14 Stock Photography Trends: What to Shoot for Stock Photography?

Today’s topic is stock photography trends. Working with photo stocks is a comfortable alternative to commercial photography. Firstly, the stock photographer himself determines the photos’ time, place, genre, and subject. Secondly, he makes a profit not once, as soon as he transfers the files to the customer, but every time someone decides to use his image.

At the end of 2020, the Deposit Photos stock photography platform team analyzed customer searches and compiled a list of the most popular, as well as least disclosed, but popular topics for photographers.

You need to register, pass the qualification test, and then populate your portfolio with images to start selling on stocks. Depositphotos editors recommend starting with stock photos from your archive. Indeed, among them, some comply with the platform rules (see “Requirements for downloads”) and refer to “eternal” topics.

This approach will increase your chances of catching the eye of your customers right away. However, there is an important caveat: photos should reflect the topic and be accompanied by keywords. Otherwise, users will not see them in the search list.

Another feature is that hot topics attract many photographers, and new content on these topics is downloaded every second. To avoid getting lost among thousands of such images, avoid clichés and add to your portfolio only those pictures that offer a new perspective on familiar things. You can also draw attention to your photos using the author’s retouching.

8 Eternal Stock Photography Trends

Stock Photography Trends
Stock Photography Trends
  • Competition – high
  • Demand – high

1. Background Photographs

Monochrome abstract compositions, patterns, natural gradients, and landscape photography, on top of which text or logo fits comfortably.

Background Photographs
Stock Photography Trends: Background Photo

Photo backgrounds are used to create banners, to design presentations; they are downloaded for conferences in Zoom and are often used as a hero image on commercial sites. Background images are incredibly well suited for responsive interfaces.

2. Happy Family

B2C businesses especially need images that their potential audience can recognize. It can be an idyllic family photo as a hint of what the client will get by using the product or, conversely, a snapshot illustrating a painful problem that the product helps to solve.

Happy Family
Stock Photography Trends: Happy Family

3. Business World

Most of the clients of photo stocks are business representatives. Individual designers and agencies, who also frequently purchase a Depositphotos subscription, also serve the business. It is not surprising that they often need to illustrate some aspect of business reality: teamwork, a business meeting, focused work on a computer, remote negotiations.

Business World
Stock Photography Trends: Business World

4. Food

Food images get instant feedback in building a target audience. Unsurprisingly, food photography images are not only bought from stock photos by those who are involved in the cooking or food production business. Popular subtopics include healthy eating, cooking, selection of ingredients, and vegetarian diets.

Food Photography
Stock Photography Trends: Food Photography

5. Sports and Healthy Lifestyle

Pictures of energetic, healthy, and cheerful people, like pictures of happy families, help brands generate positive associations in the minds of their customers. These can be photographs of professional and amateur athletes, pictures of several generations who went out together on a morning run, and illustrations of rare sports.

 Sports and Healthy Lifestyle
Stock Photography Trends: Sports and Healthy Lifestyle

6. Lifestyle

Lifestyle photography is a broad genre, but these are the keywords that photo stock clients use most often to find images from life. We are talking about everyday scenes, such as meeting friends in a cafe, exercising in the morning, going to the supermarket, walking in the park with a dog, or cycling out of town. The main thing here is the naturalness of the scenes you caught from the lives of various people.

Stock Photography Trends: Lifestyle

7. Nature

Images of plants, animals, large-scale natural phenomena, and objects, as a rule, fill the audience with optimism and give them peace of mind. Designers and marketers know this, so they don’t miss the opportunity to set the tone for their marketing materials with wildlife photography.

Stock Photography Trends: Nature

8. Holidays and Seasonal Paraphernalia

You can hardly find a business that does without seasonal sales and other marketing campaigns tied to the holidays and “calendar” events in the lives of their target audience. A few months before major holidays such as New Year, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day, stock customers start looking for photographs for packaging, flyers, gift certificates, and banner ads.

Holidays and Seasonal Paraphernalia
Stock Photography Trends: Holidays and Seasonal Paraphernalia
You may also like to read: Best Ways to Develop Creativity in Photography: 10 Creative Photography Tricks

6 Undisclosed, But Demanded Topics

 Stock Photography Trends
Stock Photography Trends
  • Competition – low
  • Demand – high

When your portfolio is already overflowing with win-win photos, that is, from year to year, do not lose popularity, topics, it’s time to add a twist to it. Popular themes increase your chances of catching your images with shoppers. However, there are often a lot of pictures on themes such as “family,” “teamwork,” “food.”

For your work to be noticed, it must significantly stand out from the general background or respond to representatives of a particular business. To do this, you need to carry out significant work that has nothing to do with the actual photographs: identify your target customer, analyze his needs and fill the portfolio just for him.

I offer you a much less time-consuming alternative – to tackle the popular today but extremely undeveloped topics on photo stocks.

1. Healthcare

The topic of health care, which includes images of sick people, therapy, and rehabilitation, has been relevant long before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stock Photography Trends: Healthcare

Doctors, hospital interiors, expressive faces of patients and their relatives, equipment and treatment paraphernalia such as disposable masks, gloves, and syringes – you may need to make some organizational efforts to remove all of this. But soon after downloading and adding keywords to your words, you will see the results.

2. Old Age

Aging was not taboo on photo stocks, but the authors uploaded photos of the same type of aged people for a long time. Grandparents smiled at them graciously and held hands. Noble gray hair adorned their weights.

Old Age
Stock Photography Trends: Old Age

Modern advertising requires more realistic, diverse, and authentic images, for example, smiles, tears, thoughtfulness, sadness, watching TV, and gardening. Photos of real pensioners in their natural environment are in demand today and at the same time in a monstrous deficit.

3. Modern Technologies

The main problem is that digital technology is practically impossible to illustrate; they are often just invisible. The device that controls the climate in your room is just a small display box. The person who calls Uber with their smartphone is almost no different from the person who makes purchases on Amazon.

Modern Technologies
Stock Photography Trends: Modern Technologies

If you can find an eloquent way to show concepts like the Internet of Things (IoT), personalized e-commerce, distance learning, AR, and other innovations, you will quickly win the hearts of shoppers.

4. Ecology and Activism

Corporate principles such as respect for nature and responsible and humane production, zero-waste, and the struggle for access to clean air and water need images. Attractive photographs such as composting, sorting waste, or planting trees help customers more quickly recognize the brand values ​​that are close to them and become more sympathetic to the company.

Ecology and Activism
Stock Photography Trends: Ecology and Activism

5. Stylish Interiors

A traditional interior with many characteristic details, hi-tech, minimalism, functionalism, and neo-baroque – such interiors are not easy to find; they still need to be adequately illuminated and removed. Images of this kind are often bought for presentation purposes, as a stylish background, and for illustrating articles on architecture and design.

Stylish Interiors
Stock Photography Trends: Stylish Interiors

6. Generations Y and Z

Millennials have already become the most “buying” generation. Moreover, they consume significantly more visual information than any of their predecessors. It forces brands to endlessly generate visual content to keep in touch with their audience.

Young Generation
Stock Photography Trends: Young Generation

An essential feature of the images, which are very popular on stocks, dedicated to modern youth, is the authenticity of the pictures. In other words, professional photography is beginning to disguise itself as spontaneous mobile and casual, but so honest, social media content.

Instead of Output, What If We Go Further?

To make money on stock photography, you need to fill your portfolio with images that interest your audience. There are three options for how to define them.

  • The first is to find the most popular topics for Depositphotos. I described them in the first section of the article. Thus, the demand for photographs such as “happy family,” “business,” “nature” is invariably high.
  • The second way is to address niche and trending topics. Disease, aging, millennials, eco-activism, and digital innovation are represented by a relatively limited number of images on stock photos, but their demand is growing every month.
  • And the third option is to combine both strategies but keep looking for your path. The author’s vision, the authenticity of the scenes caught in the lens, and the non-trivial approach to retouching, combined with a solid artistic concept, is what makes photo stock clients prefer particular authors and their works – work their way to a broad audience.

Whichever option you choose, Depositphotos is happy to help you find new fans and clients.

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