Digital Insights

Stock Photography Trends: what images are people looking for?

This piece presents some tips for photographers who market their pictures on Stock Photography websites.

Are you interested in promoting your images on the stock photo websites? Then it would be best if you read our tips. They will help you sell your photos online more effectively and generate better income by doing what you love.

The stock photography market seems to be crowded nowadays. However, it still offers some value as additional income for your photography or a way for freelance photographers to avoid the proverbial "putting all their eggs in one basket."

There are some stock photography websites, anyone can join. Others are a bit choosier but offer better fees. Many agencies pay photographers a percentage of the profits from their images, though the individual options can vary somewhat. Although selling stock photos is not a quick business, photographers who are creative enough and persistent enough can make good income selling stock photos.

Here are some tips on how to distribute your photos on the stock photo platforms more effectively.


Tip 1: Stay in touch with trends.

To increase your visibility on Stock Photo platforms and make your content stand out, you need to stay in touch with visual trends.

Stock photo websites usually have lists of in-demand creative content providers can use for inspiration. You'll find what searches are spiking on the trends page on the platforms.

Beyond that, you need to be aware of any visual trends within the category. For this, get inspired by the photos of other artists at the Top of the respective category.

You can also regularly search for a keyword of your choice to understand how popular it is right now. Enter a term and interact with the charts to understand user interest. See how people search for a concept and what type of images they choose.

These pages are a great tool to check regularly, showing you what platform visitors are searching for and can help you identify which important topics to include in your next shoot to give your images more visibility. 

Here are the lists of current trends on the most popular Stock Photo websites:

  1. Unsplash

    Search trends on Unsplash as per September 13th, 2022, check here for Unsplash search trends as per today.

  2. Pixabay

    Search trends on Pixabay as per September 13th, 2022, check here for Pixabay search trends as per today.

  3. IstockPhoto

    Search trends on IstockPhoto as per September 13th, 2022, check here for IstockPhoto search trends as per today.

  4. Adobe Stock Photos

    Search trends on Adobe Stock Photos as per September 13th, 2022, check here for Adobe Stock Photos search trends as per today.

  5. Pexels

    Search trends on Pexels as per September 13th, 2022, check here for Pexels search trends as per today.

  6. Getty Images

    Search trends on Getty Images as per September 13th, 2022, check here for Getty Images search trends as per today.

  7. DepositPhotos

    Search trends on DepositPhotos as per September 13th, 2022, check here for DepositPhotos  search trends as per today.

  8. FreePik

    Search trends on FreePic as per September 13th, 2022, check here for DepositPhotos search trends as per today.

 As statistics show, trends differ from country to country. It may be country/culture-specific keywords that are being searched for, in specific regions: e.g., Labor Day (in the US in September); Oktoberfest (in Germany).


Tip 2: Shoot a library gap.

 The filters on each website are set up differently, but it is usually possible to see how many images can be found in a particular category.

 It is an excellent strategy to load photos into the category that is popular but not yet crowded. This way, you have a better chance of your images being at the Top and getting a better download rate. You will definitely come across a search term where the results are limited, inaccurate, or even totally missing. As it changes constantly, keep checking the statistics.

Here are some of the gaps we've found in the library on the Unsplash website, for example. They are still highly searched for by the photo stock community and when submitted, may have a higher chance of getting more views and downloads:


Search trends on Unsplash as per September 13th, 2022.


Search trends on Unsplash as per September 13th, 2022.


Tip 3: Choose the right stock photo market for your images.

It is important to remember that trends may differ from one Stock Photo Agency to another. Each website has its own audience with specific preferences. So if your content is not considered trendy on one stock photography website, don't think that the subject of your shoot is not interesting, just do some research and look at the other options. You will definitely find the right place to distribute your photos!


Unfortunately, selling your pictures through Stock Photo Agency doesn't just bring the possibility of extra income. The more your images are exposed to the public online, the greater the risk of your image being stolen. That is why we recommend you monitor the Internet regularly for your pictures.

Have you noticed any copyright infringements of your work but don´t know how to approach the copyright infringer? The Fair Licensing team gladly helps you to deal with this issue. For more information about Photography Copyright, check out the Fair Licensing Copyright Guide.

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