If you type "children" on Adobe Stock, you'll get 7  737  396 images.

If you reach the top results for this kind of search, you likely get hundreds if not thousands of downloads every month.

Adobe Stock

But you shouldn't thrive to reach this sweet spot. You will most likely be lost in the countless results.

As you know, stock photography is difficult. But you still have a chance to stand out.

How to stand out?

If you restrict your search further and type instead "children birthday party barbecue".
You now only get 190 results. There is much more potential for selling an image. You can see below that even the top results don't really fit the search query.

Adobe Stock

Now this search might not have thousands of buyers a month. But it's much easier to rank higher in a long tail search, and get a few downloads than to rank in a highly competitive topic. Especially when you are just starting out stock photography.

Don't try to pick a topic that is too broad like "children", it will already have too much competition. Instead pick a more focused topic, like "children birthday barbecue" for example.

One thing that will help you to stand out, is to find a trend. You could look for established trends with a growing demand, or you could also bet on the next one.

It's a lot of upfront work and research but we believe that it's worth every penny in the long run.

This is why stock photography is still a viable solution for photographers who want to earn some extra cash. Trends come and go. And there will be always a demand for something new.

If you search "drone" on Adobe Stock, you'll get 978 735 results.  

This is a viable trend that continues to gain traction year after year. A few years ago, this search had much less competition. It would have been easier to position yourself and be on the top results now.

We'll see later in this article a powerful tool to help you find a trend. Hint: Google Trend.

Stock photography isn't just about good images it's about good images that sells and fills a need for a specific subject.

How do you find a photography trend?

First, let's talk about recurrent trends, like seasonal trends. For example Christmas or Halloween pictures.

You should be careful with this kind of topics, there are highly competitive.

We advice you to wait until later on in your stock photographer journey.

Once you reached a certain level of confidence and revenue. Try to shoot some Christmas related images, but not before you already made some sells with an easier topic.

Why?

These are the kind of pictures that requires a lot of prep work, and the sales may not come as expected. So stick with less popular topics, at least at the beginning.


Let's going back to how to find a trend.

First you should subscribe to different stock agencies newsletter. They know which images sells. And they happily send you every week their best-sellers.

However those mailing lists have thousands of subscribers. So there's a good chance that you won't be alone in finding inspiration there. But it's worth to have a look when you choose your next photoshoot topic.

Agency newsletters are a good indicator to check out regularly and they will help you to find some inspiration.

Don't forget that an image can sell many years later you submitted it.


This is Google Trends, a tool that can greatly help you to find a photoshoot topic. It shows the evolution of the interest for a particular topic. Here for the word "drone".

It's an example of a trend that has gained a lot of traction in the last years.

Do you see the large spikes?

They arrives each year right before Christmas. Not very surprising. But you can capitalize on that when you schedule your photoshoot.

An other place worth going are specialized forum where experimented photographers hang out. They will share with you their thoughts and experiences.

Just type "stock contributor forum" in Google and you'll find plenty of source of information.

Instagram, Twitter and other social medias can be a large source of inspiration too. There are plenty of photographers who share their best images, and agencies share their best-sellers there too.

We recommend you at least to set up a Twitter and Instagram account, to stay informed of the latest stock photography news.

You can follow us on Twitter, we share with you stock photography trends and updates about StockPro.

Quick recap to find a great photoshoot topic and get some inspiration.

  • Subscribe to agencies newsletter.
  • Follow photographers and agencies on Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Don't be too broad when you choose a topic.
  • Check out a topic interest with Google Trends.
  • Wait before shooting Christmas or other popular seasonal images.

Conclusion

You have to be proactive in your search of your next photoshoot topic. As we saw, there are plenty of ways to get inspired.

Don't fall in the trap of shooting without doing any homework before. This isn't the most effective way to sell stock photography.

You have to think like a buyer.

This article covered a few principles about how to choose your next photoshoot topic.

In practice you'll have to consider more factors than just what is popular? You will have to consider factors related to your production cost like the location, the material you'll need, how many model you want, etc.

This is the subject of another article. So stay tuned.


We are writing a complete guide about stock photography, get early access when we release it.