Get ahead of oncoming trends with the six kinds of visuals we predict image buyers will need in a socially-distanced, post-quarantine world.
After months of lockdowns and quarantines due to COVID-19, restrictions are beginning to ease around the world. Some gently, some faster than others, but nonetheless it feels like a glimmer of life post-quarantine is in reach. As a result, visual trends in marketing look different than we could have ever imagined pre-COVID-19.
Given the impact of our current crisis, it’s no surprise we’ve been left to wonder what our new normal will look like. Lifestyles have unquestionably changed and will continue to change. In the coming weeks, we’ll begin to cautiously re-enter life around us as we mentally wrestle with these big-picture questions.
Enjoy the things you love outdoors. Image by Viacheslav Nikolaenko.
Our COVID-19 story is still being written—and if we know anything about the power of visuals, it’s their ability to tell and shape a story. Here, we predict the quarantine visual trends that will reflect the next chapter we experience together…and apart. Here are some of the key visual trends to capture in a new, isolated world.
Trend #1: Physical Distance Continues
Physical distance, social distance—whatever your preferred term is, the concept is here to stay. Until a vaccine is available we will need to limit the physical contact we have with others in a concerted and collective effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Most of this, we predict, will happen outside. As quarantine eases and we move (at least, here in North America, into warmer weather), people—many feeling starved of nature and fresh air—will gather outdoors. BBQ sessions, physically-distanced picnics and hangs at the beach, and bike rides with ample space between cyclists may be some of the visual cues that speak to our new normal.
For more tips on shooting photographs outside in this new normal, check out this article.
Trend #2: Small Gatherings
Small-group gatherings will replace the en masse gatherings we had in the before. Photos of crowded spaces, events, and festivals will no longer be signifiers of our society as they once were. Our social behavior has dramatically changed, and in the future will be defined by these intimate, safe, and personal social bubbles.
Keep in mind, fear and uncertainty will still exist in our new normal. When it comes to visual storytelling, truth, inclusivity, tolerance, empathy, and transparency will be more critical than ever. Consumers and brands won’t take lapses in our social behavior lightly.
Begin showcasing imagery that shows safe social gathering in small groups. Image by Kuznetsov Dmitriy.
Trend #3: PPE in North America
When it comes to wearing masks in public, North American culture lags well behind Asia where it’s the norm. It’s not just for health either; in Asia, many people wear masks to hide bad breath, for privacy, and as protection against smog and pollution. But only now, living amongst a global pandemic, has it caught on in North America.
In our new normal, we predict this trend to stay. We’ll also see the use of other PPE, such as gloves, in visuals reminding us of the importance and fragility of our health.
PPE is recommended in North America. Represent PPE in various lifestyle situations in your imagery. Image by AnnaStills.
Check out this resource for COVID-19 visual trends, including imagery of PPE around the world.
Trend #4: Delivery Service and Limited Seating
Public crowded places are off the table for now, but when and where we can manage limited physical capacity—like restaurants—will be one of the ways in which we adapt to our new normal. Delivery service was a tell-tale aspect of life in quarantine, but as restrictions ease, restaurants may rely on patio and outdoor spaces, with plenty of space between seats, as our new dine-in option.
Grocery stores, one of our other essential services, will likely continue to divert the flow of traffic in stores to alleviate potential crowding. Coffee shops may remain takeout only. And, we predict, we’ll continue to rely heavily on door-to-door delivery service as a safe alternative to shopping in-store.
As businesses begin to adjust to the pandemic, create imagery that showcases this change in business behaviors. Image by Nattakorn_Maneerat.
Trend #5: Community First
Life in quarantine has ripped the proverbial rug from under our small, local businesses. Yet, it has also reminded and reaffirmed us that these local businesses are an essential part of the fabric of our society.
One of the trends we predict is a doubling down on supporting local businesses. As our worlds have shrunk, many of us have collectively leaned into the idea of community first. How this will look remains to be seen, but in visuals, it’s important to authentically reflect our daily lives as much as possible. Watch how your community responds and aim to reflect the changes you see through your lens. Positivity is power.
Support local business in your area. Image by RossHelen.
Trend #6: Staycations
In life post-quarantine, travel—as we knew it before—will feel like a distant memory. Instead, staycations and hyper-local travel will be encouraged. Road trips may replace international air travel, nights camping out could reign popular instead of stays in a hotel, and small family outings will be favored over large-group getaways. People will no longer frequent crowded urban centers, but will instead crave the open spaces of our natural environment as a form of COVID-19 relief.
Staycations with pets are always a good idea. Image by dezy.
Our world is shifting rapidly. For many people, it can be deeply personal to see our lives reflected in the visuals around us. As our new normal unfolds before us, visual storytellers will have a big part in shaping the next chapter of our post-quarantine life in COVID-19.
Top image by Nattakorn_Maneerat.
Explore other COVID-19 trends:
The Quarantine Footage of Everyday Life at Home We LoveHow to Create a Home Photography Studio with Joanie SimonWhy These Photographers Are Capturing Homeschooling ImagesWhy Your Home is the Perfect Place for a Photoshoot8 Famous Creative Artists Who Worked From Home
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