Early this year, a report from the Pew Research Center revealed that even as more workplaces have reopened, 59% of American workers who say their jobs could be done mostly from home, were teleworking all or most of the time. The most interesting finding, perhaps, was the motivation behind working from home (WFH). In the early days of the pandemic, most of those who worked from home did so because their offices were closed. In 2022, most reported that they’re working from home out of choice—rather than necessity.

The last two years have shifted the way we think about our homes, from the rise of the “cloffice” (closet/office) to mediation corners and lush outdoor living spaces. As we emerge from the pandemic, many of us bring with us a deeper understanding of the meaning of home, work/life balance, parenthood, and support. While loosening restrictions mean we’re getting out more, images of domestic life will continue to resonate with buyers worldwide. Here are four ideas to consider for your next commercial photoshoot.

Spotlight on: Spring cleaning

According to Yelp’s 2022 Home Trend Forecast Report, searches on the platform for “declutter” are up 39%. While the age of blank-slate minimalism might be coming to a close, with lived-in, authentic-feeling interiors taking center stage, springtime still inspires us to start fresh and be more intentional about our spaces.

A recent survey by OnePoll on behalf of TruGreen reveals that 78% of American homeowners noticed a link between the cleanliness of their homes and their health and wellness. 53% said that cleaning made them feel more productive, and 48% said it helped them welcome the changing of the seasons.

“Consider capturing children and families working together to clean and reorganize their interiors,” the 500px team suggests. “You can also illustrate how people are freshening up interior and exterior spaces by adding flowers and houseplants, re-painting, or taking items to thrift stores as part of the circular economy.”

The spring cleaning theme also opens up more possibilities for visualizing sustainable living in 2022, from eliminating single-use plastics to repurposing and upcycling household items. A new study from Bona and Harris Poll found that 92% of Americans who are planning to spring clean this year are considering actions to reduce their environmental impact, with more than half (56%) saying they’re considering using cleaning products with environmentally friendly ingredients.

Spotlight on: Gardening

“Gardening is also a rising trend that relates to sustainability,” the 500px team continues. Last year, a survey by OnePoll on behalf of Tower Garden revealed that 65% of U.S. respondents had started their own gardens in the previous year, with 86% of those having eaten their food. Another 39% reported having saved money on produce because they had to buy less. What’s more, 71% of respondents said that a garden would be helpful for their mental health.

“In your photoshoots, consider families of all ages working in the garden, planting, cleaning up yard waste, and taking care of houseplants,” the team at 500px advises. “Additionally, show families using fresh veggies and herbs to make vegan, plant-based meals together.” Intergenerational stories can be particularly meaningful.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, gardens continue to help us live more sustainably, while also combatting food insecurity. Climate-friendly gardens will continue to be in demand, so ditch the plastic packaging. Think locally-sourced flowers, veggies, fruits, and brightly colored plants for eye-catching photography (according to forecasters, bold colors are in vogue this year). The garden doesn’t have to be fancy, either; you can document life in your own backyard or visit a friend’s container or balcony garden.

Spotlight on: DIY and renovating

Last year, the Bank of America 2021 Homebuyer Insights Report found that 65% of younger homeowners planned to renovate in the year to come, with 67% approaching home improvements as a means to create more enjoyment of their living spaces. What’s more, 44% of younger home buyers said they’d prefer to purchase a “fixer-upper” and improve it over time, as opposed to buying a home that’s “move-in ready.”

Interestingly, 71% of younger homeowners had recently finished a DIY (do-it-yourself) project, as compared to 42% of older homeowners. 50% of those who DIYed learned from watching online videos, and 39% said they were inspired by television shows like those found on HGTV.

As interest in home improvements boomed, so too did interest in images illustrating this trend. Also last year, over on Getty Images, searches for “home renovations” went up by 80%. “DIY has become more of a movement than a trend, with many finding it empowering to make their spaces their own by rolling up their sleeves and taking on a creative project,” the 500px team says.

Your shoots can document projects big and small, from painting walls and replacing light fixtures to refurbishing vintage furniture and embracing the “boho chic” aesthetic. “Also, consider outdoor spaces, green spaces, small sheds, greenhouses, meditation spaces, and backyards for families to gather and share food and memories,” the team at 500px adds.

If we return to Bank of America’s 2021 Homebuyer Insights Report, you’ll find that sustainability projects are top-of-mind for many doing projects at home. 51% of younger homeowners want to add solar panels, while 48% said they want to add energy-efficient appliances. 43% want to use recycled or sustainable materials. These are all ideas to consider for upcoming photo sessions.

Spotlight on: Small family gatherings

“With restrictions lifting, we will see people getting together again to enjoy the spring and summer weather,” the team at 500px tells us. “That could mean showing small outdoor gatherings, BBQs, celebrations between friends, family reunions, and so on.” In April, a new poll from Axios/Ipsos found that the number of Americans engaging in activities outside their homes is increasing, with 65% saying they went out to visit friends within the last week and 66% saying the same of visiting relatives.

Etsy’s Early 2022 Trends report named a “return to hosting” as one of their key shopping trends from the previous year, with searches for “serving tray,” “party decor,” and “glassware” rising by 913%, 784%, and 670% in June. Some emerging trends to look out for, according to the experts, include over-the-top table settings with seasonal touches, celestial-themed gatherings (weddings and baby showers), and alternative celebrations such as pet adoption birthday parties.

“Homelife and family are going to continue to be focal points in advertising throughout the spring and summer,” the 500px team explains. “With trends such as sustainability, wellness (mental and physical), and revamping your spaces at the forefront of visual culture, Licensing Contributors can start to consider and imagine how they can capture the months ahead and freshen up their portfolios in the process.”

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