The way brands visualize the holiday season is shifting.

No longer is it acceptable to rely solely on images of families sharing perfectly wrapped gifts around a Christmas tree; brands are celebrating diversity and localism. And with that comes a much broader range of holiday imagery.

In addition to subject matter, the way people make images also is evolving. Over the past few years, the rise of selfies has brought along a change in viewpoint in imagery. This year, we expect to see this viewpoint change again as wearable tech becomes popular.

So how do you represent the holidays of today in your visual communications? Here are some trends to consider to ensure your holiday imagery feels of the moment, illustrated with iStock by Getty Images content (the best imagery at unbelievable prices):

1. Intimacy

Advances in mobile phone technology allow everyone to capture an intimate view of traditions, routines and emotions during the holiday period. This intimacy will become commonplace in holiday images as people lean towards more authentic, personal photographs.

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2. Handmade with love

As mass-produced gifts are more easily available with next-day delivery and one-touch purchasing, the desire for handmade and rare gifts is rising. The artisan movement is reflected both in the gift itself, as well as the wrapping and presentation. Images of artisan gifts evoke an appreciation for quality and nostalgia for the crafted.

Preparing Christmas gifts

3. Giving back

The growing commercialization of the holidays has seen a parallel rise in giving back to the community. As brands pay more attention to their purpose, we expect to see more focus on how our purchases help communities elsewhere. Consumers want to be sure that their own excess is bringing some benefit to the world.


4. Gathering for the holidays

The “melting pot” holiday has become more commonplace. For those that don’t live close to family, sharing the holiday season with friends — who often come from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles — is just as important, as it becomes a time when new traditions are made.


5. Travel

Whether people are venturing back home to see family or are trying to escape the cold weather, there is a huge spike in travel during the months of December and January. As more people celebrate the holidays away from home, brands are giving more consideration to visualizing the holidays in different countries and climates.

Happy New Year!

6. Furry friends

Pets are important family members and are included in holiday festivities more than ever. They have become a staple in family photos and are even given their own set of gifts — in fact, a whole industry has sprung up around pet presents.


Find great holiday imagery on iStock by Getty Images and still have money left over to buy presents. Start searching.