Shutterstock’s collection just reached 100 million images!

With this exciting milestone behind us we’re looking to the future, examining how the visual world will change as technology continues to shape our lives. As part of our investigation, we invited three experts from different corners of the image industry to discuss trends shaping the visual future: Alison Zavos, the founder and editor-in-chief of Feature Shoot; Elizabeth Renstrom, the Photo Editor for Vice; and Ray Sison, a Design Director at Work & Co.

Each of them works with images all day, and their intimate knowledge of the industry means they can see trends shifting and shaping all around them. We asked for their expert input on the future of imagery in this 30-minute panel discussion held at Shutterstock’s home office in the Empire State Building. Watch below.

We also took the celebration to the New York skyline, where we lit up the Empire State Building in our red and white brand colors to share our 100 million milestone with the city where Shutterstock was founded and continues to grow.

Photo by Stephen Lovekin / Shutterstock
Photo by Stephen Lovekin / Shutterstock
Photo by Stephen Lovekin / Shutterstock

Pictured: [1] Photo by Stephen Lovekin / Shutterstock [2] Photo by Stephen Lovekin / Shutterstock [3] Photo by Stephen Lovekin / Shutterstock

Highlights from #TheFutureOfImagery

Professional photographers are thinking across several mediums, not just photo. As they work to tell stories, they are also considering the role of video, gifs, and other technology as a way to amplify their photos.

The rise of good amateur photography is pushing the profession to new, exciting heights. As the medium opens up to more people through mobile photography, social media makes it easier to discover emerging talent.

The rise of the daily visual story through the likes of Snapchat and Instagram Stories is forcing people and brands alike to distinguish between content that’s forever or temporary, and content that’s raw or highly polished.

Editorial is not only seeing changes in the photography that editors commission, but in the platforms where news is shared. Ray Sison notices that his news has moved from Twitter to Snapchat, another big change for a genre that has seen constant upheaval over the last three decades.

Contextual imagery spells more authenticity, but even this definition is rapidly changing as people begin to curate their own lives on social media, leading to what Elizabeth Renstrom calls “feigned authenticity.” But Alison Zavos sees the other end of it — people are treating Instagram like the new blog, letting them share daily anecdotes and life moments that could not be more authentic.

The three words that characterize the future of imagery, according to the panelists? Massive. Versatile. Unexpected.

See images from #TheFutureOfImagery event:

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock

Photo by Alex Rodrigues / Shutterstock