5 Shutterstock Tips for Maximizing Your Content in 2017

February 6, 2017
Tips and Techniques
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For the past six years, Shutterstock has released an annual Creative Trends report that helps video and photo professionals get a glimpse of the big visual trends happening right now. For anyone with client work, this report is very, very useful. On January 30th they released their report for 2017. Terrence Morash, Shutterstock’s Creative Director, helps us parse through this year’s findings.

From the Global Trends report.

“Now in its sixth year, our annual Creative Trends report is driven by global customer download and search data collected over the past year. The report determines trends that will influence the creative direction and design aesthetics in 2017 across images, videos, and music. Billions of searches within Shutterstock’s collection of over 100 million images help determine the top performing global, cultural, design, and visual trends around the world. Shutterstock’s customers include designers, marketers, filmmakers, and bloggers whose download choices and search behaviors help forecast the trends in the advertising, film, and media industries.”

With that in mind, here are five main takeaways from the Shutterstock 2016 Creative Trends report. 

1. This year’s video trends are Wanderlust, Immersive Technology, Mobile Office, and Top View. Know them.

This year, three of the creative trends show what people want to see (Wanderlust, Immersive Technology, and Mobile Office) and one of how people want to see (Top View). Morash explains:

“This year’s video trends, chosen by our experts, reflect the changing nature of the workplace, technology that transports us, and the need to get away from it all. By comparison, last year’s video trends were focused on film styles such as slow motion and time-lapse. Immersive tech, reflected throughout this report, shows the stylistic transformation of footage as digital elements come into play. The rise of the mobile office sees the use of technology in every corner of the world, while wanderlust captures our thirst for adventure and a pivot towards experience-based consumerism. Finally, top view changes the angle to show us how things are made, altering the landscape for instructional videos and more.”

2. Draw from nature and technology.

“Just as we saw contrasting themes in the global trends with nature and technology, both video and social also display a level of opposition with themes of immersion and escapism showing up throughout. This year’s social trends illustrate that nature continues to rule supreme. Haunting images of extreme weather events, from twisters to tsunamis, remind us that nature is beautiful for the very reason it is dangerous – it is out of our control. On the flip side are images of humans contemplating nature, seeking perspective in something greater than ourselves.”

3. Those top-view videos you see on Facebook aren’t going away soon. Capitalize on them.

“Top view is very similar to one of the trends that we saw take off after our last creative trends report. In 2016, we identified flat lay as a global trend that saw a +160% increase in searches. Since then, that style of shooting from above has been used for everything from food to fashion, and we are now seeing it crossover more into video. Additionally, it's grown to become more nuanced. For example, we are seeing more of a POV take on Flat Lay, displaying things more neatly and organized. This plays into the artisanal, experience-driven tone that we see in other trends this year. We definitely expect this trend to continue to grow throughout 2017, especially with consumer technology like drones becoming more mainstream and offering a new perspective on the world.”

Social Media Trends

4. High ISO and Drones are the future, unsurprisingly.

If you follow any other filmmaking blogs, you’ve probably noticed that high ISO cameras like the A7sII and drones like the DJI Phantom seem to be taking the market by storm. So have Shutterstock’s content reviewers.  

“Our content reviewers have noticed a few trends in the type of imagery and footage being submitted. We’ve seen more cameras with a high frame-rate ability and high ISOs. Drone photography is also taking off as well as lenses with shallow depth of field. An area that I am particularly excited about is around the improvements in sensor quality, especially the ones at more affordable price points.”

5. As we diversify, so does our content.

“This year's predictions showcase a stark contrast – between the real world and the digital world, between nature and technology, and between the past and the future. Design features like ‘Glitch’ create a dystopian feel while ‘Organic Texture’ illustrates the desire for more raw, natural patterns and tangible experiences. We expect to see continued divergence and disparity as the world diversifies, but perhaps it won’t be as polarizing as in 2017. We look forward to seeing how our customers and contributors apply these trends to aesthetically enhance their stories throughout the year.”

Keep these things in mind for 2017! For the complete report, check it out here!

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Brent L Zaffino

I am a filmmaker out of Atlanta, Georgia currently working as a freelance director and videographer for music videos, short films, and corporate videos.

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