When it comes to creating stock photos, there’s basically two schools of thought: Trendy vs. Timeless.

The first approach is to keep on top of popular trends in the advertising world; to create photos that look modern and current.

Shots like these:

stock photos showing current trends
Photos that feature the newest technology, hottest gadgets, and distinct styles are likely to be very popular in the present moment, but also easily date an image. Shots like the cell phone or fidget spinner above would be prime examples.

The other tactic is to intentionally create photos that will stand the test of time a bit longer by using neutral styling and avoiding anything that could easily date the shot.

Here are a few examples:

timeless stock photos
While styles are always changing, some things pretty much stay the same. Photos that capture universally relatable themes stand a good chance of selling well into the future. For example, most everyone can relate to their pets wanting to play, kids not wanting vegetables, and the desire to get away from it all.

Should you focus on trends… or stick with timeless shots?

Truly, we should be aiming to fill our portfolios with both types of images.

Trendy photos will sell really well for a shorter period of time, while timeless photos will sell consistently, over a longer amount of time.

Keep in mind that, regardless of subject, styling really matters. So the next time you’re planning and setting up to shoot, think about things like clothing, hair styles, interior décor, the types of props being used, and the overall color palette of your scene.

If you’re planning to photograph people, let them know in advance what type of clothes they should wear, whether you want them wearing make-up, etc…

Think of yourself as the director of a movie. Some photographers even go so far as to sketch out storyboards for each scene they want to capture!

The little details really add up and will determine whether your photo is trendy or timeless. There’s no right or wrong here, as long as you know what you’re going for.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about getting started selling your photos online in stock agencies – no matter how much or little photography experience you have – in the Breakfast Stock Club e-newsletter. It’s once a week, and it’s free to join, here.]

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