The stock image industry has seen some massive changes over the past few years and a 2014 was a pivotal year in terms of the variety of images uploaded. The notion that it is just a marketplace for high-quality corporate imagery perfect for business needs has changed dramatically. Stock imagery has diversified and as more businesses find their budgets cut more, clients are increasingly turning to stock agencies for all types of visuals.

Contributors are becoming more aware of fashions in photography and illustration ensuring that our Fotolia stock portfolio is more diverse and aesthetically creative than ever before.

Macrophotography emerged as a key visual trend in 2014. Popular subjects include plants, flowers and food. The close up detail allows users to really immerse themselves into the visual sensation of the subject. Photographers want to show the in-depth beauty and detail and macrophotography truly allows for that. Particularly when it comes to food, macrophotography taps into sensation highlighting texture, allowing a user to imagine and appreciate the prospect of biting into it.

Extreme macro view of blue damselfly



Additionally, the beauty of macrophotography is that it allows for colours and details to be highlighted in a way that is not possible when photographed ordinarily. An insect’s wings, or eyes for example, which customarily are not visible clearly to the human eye become evident when shot with a macro lens making for an extremely striking visual which captivates the viewer.

The concept of the ‘hipster’ was a key trend in 2014 following on from its rise into the mainstream in 2013, for a multitude of reasons (ironic considering the intrinsic purpose of a hipster to shun the notion of ‘popularity’ and ‘fashion’).

Vintage, retro and sarcastically antiquated are all definitions that fall under the umbrella term ‘hipster’ and it was clear in 2014 to see how they played a role in stock. Low-level lighting, filter-esque shots, popular with many Instagram users for that grainy, vintage vibe all saw their way in to some of the most downloaded images of 2014. Vintage apparel such as gramophones, old bicycles, thick-rimmed glasses as well as the ever-present facial hair on models (admittedly solely reserved for males) ensured ‘hipster’ remained an ever-present popular searched term in 2014.

Portrait of a smiling cute boy taking picture with retro camera at a lake

Hiker man looking at the mountains

Colour is a generic word. It builds up our visual world and therefore as a trend can often be overlooked, taken for granted somewhat. Some of our favourite images this year despite simple in their concept, had real visual depth as a result of the colour, which either ‘popped’ or saturated the image.  Rustic, organic colours played an important role in images uploaded to Fotolia, soft, ambient lighting becoming the preferred method to add warmth and softness to imagery.


Scenic Car Window View

Winter running woman

writing a document on a typewriter


Hornbill with yellow beak

You can view more of some of our favourite images from 2014 in this gallery here. And we’d love to know your favourite! Send us yours by posting it on either Facebook, Twitter or G+ or by leaving a comment below!