Brenda Milis – Principal of Creative Services and Visual Trends for Adobe Stock

Brenda Milis – Principal of Creative Services and Visual Trends for Adobe Stock

– Hello, and welcome to
the i3 Lecture Series hosted by the Masters in
Digital Photography Program at the School of Visual Arts. We are thrilled to have Brenda Milis, Principal of Creative
Service and Visual Trends in Adobe Stock as tonight’s guest speaker. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Brenda attended UC Berkeley, where she majored in Art History. Over the years, she has
worked for a large variety of editorial brands, including the Wall
Street Journal Magazine, Bloomberg Pursuits, Time Magazine, Marie Claire, and Men’s Health. She also launched and served as the founding photo editor of, and was executive director
of photography at Refinery29. Presently at Adobe, she leads
the Creative Services Group, driving three key interrelated activities, servicing the visual needs
of top enterprise clients, identifying visual trends,
and curating content for global merchandising activities. Please help me welcome Brenda Milis to our lecture series. (audience applauds) – So my name is Brenda
Milis, and as Jaime said, I’m the Principal of Creative Services and Visual Trends at Adobe, which I will unpack that
unwieldy title in just a moment. Before coming to Adobe,
I was on the client side. I was a photography director
for mostly editorial brands, but also did a lot of branded projects. And I would say that my
expertise at that time and to this day lies in understanding and elevating visual brands. So that ties very much into
what I do at Adobe with clients. I go to enterprise clients and understand what they’re doing, what
they’re trying to convey in the campaigns they’re working on. And because I spearhead
the Visual Trends program and I specialize in
understanding visual brands, I work with them to find the
types of Adobe Stock assets that are both on brand for
them, but also trending. And so I’m very much gonna focus tonight on talking about what visual trends are and why they’re really important
right now more than ever. At Adobe, we talk a lot
about visual fluency, and what that mean is being aware of not just what types of
images are of interests to viewers now, but what types of images are going to be growing
in interest in the future so that you are always building. In stock, you’re building your collection to meet the needs of the future clients of the future viewers. Because we live in an
extremely visual culture, as we all know, but also a culture where not only are things changing, but they’re gaining in velocity. Change is happening faster and faster. What that means is our visual culture is changing faster and faster. So we’re finding that visual trends become more and more
important to creatives. In other words, you want
to know what your viewer is loving to look at now, what
they’re responding to now, what’s resonating now. But also, what they’re gonna
be responding to next year as you release your next
project, your next work, your next body of work. So I really help not just
clients but also creatives strategize, really take
a strategic approach to thinking about what they’re working on. So if you’re a creative,
I’ll be talking about the visual transfer of 2018. What you’re going to be thinking about as you see these visual
trends is which ones, not all of them. You would never expect all of the trends to hook into your own
work or your own style, but which trends really do resonate with your own approach to your work and your body of work. And really think about how, yes, this trend really does relate to my work, and I can incorporate
elements of that in my work or keep building that part of my work having the awareness that viewers are going to really key
into that and hook into that and be interested in those elements. So it really kind of gives you data, not just qualitative,
but quantitative data on this is where viewers’
interest is scaling. And so visual core casting,
which is one of the things I do for Adobe is a combination
of research practices that predicts where audience
or customer interest is growing around very specific visual
topics and visual styles. I’ll try to just talk
quickly about two things that help clarify visual trends, localization and longevity
because as more and more of us work with global clients or may work in different parts of the world, we find that different visual trends that I’ll be going through may have international reach,
but that different regions respond more strongly or
less strongly to each trend. And then the other thing that
I always like to talk about before going through each
trend is the word trend, which I hate as far as
that is kind of the phrase that’s been given to me
through the industry. But that word, trend, can be misleading. This is imagery that is growing in marketplace appeal but
is not actually a fad. And what we’ll discuss, or
what I’ll discuss tonight is how you’ll see these
trends evolve and develop from your tier, and
I’ll actually go through the evolution of a couple of these trends, how they’re developing into 2019 into one of the biggest
trends for next year. So these trends have longevity. Oops, let me see here. There we go. And now I’ll go into
the 2018 visual trends, talk about them regionally,
and keeping in mind that even if something
is a trend for this year, you will see it very much
continue into the next year. The first is called the Fluid Self. And fluid self imagery centers
around notions of identity. We see very much that,
this won’t be a surprise to this audience, concepts
of identity or changing. We see a move towards self defined rather than pre-defined,
fluid identities and diversity that take all bodies
and lives into account. In addition, viewers and consumers now expect to see themselves represented. That’s very important to
brands who are looking to grow their customer base, obviously. It might not come from
a particularly generous or the most thoughtful point of view, but that knowing that brands are looking to expand their customer base. They’re actually looking
to represent all lives so that people can relate to that brand. So marketers and visual
artists are very much responding to the growing demand for a far greater range of diversity. And the fluid self at Adobe is integral to our content creation plan,
which I do help strategize, both for this year,
obviously, but also long term. It is a big part of our
Diversity and Inclusion program at Adobe that reaches Adobe wide. And it speaks to the ongoing
need for content creation representing all lives and identities across all asset types. And then just a slide to show you a few projects that
we’ve launched this year at Adobe Stock. On the left we assigned
Berlin-based photographer Becks Day to shoot portraits of members of the UK trans community, and we launched that portrait session for International Trans Visibility Day. On the top right you see
just one image from an agency we work with called PICHA. That specialize in creating
content of daily moments and daily lives in different countries throughout Africa. And then on the bottom right, you see an image from a
photo shoot by Ussi’n Yala. He is a Gabonese
photographer based in Paris who specializes in breaking
gender stereotypes. Just a slide on some data. We collect data from many places. We partner with a couple of
global forecasting companies that provide us with reports
across many countries across the world, across many industries. And we also collect search
data, keyword search data at Adobe Stock across week to week, month to month, year to year. So you see these numbers are just a few of the keyword searches. And these numbers represent just how much these searches have increased in 2017 before we release this forecast for 2018. And then, of course, it’s
important to take note of what’s going on in the
visual world around us, quite outside of a
specific stock collection. We’re seeing fluidity
and identity being shown more and more, oftentimes led by fashion. Fashion is oftentimes the
leader in these visual trends. Here we’re seeing a
slide from River Island, a fashion brand in the UK. This really stuck out to me in their unique and diverse styling. Also, in their very overt messaging such as do not stereotype. Do mix cultures and pure confidence. Do not shrink and 100% gender free. I think this ad in River Island’s campaign has a beautiful range of fluidity, gender, body types, and cultures, and it’s doing so with
confidence and playful ness. You may recognize the top right as being images from the Phluid Project, one of the world’s first
gender-neutral stores that opened this year in New York. They’re a fantastic store. They’ve actually built
gender-neutral mannequins. They also have an event space. They’re really almost
like a community center that is a store. They’re making sure that their
clothes are very affordable. Again, it’s about
inclusivity, accessibility. So they’re really having a 360 approach to gender neutrality. And on the bottom right, something, an ad that really interests me. It’s actually a South, it’s a still from a South
African BMW commercial that talks about break, what is it? Break free. And here it is, a mainstream
luxury car company that is playing on gender fluidity and breaking out of social norms. I just think it’s interesting
to see how many industries are really keying into fluidity, even to sell cars and luxury SUVs. The second of the six trends
for 2018 is multilocalism. So we’re seeing a huge
international interest in imagery that conveys
authentic local experience across many countries, many cultures. With travel and technology
making the world so much more accessible,
more and more people are becoming aware of and influenced by a plethora of cultures. And this, of course,
makes a huge impression on the images that
people are responding to. They’re responding to images that show different
styles around the world. They’re responding to images
that in one picture might, on one hand, represent a culture that they’re becoming more familiar with either through visiting it
or through digital media. But also, they may be
responding to images that have, as this fabulous woman in blue velvet, images that may have multiple
cultures in one image. We’re finding a huge surge in interest around these kind of
multiple culture imagery. So growing awareness of multiple cultures has created greater interest in visuals. The Az people are starting
to think of themselves more as simultaneously
global and local citizens. This slide is just a few stills from an assignment that Adobe
Stock sent Andy Smith on for multilocalism content. A very simple assignment,
but very effective. We sent Andy around
London to roam the streets shooting portraits of business owners, employees, and students on the street, all of whom are just living
their daily life in London but are from many places,
and all consider themselves absolutely local Londoners. And we think these type of
images very strongly convey multilocalism in the simplest
but very powerful way. Again, a slide that just shows
a few keyword search terms of how much these types of search terms that are directly related to multilocalism have been growing. And we’re seeing multilocalism in brand campaigns and fashion. Airbnb is kind of an obvious
but very, very powerful example of multilocalism in action. And Airbnb even has an affect on the growth of multilocalism. So this all plays into each other. They’re now not only
offering rental properties, but they are hugely
expanding their business and their services to include trips, but trips for people
who are visiting places. So if you are coming from, let’s say, the UK or anywhere in the world and you’re staying in New York, you can go on a street art running tour. In London, they have pub crawls, and actually, pub crawls all
through the UK, I believe. So that Airbnb is offering something that people who are traveling
around the world really want, which is to not feel like a tourist and to go to places that
other tourists go to, but to have an authentic,
local experience. Another example that I love comes from the New York Times Magazine. Earlier this year they had, I think it was a 16-page fashion feature called Beauty is Without Borders. It’s a global clash of
prints, texture, color. And they said this captures
the season’s nomadic allure. So when I saw this, there
were so many fashion features that were this kind of blending of styles from different cultures. The third trend we call
Touch and Tactility. This trend includes imagery that reflects viewers’
growing desire for connection. So as technology grows as
a daily part of our lives, we really are losing the physicality that used to be much more
a part of our daily life. And what that does is it is
creating a growing desire for people to literally touch things. But again, as a visual culture, for viewers responding to
images that have a touch, a connection, but also texture. The dog’s fur, the velvet on the couch, the weaving of the pillows. We’re really seeing this type of imagery becoming incredibly popular
both in our stock collection and also in the world around us. I talk to my clients quite a lot about incorporating this trend in their campaigns to
metaphorically connect to a wide range of viewers. So whether you are offering hotel, if you’re a hotel and you offer beautiful, tactile imagery for your locations or if you have a product where
you can have crafty imagery, anything that has things
that connect people to each other physically is incredibly popular right now. And this is about not
going away any time soon. So it is not just
connection between people, but the tactility and the texture. We’re seeing this arise in fashion, the fashion runway for
spring of 2019 is full, you’ll see of trends with feathers, knits, and everything that you just
really wanna touch and wear. Again, just some search data on the rise. And brands are really
jumping onto this trend in all sorts of ways. I thought this Adidas
ad is quite interesting because it kind of attacks the trend in an unexpected and fierce way, but it’s just very visceral. Adidas being sports, you can kind of sense the tension in the jaw. Of course, the hand prints on the face, but it’s fierce, and it’s something very, there’s something just, it’s
funny because it’s open ended, but it feels exciting. The tension, energy of a sports brand. And then completely different, and I’m fascinated by this, is the fact that yes, companies
have seized upon consumers yearning for touch and tactility. But in particular, it’s home tech that is just running with this. And at first, it might seem surprising, but it makes so much
sense because it’s really a brilliant move. Formerly, very slick, sleek,
cold, even sterile products are now growing in this appeal. You’re in your home. You reach for your, I guess your, Alexa is gonna be probably
faux fur covered pretty soon. But Google’s releasing these things that you wanna touch, you
wanna cradle in your hands. These soft earbuds, nubbly
textures, softness, coziness. Home tech is just coming
out with so many products that you can’t escape it now that I’ve presented this to you. You wanna touch, you wanna rub,
you wanna hold these things that are tech products. I believe it’s Google that
has a whole program right now called Softwear, S-O-F-T-W-E-A-R, and it is completely about soft, literally soft tech, crafty tech, things you can wear
and things you can hold so that people come home and cozy up to their home tech products. Brilliant. The fourth trend we’re
calling Silence and Solitude. And this is imagery that
presents an overall impression of peace and serenity. Who wouldn’t want more of that? Actually, some people don’t. When I spoke earlier tonight in the beginning of this
talk about regional appeal, I think as a New Yorker, I’m so provincial in thinking that everybody
wants more quiet in their lives. And I was talking to someone in France. I was having an interview
with a French newspaper. And she was like, why would Adobe be pushing isolation upon us? And I was like, oh. And I realized I’m not
thinking regionally. For those of us who
have busy, urban lives, we really do want what’s
almost a luxury now of having time to one’s self. So we’re finding that in North America, the silence and solitude, the idea of not being inundated by traditional and social
media 24/7 is highly appealing because we are, in fact,
suffering from sensory overload. And yet it is an assumption that that is, in fact, a global situation. So that was a learning moment for me. But that said, in at least North America and other places in the world, this is one of the most powerful
visual trends I’m finding as far as the visceral, calming effect these pictures have. I’m hearing from clients that literally just looking at some of
these peaceful pictures actually really slows people down and that they’re having
incredible response to just the imagery itself. And that’s something to really think about when you think about visual trends and you think about imagery. Something might be
interesting, but literally, what is the literal effect on the viewer when you are presenting imagery to them? So back to viewer response. Really not that long ago, the
words silence and solitude did have a negative connotation. And it really makes me think
about what becomes rare is what becomes a luxury. And this trend is very much about that. That for many of us, silence and solitude is much rarer in our daily lives, and it’s something we aspire to. So something that you don’t have enough of is really a luxury these days. And in my research, it has made me realize that people are very much
taking advantage of this. Again, particularly in New York, there’s almost a
fetishization, if you will, of sleep at this point. I don’t know how many of you, like me, ride the subway every day. But Brooklinen, Parachute, those are two boutique sheet companies. – [Woman] How many mattresses do you need? – Exactly. There’s Casper, of course,
but now there are many others. Join the sleep rich
with, of course, a cat. Who better to relax with than a cat. Arianna Huffington, I think
that was three years ago that she was ahead of the curve. She wrote The Sleep Revolution. But yeah, there are sleep butlers now. People definitely need more sleep. That’s all I’m saying. It’s a thing. But again, brands are taking advantage of how to use that to
increase their business. Fifth is Creative Reality, which is a very interesting trend. This type of imagery relates to presenting an idealized and really
quite utopic world, very whimsical, in fact. But this trend stems from the fact that we’re living in a rather turbulent, shall we say, geopolitical time. And while many during this kind of era will become highly politicized, many, maybe the same people, but many also or conversely find refuge in creating or looking at images that
present a different reality. So while what we’re looking at right now might feel very whimsical, the trend’s roots is exactly
the opposite of that. And I think that it’s an incredible, it’s a very interesting contrast between social instability
and creative play. So channeling intensity
into positivity is, I think, a very classic and historic way for artists to respond to unstable times. And this is kind of the most
contemporary iteration of that. And if you ever hear me speak, I speak quite a lot, you’ll almost always see a Gucci slide in there. And one of the reasons I
usually include a Gucci slide is because they are so at the
forefront of visual trends. They have no problem being whimsical, being a little surreal to be honest. And that fits perfectly
into creative reality. Here with see a sphinx-like tiger woman with fabulous glasses and metallic hat with two very fashionable women looking almost enviously
over their shoulders. This is a perfect creative
reality fashion campaign image. More creative reality imagery here. Top left, it’s a still
from a beautiful top left and bottom left beautiful commercial for Stella McCartney. Very psychedelic. And then on the right is a cover, I think, from spring
for Cultured Magazine. The model is actually the photographer we’re probably all familiar
with, Petra Collins. And the props around her are set designed by one of the most popular, flamboyant florists in New York, BRRCH. Creative reality. Again, we are up 164. That’s an increase. 97% for daydreaming, et cetera, et cetera. And then our sixth 2018 trend, the last, is History and Memory. And here, we see a type of visual that clearly references the past. And this trend has a couple of roots. The first is that because great artworks are now digitally distributed and more accessible than ever before, arts education has been
incredibly democratized. You don’t need to buy that textbook or go to that museum to gain an awareness of historic art and masterpieces. So this has led to an expansion of an appreciation for art history. And I don’t think it’s a
coincidence that the trend is particularly strong in Europe because this tends to
be a very Eurocentric version of art history that we’re seeing. But more and more images
are alluding to the past while being executed with the most contemporary
digital technologies. And the second piece of this trend is very much like creative reality. Referencing the past is
referencing the known. It’s finding a sense of comfort in the known and familiar. And so history and
memory does, once again, provide a sense of stability
in turbulent times. The trend does pop up quite
a bit in North America as well as Europe. HBO’s Westworld is incredibly popular. I’m sure most of us are familiar with it. It’s an HBO series that’s set
within a Wild West theme park hosted by robots where people are allowed to indulge in their wildest fantasies. That’s on the left. On the right we have a
very kind of meta history and memory Versace ad. Not only does this Versace ad from 2018 have obvious use of,
references to Roman art, but it’s also a new version of a completely similar ad campaign that Versace launched 20 years ago. So it’s history and memory
in two different ways. And we’ll end our 2018 trend journey with the last bit of customer search data. And while I have been
walking us through 2018, I will now lead us into 2019. I’m not allowed to talk about
all of the 2019 visual trends until very soon. December 3rd, we’ll be launching. But I was allowed to couch one of them by saying can I talk about the evolution of visual culture? Yes, you may. Okay, so we’re gonna talk about one of the 2019 visual trends. Because my own background and my education is in art history, I
trained for many years with an eye towards and an appreciation for how artistic movements
developed over time. And I use that same set of skills by looking into the future. So it’s the same set of skills, just with a different filter. So what we see is that
because of shifts in society, because of cultural and political events, trends don’t just go away, they evolve. And so two of the trends that
are creating the 2019 trend called Disruptive Expression. We have the Fluid Self,
which, as you’ll recall, is all about imagery
that focused on identity and identities which are not
permanent or pre-defined, but rather, influx throughout our lives. The second 2018 trend that’s feeding into Disruptive Expression
is Creative Reality, imagery that presents
incredibly creative versions of physical utopia and reality with roots and the desire to escape from an unstable and anxiety-ridden culture. As fluid self imagery reveals, when comfort with multiple and diverse identities grow, shame erodes. Simultaneously, we see joyful
and dramatic representations of the world through creative reality. So a growing sense of self confidence and familiarity with dramatic, creative expression merges in the visual trend,
Disruptive Expression. I’d also like to point out this trend is very much a product of our digital and social media-centric culture. Because of our comfort level posting our own visual content on
various social platforms, most of us have reached
a stage where we aren’t just used to expressing ourselves publicly and creatively,
but it’s a big part of our daily lives. So now we see both a rise in dramatic and artistic forms of
expression through fluid self, a creative realty and social as well as a growing receptivity to it. The resonance of this kind of imagery has moved beyond social
postings, beyond the screen, and into all types of visual content. This type of imagery
is resonant by nature. It is dramatic by nature. It captures your eye and
it retains viewer interest. There’s not just a lot
to look at visually, but there’s also a lot
to unpack conceptually. So this becomes a very, very
powerful type of imagery because what we want when
we’re presenting our images, no matter what the project, is we want to capture
the viewer’s attention and we want to attain it. And disruptive expression
imagery does both, which, again, is an incredibly
successful type of image. And just as there are
many types of people, many cultures and many forms of art, so the range of imagery
that belongs to this trend can vary widely from joyful and playful to much more serious political
moments or messaging. Self expression, just like our moods, can capture a wide range of emotion. And I really love the
way this type of content just thrusts itself into your vision, your field of vision. It’s, to me, both brilliant
and a fresh balancing act of aesthetics and aggressiveness. And once you become conscious of this type of balancing act, you really
start to see it everywhere. So I’m gonna wrap things up
around visual forecasting, visual trends, and what
we call Visual Fluency. And just to reiterate,
Visual Fluency is very much an Adobe term. It’s really talking, it’s
really referring to the fact that as creatives, to be visually fluent means to be on top of, aware of, not just where interest is visually now, but where it is growing
because we are living in a culture where things shift so quickly that we really need to
be at the leading edge to be on top of how to
capture interest visually and retain it. So having discussed Visual Fluency and being a part of Adobe Stock, I think I’d like to take a few moments to talk about the fact that as creatives, we want to not just create imagery, but we also want to
create a revenue stream. And I don’t know how many of
the people in this audience are emerging creatives, how
many are already established, but one of the things that, to me, is very interesting about
stock, one of the many reasons I’m at Adobe Stock is
that I love the idea, and I’m certainly not
unique at Adobe for this. I love the idea that creatives
can be stock contributors at any point of their creative lives. You can be in school studying photography and just beginning to strategize. The earlier the better, about
the practical approaches to making money with your images. And you can be mid-career, end career. I can only speak for Adobe Stock, but at Adobe Stock, anybody
can become a contributor. Many people who work for
Adobe are contributors because you can literally
upload your pictures and start licensing them right away. And I just wanna talk a
little bit about contributing to Adobe Stock and the Stock Marketplace. Adobe Stock is part of
the Adobe Creative Cloud, and I’m sure many of you are familiar with the Creative Cloud. If you use it, I’m sure you do, Photoshop, Lightroom, After
Effects, Premiere Pro. It might sound familiar. I’m sure a lot of you are
probably immersed in them on a daily basis. Adobe Stock is the most recent addition to the Creative Cloud, and Adobe Stock was literally invented and put on the marketplace because there was Creative
Cloud demand for content. In other words, people
came and starting working with these apps, but they said you know what would be a great
last piece of this puzzle? Was if I could just find
pictures, and videos, and illustrations, and
vectors, and templates here in the Creative Cloud. And that, in fact, is what Adobe created. And because the Creative Cloud is devoted to creativity and
creatives, I’m happy to say that our whole mission
is to support creatives and to help them make a
living from their work. And so a few notes about
being a Stock contributor. And so I’ll just kind of go through this as bullet points, really. Thinking about contributing a stock, it’s kind of a steady growth pattern. The more you contribute,
the more money you can make, and that’s for a couple reasons. One is that when people search, when people search, if you have a lot of, excuse me, if you have a lot of assets in the stock collection, that will actually surface
more of your content. The more you have, the
more it will surface. Also, the more often you contribute, the search algorithm favors fresh content. So quantity and timeliness mean that more of your assets will be surfacing in search. So that’s kind of one of the
puzzle pieces for contributors. Contribute a lot and contribute often so that your stock, your assets surface. The other thing to think about if you really are wanting
to shoot for stock is quantity is king. And when we talk very
regularly to contributors about who are successful and always are getting their input every quarter, what do you think makes you a
successful stock contributor? You’re making 7,000 a month. How are you doing that? And they’ll say, I shoot fast. And that’s the other thing
about contributing to stock. You start to learn this is what sells. You start to shoot more of that. So some of our contributors
now shoot 20 solid assets in half an hour. So it’s different points of view, getting a lot of the same topic because while people might
be looking for one topic, you know when you’re looking
for your own pictures, you have a specific idea. So it’s many perspectives
and points of view. Oopsie. And then the other piece of
the stock contributor puzzle really is that at Adobe, one of the things that we pride ourselves
on is communication so that we constantly are
in touch with contributors to talk to them about
this is what’s trending, this is what we need, this
is where the holes are. And it’s that kind of communication that makes a lot of creatives very happy because again, back to the idea that everything is always changing. The marketplace is changing, viewers’ interest is changing. So part of my job is to
not just feed clients that information, but to feed
contributors that information. And I guess this is the
slide where I say I think we have a few minutes for questions. Thank you very much. (laughing) (audience applauds) – [Woman] Hi. Thank you so much for
coming to talk to us. I had the opportunity to
do one of the short classes at Photoville with Mat Hayward, and he gave us some great
examples of how he uses photos that are just happening within
his life to create stock. And you gave some great examples as well. And I noticed that you talked a little bit about some photographers
that you’re actually hiring to go up out on assignment. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you choose those?
– Yeah. That’s a great question, and it’s gonna be changing every year. – The first thing is Adobe Stock is only three and a half
years old, so we’re nimble. We’re creating as fast as we can. So I just launched this
Visual Trends program at the end of 2017 for 2018. And our approach in 2018 was to assign
premium photographers. The Premium Collection at
Adobe is the highest tier, the highest quality,
and the most expensive imagery at Adobe. It’s assignment quality
photography that’s royalty free. So what we decided was for 2018 trends, let’s pick photographers
that are Premium contributors and assign them shoots that are in their wheelhouse, honestly. So Andy Smith with beautiful
portraits in London, we sent him there. We let him pitch. So it’s kind of like we
feel like Andy Smith. Your work is beautiful. His portraiture seemed formal and yet very personal, and we thought that would be a beautiful addition. So we handpicked our
existing contributors, but we let them pitch their own shoot because that’s how I like to work. And for this 2019, I think we’re gonna be
doing more Core photography. Core is more like micro stock. It’s more abundant. It’s less expensive. So we wanna give a whole lot of our Core photographers a chance. And so really, it’s kind of a small team. And the content is really to
both build the stock collection and build awareness. It’s, again, back to the
fact that we really like to celebrate our contributors. So it’s one way to
market our contributors, say hey, look who’s shooting for us. So really, it’s just who
seems to fit into that trend and letting them pitch their
own assignments, honestly, as long as they fit into the trend. – [Man] A quick mention of that question. In the portrait example that you gave, the photographer has to release all of those images, right? – Yes, yes.
– Does Adobe provide them with a budget to compensate the people they photograph?
– Yes, yes. – That’s also part–
– So we pay all the models.
– Of the equation? – And yeah, and royalty
free is interesting because royalty free means
that it’s not rights managed. So when somebody license, it’s immediate. Of of course, you have to have all of your location releases, all your model releases
because people can use it in a campaign. We have very specific
guidelines around things. It can’t be used for
defamatory purposes, et cetera. But like the rest of
Adobe, Adobe Stock is there to be used immediately, so that’s why everything is royalty free. You can create, you can license, you can push it out quickly. – [Woman] I think I have
a two part question. The first part is about you and on one hand, you have
access to all this data which much be so interesting, right? – Mm-hmm.
– That must be such a unique perspective on
what people are looking for. – Yeah.
– And then on the other hand, you have your own view of the world. So how do you stay
inspired and seeing, right? – Yeah.
– Without being influence, and bring those things together. Do you think you can touch
base on that a little bit? – I’ll try! Being a creative through and through, (laughing) just among us. No. I take a qualitative approach as well as a quantitative approach so that I look first. We work with a global forecasting company. Actually, we work with a few,
but we have a main partner that provides us with
reports throughout the year. It’s called WGSN. We also work with J. Walter
Thompson Intelligence and a few other sources. What WGSN does throughout the year is, because they’re a global
forecasting company, they have a huge
international digital platform that just feeds daily reports in. Daily reports around
fashion, tech launches, textile design, art, social media. So it crosses quite a few industries, and that’s great because what we do is, at my small team, what we do is we read these reports daily. And we look for redundancies,
which means patterns. We start to see what is
starting to be mentioned a lot. We study generations, Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, different regions. So we start to look for redundancies across all these different
industries and generations or see what’s generationally specific. And then we take these
patterns and we start to synthesize how those relate
specifically to imagery. And it’s great. I love it. So that’s both simultaneously
qualitative and quantitative because those reports
are filled with images, those reports are filled with data, and they cross industries. So that’s simultaneously, and that, to me, is a godsend because they’re feeding
both at the same time. Then we go to our internal data and make sure that the findings that we’re coming up with through these forecasting companies
matches what we’re seeing in activity across the stock collection. So our data is, more than
anything, backing that up because I’m interested
primarily when I start, I cast a wide net. I’m interested in the world, and then I synthesize it down to stock because otherwise, I
think it would be too, I think it’s part of your second part of your question. I think it would be too internal, yeah. I wanna think of it as how
it relates to the world because we’re talking about
all sorts of different viewers all around the world who have
many different interests. And remember too that
I’m working with clients who might be a grocery store chain or a financial service or a fashion house. So I have to think about
all the different industries and what their customers want. Yeah. – Hi.
– Hey. – [Man] So I was interested. Many of the trends, I
think almost all of them that you identified in the
first part of the segment, and then also the 2019 are kind of, what I’d say is progressive little trends, like fluidity of gender
and things of that nature as we move into it. But not only the United
States where half the country is anti-progressive and anti-liberal. And even around the world,
what happened in Brazil and what’s happening in some
sense in Western Europe. Are there any trends or
sub-trends within the data that you’re looking at
where there are images which speak to darker, not
utopian but maybe dystopian kind of play? – That’s funny. I have given some webinars
where the feedback is who are these horrible liberals and why do they get to have this power? (laughing) Let me unpack that for a moment. Well, as I’m thinking aloud, I’d say the first part of
that is that we are not supposed to be political. So when I talk about things
like turbulent times, that’s about as political
as I’m allowed to get and I would say it’s interesting. I think the best way for
me to start to answer your question is I alluded to this before, and I think it’s so ironic. The reason large enterprise companies are extremely interested in representing all identities and cultures is not because they’re openhearted, okay? It’s because they want your business. So if you see many colored peoples and many openly gendered
peoples represented and many lifestyles represented, it’s because they want that customer base. So it’s really about building businesses. And so I can’t say that
in any of my research hatred has widely been kind of racist or hate based social movements,
visually, have been known to build business. I think that helps answer your question. I’m sure. I mean, let’s keep talking. – Okay.
– Yeah, yeah. ‘Cause I think you’re talking about, you said a darker side.
– So yeah. So I don’t care about
hate because I think hate is a loaded term and– – It is, it is.
– But I don’t mean hate, but I mean in terms of,
– When you say darker. – [Man] Which clearly would seem– – Dystopic.
– To appeal to– – Sure.
– Because these offer, gender fluidity, it’s a good
thing from my perspective, – From your perspective. – [Man] But it’s a progressive concept. – Yes, and we are progressive.
– There are certainly about half of the American public that would reject gender fluidity, right? – Right. – [Man] Who think it’s an awful thing. – Right. – [Man] You can debate it, but it’s not about hate or not hate. – Right.
– It’s about visual trends that perhaps are not
trends that would play in New York, but trends
that would play in South, and I don’t mean to be region about it– – It’s okay, yeah, it’s okay. – [Man] But a rural, and if we look at the election results,
in rural America, right? – Yeah.
– Or again, if you look across Western Europe, there are trends of isolations and stuff happening in Germany and other places. So it is not so much hate ’cause I think nobody’s running a campaign,
hopefully, on hate. – Well–
– Hopefully. But upon other trends
which are not quite as, I think, of all the eight,
somewhat progressively looking to the future as a maybe, I’m trying to restructure it, regressively look to the future. – But even think about the language there. Regression doesn’t build
business, progression does. And I think that’s why, I think, the sunny side, these do seem
like the sunny side of things, but that is good for
business, to be honest. Yeah, and you’ll see in
2019 much more overt, again, December 3rd, we’re
launching 2019 Visual Trends. You’ll see much more overt stances around progression and companies taking a much more overt social
and issue-based stand, which is about as much as I can say. But progression really is the way. Hallelujah. (laughing) My point of view,
personal point of view. Yeah.
– Just a quick question. You’ve mentioned something’s
gonna launch on December 3rd. – Yeah!
– How does launch? How do people–
– Sure, sure, sure! – [Male Speaker] Access this? – So we are launching our
2019 Visual Trend Forecast where we talk about 2019 through our blog. I should find that right now. Can I leave it with you? Can I send you a PDF, whomever? – [Female Speaker] We can. You can get it to us and we can– – Yeah, it’s the Adobe Blog is where we officially first announced it. Then we do a lot of press around it, but that’s when we officially publicly announce the trends of 2019. Yeah, and so what I can do
is send you a PDF of it, a link to it, and it will have basically long form reading around each trend and as well as curated
galleries that show you image examples both in
video, illustration, and photography, obviously.
– And I just want to talk about it for the next lecture. – And then I’ll come back.
– You’ll have to come back. – Yeah, I’ll come back (laughing). – [Female Speaker] Well,
we can distribute it. – Yeah, absolutely. And it’s frustrating for me. I’d love to chat about it, but I’m just not allowed to yet. Yeah. Anything else? – [Man] I was wondering
who else is on your team? – Yeah, that’s a good question. – [Man] I mean, there’s an art historian. You are the art historian. Who else is on that–
– I’m the art historian, yes. – [Man] Forecasting team
that you put together? – Yeah. It’s small but robust. I have one person who is
based with me in New York who is very much on the contributor side. She’s kind of a contributor specialist. So she’s always thinking
of how these trends work with creative contributors. I have one other person
who is based in Paris and who is very keyed into
the entire EMEA region, which is a huge priority for us. And so she’s very, her specific expertise is in making sure that we’re
regionalizing and localizing. I’m about to go to Paris next month to talk to the regional
leads and make sure that we are being very
sensitive to regional priorities because they are quite different, and I’m learning a lot as I go. And then I work with
a small marketing team around the world who very much help me make sure that this is
locked in as a program to spread to press, et cetera. Yeah. It’s a small team. – Mm-hmm.
– Mm-hmm. – [Man] Thank you very much. – Sure! Thank you! Thanks, everybody. (audience applauds)

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4 Replies to “Brenda Milis – Principal of Creative Services and Visual Trends for Adobe Stock”

  1. I'll never take a photo that pictures all these sexual deviations as something good and positive, and here is why:
    By doing so I would really cause some one's deth!
    I woud cover my self in someone's blud!
    We live in an age of euphemisms. Stop saying that shit is shit, you don't turn the shit into candy. But do you know what happens? 40% of homosexuals attempt suicide. But they cannot be helped, because homosexuality is considered the norm. 100 percent of homosexuals suffer from mental disorders.

    But they cannot be helped as homosexuals. Imagine that cancer would be the norm.

    You have cancer, but no one can help you – there is no longer such a disease. You are considered healthy. And the cause of death will indicate any that they can come up with.

    None of those who changed sex became happy.

    But if you can make money on this – people are not against aging and blood! Euphemisms are everywhere. They are not safe. Imagine that euphemisms are poisonous snakes.

    shame, blood and a curse – such earnings will kill you, destroy your soul …

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