We are visual creatures. By 2018, an estimated 84 percent of all communications will be visual. In 2016, video and images were the most engaging types of content on Facebook, according to Buzzsumo. Over 90 percent of information processed through the human brain is visual.
When we buy something online, the purchase is based almost completely on how it is portrayed in the photos. Knowing the latest fashion photography trends is just as important as knowing which accessories, colors and fashion styles are in season right now. It is critical to your bottomline to have photography that not only gives an accurate representation of your product, but tells a story that viewers can imagine in their own lives.
As fans of the fashion industry and owners of several apparel brands, we are always on the lookout for the latest trends. Here are some of the hottest fashion photography trends that retailers and small businesses need to know:
1. Vibrant colors.
Getty Images recently released their annual Visual Trends Report for 2017. In previous years, the growing use of social media filters made photography that muted colors and created a haze more popular. However, you could say that trend is, “so last year.”
This year, it all about clear, bright colors. In the report, Getty predicts that more fashion brands and consumers are being drawn to “unusual color combinations” that are designed to ignite interest and excitement. When photographing products, think about juxtaposing contrasting bright colors. Bright pinks, shocking blues and vibrant yellows, will make fashion photos stand out.
2. 90’s Nostalgia
Many Millennials are 90’s kids, and as the largest working population now, they have huge buying power. Fashion retailers and other brands are hoping to attract their own portion of the 75 million customers that fall in the 18 to 34 age category. One way that businesses try to connect with consumers is by tapping into their nostalgia or fond memories.
You may have noticed a rise in the number of celebs wearing mom jeans, overalls and others 90’s inspired ensembles. Perhaps you have seen some of the ads from Gap, who launched a re-issue of their 90’s line? You can expect to see the polaroid and vintage film photography trends continue this year.
3. Photography in Action
Consumers want to see products in action and visualize using or wearing it in real-life. Fashion photography is often criticized for showing over-polished and unrealistic models, especially when representing women. The intensifying debates around gender politics, equality and women's empowerment are influencing the fashion industry. According to the Getty report, brands are photographing a more raw and gritty woman. One who actually looks sweaty and tired when they work out--like normal people do.
4. Set the Scene
“Greenery” was named the Pantone Color of the Year 2017, and it is just one signal of the growing influence of nature and healthy lifestyles taking over the fashion world. Millennials are driving this nature-loving trend. For example, a growing number of young people are buying organic, vegan and gluten-free foods in grocery stores. In a 2016 National Gardening Survey, a reported 5 of the 6 million that started gardening were Millennials.
Nature in fashion photography has been on the uptick for awhile now. This year, you can expect more fashion photos that are shot outside of the studio and in beautiful landscapes and greenery.
5. Demand for Authenticity
Brand authenticity is one trend that is here to stay. More and more often brands are being inspired by customers, influencers and creatives on social media. Instead of creating shiny, photoshopped magazine covers, more are trying to replicate photos that could pop up on Facebook, Pinterest and most especially Instagram feeds. A whopping 96% of US fashion brands are on Instagram, so don’t underestimate the impact of social media on fashion.
It is important to note that it is not the filters or effects of social media that will influence fashion photography. It is the transparency and authenticity that matters. According to the Visual Trends Report, the number of search for photos with the keyword “authenticity” rose more than 104% last year. Based on another report from VideoBlocks, one of the top influences for online content in 2017 will be the demand for authenticity and the desire to mimic the style of user created content.
6. Share user-generated photos
In addition to publishing more authentic brand photos, consumers want to learn about products and experiences from their peers. There is a certain level of trust with user-generated content (UGC) that brands simply can’t capture on their own. In recent years, everyone from Sephora to Modcloth is including a photo gallery where users can add and share product photos to their website and social channels.
For example, Sephora has an entire beauty board where customers can upload their makeup photos and other customers can shop for the products that were used. More fashion brands are incorporating user-generated photography. Not only can it help you find creative content, uses and ideas for products, it can build a highly engaged community and spread word of mouth.
7. Consider adding video.
This may be a blog about fashion photography trends, but we and brands can’t overlook the power of video. People are 85 percent more likely to make a purchase after viewing a product video. The average website visitor will also spend more time on a page that includes a video.
Clothing retailers like ASOS and Forever21 have started adding video clips along with product images. This gives consumers an even more interactive method to research and browse products. The next step for fashion retailers to stand out from competitors is to create truly interactive video, in which consumers can be active participants. For instance, instead of passively watching a video, they could feel the fabric or texture.
It is important to experiment with different trends to keep your brand fresh and competitive. Some trends may come and go, but there are some key fashion photography rules that have lasted the test of time. Whether you are throwing it back to the 90’s or channeling your inner Andy Warhol to pair unconventional colors, keep these key rules of product photography in mind.
● Lighting - Make sure the photo is well-lit and clear.
● Detail - For products with detailed designs, like beading and embroidery, highlight key points with a close-up shot.
● Perspective - Give customers multiple views of the same product on a minimal white or neutral background. This gives them a realistic idea of what to expect when they receive the item.
With these key rules and fashion photography trends, retailers can create more engaging and eye-catching images for their products. However, remember that consumers today won’t be completely swayed by a pretty photo. They are being drawn to high-quality images that they can relate to. They want images that tell a story, show authenticity and create an interactive viewing experience.
As a business, it is critical to your success and bottom line to have professional and attention-grabbing product photos. Fashion retailers, apparel brands and other businesses that want to improve their product photos and update their galleries and marketing with fresh images, reach out to 10twelve today for a consultation.