Cyclical Needs in Stock Photography

Cyclical Needs in Stock Photography

One would think that if it’s snowing outside and the holidays are approaching, magazines would be looking for images of families unwrapping presents in cozy living rooms. Or if it’s the last week of June, that photo researchers everywhere are furiously hunting for images of kids running around with sparklers at Fourth of July picnics.
Not true! Magazines generally work 3-4 months ahead of schedule, so if you want to sync up your shooting to their buying needs, you need to be on their schedule as well. Check out our guide below to give you an idea what buyers are searching for. And get ready to shoot some turkey dinners in July!
photo by Goss Images / #PSC000018175

Magazines are working on their spring issues. Time to think about:

  • Fitness season
  • Diet
  • Spring cleaning
  • Home Renovation
  • Moving
  • Gardening
  • Kids/Spring Break

photo by Don Smith / #PSC000972456

Magazines are working on their summer issues. Time to think about:

  • Kids/Summer vacation
  • 4th of July
  • Family Vacations
  • Pets
  • Allergies
  • Road trips
  • Summer music festivals
  • Picnics + BBQs
  • Staying cool
  • Swimming
  • Sailing
  • Green issues:
    • Water conservation
    • Black outs
    • Ways to save energy
    • Air conditioning
    • Gas prices


photo by Ryan Benyi /  #PSC000914284

Magazines are working on their fall issues. Time to think about:

  • Back to School
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Winterizing your home
  • Holiday Meals – fall foods
    • Thanksgiving dinner
    • Soup
    • Squash
    • Cranberries
    • etc.
  • Back to work after summer, career issues/financial 


photo by Igor Kisselev / #PSC000062271

Magazines are working on their holiday issues. Time to think about:

  • Different religious holidays
  • New Year’s
  • Shopping/spending money
  • Holiday Foods/Cocktails (great to shoot silo’s for)
  • Snow
  • Sledding
  • Skiing
  • Warm Travel (like carribean)
  • New Year’s Resolutions (quit smoking, join the gym)
  • Home Insulation
  • Heating Bills
  • Oil
  • Colds/Getting Sick/Preventing Colds/Natural Remedies

photo by Matthias Hauser / #PSC000030140

Magazines are working on their late winter/early spring issues. Time to think about:

  • Valentine’s Day
  • Relationships/Sex/Romance
  • Seasonal Depression
  • Taxes
  • Mardi Gras
  • Jazz Festival
  • Easter


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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter. He co-hosts the "I Love Photography" podcast on iTunes.

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