Check out these fresh takes for the most popular stock photos to license. “Diversity hands” and “city photos with data connection” make a statement, but these alternative search keywords can give you even more unique stock photos.
We took a look at some of the most popular photo searches on Shutterstock: aerial sea landscape; city photo with data connection and global business networking structure; smiling young woman; young business people and diverse coworkers, and diversity hands. Yes, all of these image types are evergreen. But with unique stock photo takes on these types of images, you can stand out from the pack. Gain inspiration with our list of alternative keywords and the creative curations you’ll find within.
Popular Stock Photo Search: “Aerial Sea Landscape”
What says “life’s a beach” more than a gorgeous aerial of blue tides meeting white sands? While these photos are popular, there are many more views of the beach that will catch your customers’ eyes. Here, we’ll highlight a couple of alternative search terms from our article on data-backed ways to show off beach photography.
Search this instead: “beach activities” will give you people-focused action shots. While the beautiful beach is still present here, your audience can more easily picture themselves having fun (or simply relaxing) near the surf.
Search this too: “sea life macro” fulfills the graphic, textural side of your beach-and-shore photos with a colorful twist. Extreme closeups (macro photography) of shells, coral, anemone, and other sea life are a great way to inject some color into your creative.
Popular Stock Photo Search: “City Photo with Data Connections” and “Global Business Networking Structure”
We’ve all seen this image before: a city skyline at night, overlaid with laser-like illustrations to indicate connectivity. While this photo genre definitely has its niche and is a clever shorthand, there are other ways to show interconnectivity in a more modern way that resonates with audiences.
There are a few ways to approach this topic.
Search this instead: “smartphone city” will provide more active shots of people using their phones in urban settings. This indicates that your service is connects to your users, no matter where they are.
Try this search too: a variation of the previous option is “modern farmer,” which shows that your service connects even further out than just major cities.
Or try this search: “server room” is another shorthand for “data” images. This search gives you more realistic—but still high-tech—images, without relying too heavily on overlaid illustrations.
Popular Stock Photo Search: “Smiling Young Woman”
Search this instead: “(your brand color) fashion“ to get more eye-catching images that will suit your brand’s color palette.
With the focus on fashion, your models are not only perfectly dressed, but you’ll also see lots of images with large swaths of bold color. If you are looking for something gender-specific, you can always use Shutterstock’s People filter to narrow the results even more (though without refining, you may be able to cast a wider net for inclusivity for customers who want to see more non-binary models in marketing).
Bonus search: try searching for “woman with flowers” for a lush and decorative twist. We recommend embracing the casual photo trend, but there are many great options for studio shots that make adding copy to an image a cinch.
Popular Stock Photo Search: “Young Business People” and “Diverse Coworkers”
Many companies want to appeal to a young workforce with images of happy coworkers. However, Gen Z is often unswayed by false images of young tokenized workers in suits. Our guide to using imagery to appeal to Gen Z job seekers not only offers a great curation of images . . . it also shows some great tips for how to show off a more casual, appealing side of office and work-from-home life.
Search this instead: “casual coworkers” will actually broaden your search, giving you options for active images of co-working and chatting over coffee. If you need a particular demographic, using Shutterstock’s People filter for age range will also help.
Popular Stock Photo Search: “Diversity Hands”
Raise your hand if you’re ready for a fresher take on diversity! While this is another search that’s shorthand (no pun intended) for reaching or serving diverse people, showing people in their element is a more welcoming alternative. A handshake can be a powerful image, but it also leaves out other types of diversity as well: body types, ability, gender identity, and more.
There are many different keywords you can keep in mind anytime you are looking for photos of people on Shutterstock. Adding terms that account for body types, race, age, and more to your usual searches will give you a stronger cast of characters to choose from.
In Shutterstock search, you can also use our nonbinary filter to capture an array of people on the gender spectrum. Remember to also include trans people and images of LGBTQ+ couples and friends.
Where to Find Unique Stock Photos
Now that you know how to search a stock library to find that perfect photo, your next step is easy—Shutterstock Flex. With Shutterstock Flex, you’ll have all-in-one access to our massive library, plus the FLEXibility you need to select the perfect mix of assets every time.
Learn more about how FLEX works and sign up for a free trial today.
License this cover image via Master1305.