Caring for yourself is more important now than ever. Follow these guidelines for photographing self-care and create images that promote wellbeing.
Needless to say, we’re living in weird times, and self-care can be an excellent avenue to relieve stress and anxiety. Self-care has never been more important to share and showcase in the images that we create today.
On Shutterstock, self-care images are trending in our marketplace, so we wanted to share some ideas on self-care images that you can capture at home in your own space for stock. Read on for some ideas on self-care images to capture, and discover the visual trends we’re seeing trending with our customers.
Self-care images, illustrations, and videos are trending. Illustration by Nicetoseeya.
Idea #1: Beauty Routine Images
For many, a beauty routine is a self-care routine. It may seem trivial, but beauty and skincare is really about taking time for oneself. Our attempts to look good help us feel good.
We may have gone for months without trips to the nail salon or hairdresser, but at home, we’re finding creative ways to continue our beauty routines.
Your beauty routine is a self-care routine. Image by Rawpixel.com.
In visuals, this looks like at home face masks (including DIY ones using everyday ingredients), pedicures or manicures, and even dry brushing. Take a bath—already relaxing—and add ambient light, candles, bubbles, and oils for an even calmer image.
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Idea #2: Images Depicting Mindfulness
No one is immune from the need to practice self-care. For many, this is all about staying grounded. Take it from this psychologist who says, “The essence of my self-care during this time is mindful awareness—being intentionally present with seemingly mundane tasks, savoring small moments of peace and connection, and responding compassionately to myself and others.”
Mindfulness looks different for everyone. Image by Iryna Inshyna.
Mindfulness doesn’t look the same for everyone. Meditation is perhaps the image that comes to mind most when we talk about mindfulness, but we’re also seeing this represented as journaling and even niksen, another Danish concept (like hygge), which translates as the simple art of doing nothing.
Discover these articles about mindfulness and mental health:
Idea #3: Rituals and Routines at Home
Wake up, shower, eat, go to work…? Not so much anymore.
If there has been one thing that has changed most with COVID-19, it’s our day-to-day routine. Establishing a regular routine—as an act of self-care—is one of the most impactful ways we can positively improve mental health and maintain our physical well-being.
So what are some ways we can visually show routine? Waking up, showering, exercise, work, cooking, family time, and personal time—really, any regular aspect of our typical (think pre-COVID-19) day to day lives.
Images by Daxiao Productions.
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Idea #3: Images of Therapy and Telemedicine
Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean we’ve stopped investing in the strategies we’ve established for our mental well-being. Many therapists are offering video conferencing as an option for their patients. Plus, we’re seeing therapy in the form of pets and art. Spending this much time at home means we’re interacting with our furry friends more, and turning to creative projects, like art, to help channel any complex emotions we may be feeling.
Telemedicine—things like virtual physiotherapy and appointments with your doctor—is another act of self-care.
Telemedicine is the latest way to get your checkups. Image by fizkes.
Idea #4: Organizing and Decluttering Home
Clearing clutter can help our lives feel less messy and more balanced—especially when we’re spending this much time in our home environments. We’re seeing images of people in quarantine make like Marie [Kondo] and organize spaces that have been begging for order. (And if you’re familiar with the KonMari method, you know how soothing this can be.)
There’s no better feeling than a clean house. Capture images of the process. Image by Halfpoint.
Learn additional tips on shooting interiors:
Learn How to Shoot Unique Interiors with These Tips from 6 Pros7 Photographers on Taking Cozy and Authentic Photos of Home Interiors5 Tips for Clean, Sophisticated Interior Photos from a Top Earner, Jodie Johnson
Idea #5: Images of Virtual Travel and Experiences
We’re used to holidays and vacations as a break from the mundane. In quarantine, however, we’re not only clinging to routine for comfort but we’re unable to travel freely as we once did.
We can still mimic the joy and excitement that planning a trip provides though—just virtually. Museums, galleries, and theaters have opened their doors, streaming theatre performances for fans to enjoy from the comfort of their homes. Live cams like those hosted by aquariums and other nature-based sanctuaries bring the outdoors inside. You can even virtually walk through the streets of Hong Kong or New York. Tuning in to escape is a form of self-care, even if it’s for only an hour.
Create images that celebrate online art galleries, museums, and other virtual experiences. Illustration by Prostorina.
Idea #6: Exercise at Home Imagery
Exercise is inextricably linked to our mental health. According to Walden University, “Exercise is a scientifically proven mood booster, decreasing symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Physical activity kicks up endorphin levels, the body’s famous ‘feel-good’ chemical produced by the brain and spinal cord that produces feelings of happiness and euphoria.”
By moving more, we feel symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression less. We’re seeing images that highlight the ways in which we’ve continued to strengthen our bodies and minds. Virtual yoga, exercises with at-home objects (think heavy jugs as weights), resistance bands instead of dumbbells, and simple setups in small corners of our homes are all some of the ways images are representing exercise in quarantine.
Enjoy the opportunity to exercise with loved ones from near and far. Image by Kuznetsov Dmitriy.
Idea #7: Healthy Eating and Healthy Food Images
Exercise and healthy eating go hand in hand. In times of stress (especially one where cooking and baking is a form of stress relief in and of itself), healthy eating is one way we can ensure we’re taking care of our physical selves. For this act of self-care, show images that focus on aspects of healthy eating. Think tea, water (flavored, sparkling, or otherwise), healthy meals, and balanced portions.
Photograph the delicious food you’ve been eating. Image by HealthyLauraCom.
Discover these up-and-coming trends for food imagery:
Idea #8: Sleep and Rest
Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for your physical and mental health. Getting enough rest means we are supporting our immune system to function the best it possibly can. Visual reminders of this form of self-care include images of people getting sleep, ideal sleep conditions, and looking rested.
Sleep supports every bodily function. Image by Prostock-Studio.
Idea #9: Images of Creative Hobbies in Your Life
Working with our hands—whether sewing, gardening, cooking, baking, drawing, woodworking, embroidery, or playing guitar—is one way to provide a mental distraction for ourselves. A simple hobby can help to channel restless and anxious energy in a productive and creative way. For life in quarantine, these hobbies can be shown virtually, with family members, or as quality time alone. The variety of hobbies is endless.
Capture images of the hobbies in your life. Image by GoodStudio.
Idea #10: Community Connection
These tips are about self-care, but we generally need community to feel fulfilled and happy. This form of “self-care” is all about visually showing connection with others. Family members bonding, Zoom dates with friends, delivering groceries to a neighbor, and quality time with a spouse or partner are just some examples of how we can show community connection as an act of self-care.
Celebrate the community in your life in images, and small gatherings depicting togetherness. Image by Goran Bogicevic.
Being gentle with ourselves allows us to be gentle with others. Images of self-care remind us of all the ways we can still take care of our body, mind, and spirit during this strange and uncertain time.
Top Image by Dragon Images.
Read on for other visual trends to capture:
6 Types of Visual Trends We’ll See in a Post-Quarantine WorldAbstract Aerial Images We Love (And How to Photograph Them)Ways to Capture Images of Outdoor Activities in a New NormalThe Quarantine Images of Everyday Life at Home We LoveThe Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook From Home
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