Stirring Emotions, Telling Stories, and Attracting Your Tribe Through Imagery

This article is the result of a collaboration between Markon Brands & Penchant Styled! Their gorgeous custom flat lay photography is all over our website and on our Instagram! Here Joey Rheem, Penchant's Brand Strategist shares with us three trends that have shaped 2017, and that they expect will continue strong in 2018. Their commentary will also appear in our 2018 Branding and Design Forecast. 

It’s a constant challenge in marketing and advertising to stand out, pause the scrolling, and communicate your message creatively and instantly through beautiful imagery. This is a pain-point and a conversation we’re always having with our clients as a brand/marketing strategist and commercial photographer, especially those in service-based businesses who don’t have a physical product to showcase. We created our business as a solution, and create collections of styled, stock photography and also offer custom brand collections at a reasonable cost. Our stock photography collections include a complete set of coordinating images that can be used to design a cohesive brand with different angles and layouts for all platforms - websites, social media, and print materials.


We love studying what everyone else is doing, especially the huge brands - for our own inspiration and to help us discover what isn’t currently available, and what we need to create next. Here are three of our favorite current trends that we predict will continue to be strong in 2018.

Authenticity & Storytelling

Overused buzzwords or not, it’s true that we’re drawn to the people, personalities, and stories behind a business, not just the products themselves. We style our images to tell stories, stir emotions, and create connections … who works here? What tools do they use? What kind of lifestyle do they live? Are they friendly? Kind? Fun? We work with our clients to develop their imagery around the community they want to attract.

Flat Lays with a Human Touch

There is something truly interesting about a styled composition of objects – both ordinary and unique. We love gathering beautiful items and arranging them. But we don’t stop there. We bring in a human touch through fresh florals and greens, a cup of coffee or tea, a delicious treat, a glass of bubbling champagne, a favorite notebook and pen, a vintage camera, a shell from the beach, a phone, a tablet, a keyboard, a mouse.

Return to Specialization

We love that there’s been a shift back to specialization over the past few years - articulating your company’s distinct style, identifying and narrowing your niche, and going deep. There will always be businesses who wait for a thought leader or “tastemaker” to dictate what is desirable and then design around it, but we’re interested in those who are flourishing by staying in their own lane. We certainly see this in the world of photography and graphic design. Rather than trying to please the masses by playing it safe and watering down their ideas and designs, we are drawn to those who honor their own vision and celebrate it. We are excited to let our creativity explode in 2018 and hope to attract those who want to be a part of it.

Penchant Styled is a custom stock photography business led by the creative minds of Bernadette Uzcategui and Joey Rheem. Visit them online at