Would you like to become a stock photographer but are puzzled on where to start with your images? Are you out of photography ideas? Has inspiration left you for good? Or maybe you simply want to step out of your comfort zone and find new ideas for projects?

In any of these cases, don’t stress. The appetite comes with eating so grab your camera and simply start shooting. If you’re really keen on starting a stock photography portfolio to sell your work or would like to try safe bets in stock photography categories for more sales, here’s a list to help you. These are the top stock photography categories in our library, and the categories that help authors sell more.


Image backgrounds

The first theme on our list is backgrounds, and it is a win-win option for the up-and-coming photographers. You’ll ask why? They’re the most versatile images because they give clients room to work with, add text, and repurpose for different formats.

Monochrome or uniform visuals are often used by clients as hero images for their websites. Backgrounds are also used for designs with a lot of text, as well as for featured images on blogs. Another less known but widely used purpose of these kinds of files is printed materials. Whether producing branded merchandise or retail, backgrounds will always look up-to-date and stylish.

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Business photography

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the business theme is one of the most popular, as businesses are among the top clients of stock photography platforms.

Employees working together, open spaces, office interiors, bosses and secretaries, not to mention laptops and piles of documents are the pictures that work the best for this theme.

However, avoid stock photo cliches which won’t reflect well on your portfolio. If you’d like your photography to be in demand, pay attention to such trends and authenticity. For instance, instead of creating an image of a bossy boss, take pictures of people negotiating or networking.

For more inspiration on this photography theme, you can resort to the photo collection below and see examples of what authentic and trendy business visuals look like.

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Family photography

Just as the theme of business embraces multiple aspects at once, visuals illustrating families cover a whole spectrum — going from dating and wedding to newborn and, eventually, a big happy family.

If you’re starting your path as a stock photographer, this is the theme you can’t go wrong with. The concept of a happy family is so in-demand that the only issue you can encounter is the right keywording. Spending more time on your keywording in general will help your images be more discoverable on our platform.

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Food photography

If you’re looking for more interesting photography topics, you can give food photography a try. This theme allows your ideas to sprinkle indeed. Here’s the list of themes you can implement straight away:

  • vegan
  • fast food
  • mouthwatering desserts
  • healthy lifestyle
  • food styling
  • ingredients
  • kitchen
  • cooking process
  • finger food

Actually, this list of themes can go on forever because food is something people can’t live without. The only tip you need with food photography is to stay in line with trends. Pay attention to lighting and composition, and create more artistic shots with this theme because there’s so much room to play.

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10 Stock Photography Themes You Can't Go Wrong With

Sports photography

For many, sports constitute an integral part of their life and in this stock photography themes list, it is among the top five most popular ones.

It encompasses a wide range of indicators, and you as a photographer, are free to shoot whatever you enjoy. Sports for children, adults or seniors, healthy lifestyle, professional sportsmen or other unconventional sports themes like chess, fishing or sailing — these topics are also often uploaded to stocks. Besides, don’t be afraid that your photography will turn out to be niche. With careful keywording, your visuals will be quickly found by your target audience.

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Lifestyle photography

Even if you don’t work with professional models, here’s an idea of how you can bring to life some of your photography ideas. The lifestyle photography theme, primarily about family members or friends, will definitely work out. The example of a photographer that has successfully implemented this approach is Tanya Yatsenko. For stocks, she takes pictures of her children and husband, capturing not only special moments but also their routine.

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10 Stock Photography Themes You Can't Go Wrong With

Nature photography

For website hero images, for blog and website posts, for niche businesses, presentations or even retail — nature is a go-to photography request among clients.

Whether you are a travel photographer, an amateur or simply have some nice nature shots on your camera, you can always become a Depositphotos contributor and upload soothing nature backgrounds, breathtaking landscapes, wildlife shots or even illustrations of nature.

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Travel photography

Going from extreme expeditions and reportage to luxury hotels and honeymoon destinations, all travel images are extremely popular on stocks.

If you’re aiming to become a best-selling author, you should definitely keep in mind these travel photography tips and trends:

  • go authentic
  • try film photography
  • raise awareness
  • take vertical photos
  • use drones
  • capture weekend gateways
  • stick to minimalism in still life photography

The Depositphotos library alone has over 125 million files. Can you imagine what an immense number of visuals are out there on all the stock photography platforms together? With all this abundance of visuals that clients have to choose from, the best option to get noticed is to be bold and test new travel photography formats.

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Photos of technology

In the digital era, we can’t help but say that technology is a central topic for all stocks. Be it the Internet of Things illustrating the contemporary smart homes, cryptocurrencies, VR and AR technology, the laptop with hands (a widespread stock photo cliche), or electric cars that came to replace those that pollute our air.

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Seasons and holiday photography

If you don’t like any photography themes mentioned above or would like to go more niche, you can always work on seasonal visuals. Although being mid-September, businesses have already started to prepare for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The celebratory occasions happen all year round and marketers and designers have nothing left but look for seasonal visuals for their next holiday marketing campaign or ad. And this is a chance you can’t miss as a photographer.

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Depositphotos 223898404 m 2015

Although many people take pictures for art’s sake, with stock photography it’s different. Researching photography ideas, preparing for photoshoots, post-processing images and uploading them to stocks takes time and, of course, you want this work to bring perks.

The easiest way to get the most out of your stock photography portfolio is to target one of the photography themes we’ve mentioned in this article. One thing seems evident from our research – with people and their surroundings, you simply can’t go wrong.

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