What buyers are searching for right now


Do you need some fresh ideas for your stock photography? Are you wondering what buyers are looking for?

Keywords to the rescue!

Keywords are the main way buyers find images to purchase on stock sites. So if you know what keywords buyers are searching for, you know what photos are most likely to sell and what types of subjects are trending.

Lucky for us, stock photo sites make this information easy to find. Most sites keep an updated list of popular keywords right on their homepage.

Some sites also highlight popular categories, providing collections of images that could be great to browse for inspiration. (Remember, never try to directly copy an image you see on stock, but rather, create your own unique take on a subject or concept.)

So what’s trending right now? Let’s take a look at the most commonly searched keywords at the moment.


On iStock, trending keywords include business meeting, happy, summer, golf course, and back to school. Popular categories include sport and fitness photos, education photos, travel photos, and celebration photos.

Shutterstock’s top image search terms include business, summer, graduation, background, flower, laptop, and car.

In addition to keywords, Shutterstock also publishes a helpful monthly “Shot List” which highlights their most requested content from buyers. I highly recommend checking it out here. For the month of August, they expect popular subjects to include people attending classes, young investors, eco-friendly homes, and kids at camp.

On Dreamstime, popular searches include good morning, work from home, food delivery, abstract, college students, business, kids, school, vaccine, summer holiday, and flowers.

It’s well worth it to take a few minutes to check your favorite stock sites for their lists of popular keywords and categories. It’s one of the best ways to get ideas for new things to photograph while making sure you’re creating images that will sell!     

— Daniel