One of the best parts about stock photography is that you can photograph whatever you want—there’s no one telling you what you have to shoot.

And while it’s great to have that kind of creative freedom, sometimes it can be tough to know where to start.

Rather than randomly photographing things, savvy stock photographers keep tabs on what’s selling best. They look at what’s in demand and make a plan for what they want to shoot.

So how do you figure this out? A lot of stock agencies make it pretty easy once you know where to look on their sites. Let’s look at a few:

  • Bigstock compiles their most popular photo categories right here.
  • Shutterstock shows popular subjects as well as trending search terms here. Beach, business, coffee, travel, abstract, and water are all on the list right now.
  • Dreamstime shows their current best-selling shots on this continually updated page here.

Grab a coffee and browse through popular image categories, best-selling photos, and trending keywords. If you do this on a regular basis, you’ll not only get a healthy dose of inspiration, you’ll start to notice patterns and trends in the industry.

Keep in mind that designers are often working several months in advance. For example, several of Dreamstime’s current best-sellers, such as the photo below, are featuring fall foliage even though it’s only June.

A forest in autumn is popular as stock photography

It’s definitely not too early to upload fall and winter seasonal and holiday-themed photos to your stock sites!

If you can fill your portfolios with popular subjects, you’ll see a lot more sales and you’ll probably be motivated to dig out your camera more than ever!

[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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