2021 Commercial Photography Color Trends

commercial photography color trends

The color palette for the year is really important to take into account because it can impact your marketing strategy and social media aesthetic for the year. The commercial photography color trends for 2021 can heavily influence the design, tech, art, and advertising industries. 

Every year, the Pantone Color Institute releases the Color of the Year. For 2021, two colors have been selected: Illuminating, a lemony, soft yellow, and Ultimate Gray, an achromatic shade of gray. The gray brings endurance and security while Illuminating offers the scene of a rising sun –one of hope and optimism. Together, they are designed to bring a feeling of being uplifted, dependability, and inspiration. 

Colors have a huge impact on how customers will perceive your products and services. Commercial photography color trends for 2021 focus on the need users have for a hopeful message after the pandemic of 2020.

And photographers have been quick to adopt these colors into commercial campaigns too. You will be able to see the soothing gray tones and the happy yellows in the photoshoot by Nick Knight for the Fendi Summer and Spring collection. Naomi Osaka, the brand ambassador for Louis Vuitton, was also photographed by Nicolas Ghesquière in a yellow dress against a gray background. 

It’s not just fashion brands that have adopted the commercial photography color trends for 2021 but large marketing campaigns too. The Super Bowl commercials for 2021 had splashes of gray and yellow all across the ads, from DoorDash and Squarespace to Mercari. Social media accounts for huge brand names like Mercedes-Benz, Chanel, and BMW have all incorporated the soothing palette.  

Even stock images have moved to incorporate the commercial photography color trends for 2021. Photographers have brought yellow and gray to wardrobes, props, and interior décor. A simple gray background and a pop of yellow on a dress can go a long way to make sure that you are modernizing classic shots. 

Yellow food

You can also use them as key colors for food photography, product photography, and even flat lays. Let your creativity shine when it comes to using colors. You can use these colors together or complement them with others that bring them out. For example, yellow stands out with purple, while gray will look better with a vibrant and saturated color. 

While commercial photography color trends come and go, it is vital to focus on their importance as a content creator and photographer. They play a crucial role in capturing the cultural moment we are living in and speak to consumers in a way that we need to appreciate more. Colors are the most important tools in our kits as photographers. 


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