK office. They say, “our Creative team analyzed 1 billion searches and 400 million imagery downloads on, studied advertising trends, and examined pop culture shifts to predict three defining visual trends of 2018.”

If, in fact there were 400 million downloads in 2017 (maybe this was over a longer period than a year) and Getty generated around $280 million in revenue from its Creative collection then the average gross sale per download was $0.70. A 35% royalty would mean that on average photographers received $0.25 per download.

After reviewing their sales reports many photographers might be willing to believe these numbers despite the fact that they see in very rare instances licenses for much higher fees. Certainly, the RF list prices of Extra small, $50; Small, $175; Medium, $375 and Large, $575 are seldom what is paid for a download.

If you search Getty’s Creative collection you find that currently there are 22,447,306 images in the collection, 15,890,728 of them are RF. Thus, on average, each image in the collection would be downloaded about 18 times in a year and on average contributors would something in the range of $4.50 per-image in the collection per-year.

Since we know that a huge percentage of the images are never licensed then many that are are licensed will be licensed many more times per-year than 18.

Trends Identified

The three trends that Getty has identified are Second Renaissance, Conceptual Realism and Masculinity Undone. They have provided boards with images in each of these categories and links to similar images. Here are a few links to check out.

1 – Second Renaissance

2 – Conceptual Realism

3 – Masculinity Undone

I may not know much about what customers want, but I can’t imagine that anyone is purchasing the vast majority of the images being shown. That is, unless they are purchasing them to do one of those stories on crazy, stupid, ridiculous, useless stock images that are published online almost every day.

These collections do include some good, useful stock images that would help people sell and promote products and service, but they are certainly in the minority.

What image creators need, if trend reports are to be useful in helping them produce more of what customers want, are examples of exactly what is selling and some idea of the images that have been most popular relative to those that have sold a couple times to those whose purpose is to disparage the use of stock photography.

Getty has shown a lot of images, but since we’re pretty sure that most of them have not sold, the information gained is useless. If anything, it encourages some photographers to produce more of what no one wants.

Just showing a handful of “best sellers” doesn’t work either because there is not enough information to understand the variable of what might be acceptable and what isn’t.


To be fair to Getty we should also take a look at AdobeStock’s new trend report entitled “The Fluid Self: Visualizing New Identities.”

Adobe seems to be doing more frequent trend reports focused on narrower topics. Earlier this year they did one on “Silence and Solitude: Escaping Information Overload.” In their trend reports they give only a hand full of examples that are not enough to get an idea of what customers are actually buying.

For links to other trend reports see this story.

Help Image Creators

I’ve said this before, but if these agencies want more of what their customers want to buy, they had better start giving suppliers (image creators) more specific information about exactly what the customers are buying. If they just say, “We need More, More, More” and leave it up to the creators they will continue to get a lot of what no one wants and everyone will waste their time. The data is available. Share it.

Copyright © 2018 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff