Be the Supply That Meets Demand: 15 Projects for Stock Platforms

8 min readFeb 4, 2019


See the types of visuals that are popular with stock platforms, gather ideas for new projects, and stay in the know about the latest trending topics.

The Depositphotos library reached 100 million files recently, giving us plenty of room for creativity to analyze what’s currently in-demand. We looked at some of our library insights, and put together this article to help designers, photographers, and other artists working with stock platforms to tap into the demand of the market.

This article is a collection of 15 projects that can help you boost your portfolio, get you inspired, and help you generate more ideas to diversify your portfolio. Although you might work in your own speciality and have a personal style, taking up new challenges might inspire more creativity and potentially transform your portfolio.

The stock platform basics

1. Projects for most popular categories

Some categories of photography and graphics are unanimously popular across all stock platforms. At Depositphotos, our top 10 categories include: people, business, textures and backgrounds, holidays and events, nature, abstract, technology, professions, education, and sport.

You can take on projects in light of the high demand for these image categories. It’s especially useful if you diversify your portfolio to include visuals for as many of them as you can. If you’re a photographer, each one can be a seperate photo shoot fit for the themes that you’re more comfortable working with. If you work in other mediums, selecting holidays and events (for example) is generally a good idea as the demand for visuals and graphics for holiday related things are a year-round need for clients.

2. Keywords brainstorm

Another thing we uncovered in our breakdown of data from the Depositphotos library, are some of the most popular search terms and keywords. Based on the wide usage of some terms that come up every year, you can build a project with your interpretation of some of the popular search terms, or build project ideas around our cloud of keywords.

3. Genre plan of attack

Aside from these basics, every stock platform has dozens of categories for visuals. At Depositphotos alone, we have 36 categories for images and video. Again, you can take a look at some of them to decide what could fulfill your portfolio so that you cover most of the basics that suit your style.

4. Color scheme hack

Often our clients search for visuals based on colors. You can take on the whole rainbow if you wanted to — with the objective of offering images in ever color hue. To keep your portfolio refreshing and fun, introduce bold colors and unexpected color schemes.

As an artist or graphic designer, you can create very bold visuals in line with your chosen color schemes or seperate colors. Bold and eye catching visuals also sell really well in our library because they demand attention. More often than not, people are looking for those thumb-stopping images for their projects.

5. Focus on people

A quick solution to including more visuals with people in your portfolio, is to shoot your friends and family that are okay with being part of your portfolio. To sharpen your skills as a photographer, don’t just take snappy pictures of your loved ones, be sure to work at capturing their personality.

Visuals with people remain some of the most frequently purchased images in our library, so including more variety with different personalities is a great idea. You can track your friends for a day and capture images in context to environments because people in authentic environments remain some of the best selling photographs.

Personal photography projects with an edge

6. 365 project idea

For the sake of artistic growth, there is the idea that if you commit to taking at least 1 picture everyday, you can watch your growth throughout the 12 months and make it a project in itself. This is great for creativity, but you can also use those images to upload to your stock portfolios for a more artistic touch.

If you need a little nudge or ideas to draw for the 365 project, PhotoBlog put together a calendar with ideas for every day of the year so you can have some prompts if need be. The calendar is available for free download by this link.

7. The 30 day challenge

If the 365 challenge is like biting off more than you can chew, you can take on a similar route with a 30 day challenge. A 30 day challenge implies you take a picture, illustrate or create any other artwork for every day of the month. Simply select a month from the calendar above and stick to the same rules, while keeping an eye out for more unusual sceneries.

Both these projects force you to get out of your comfort zone. Some project ideas for the day might inspire a series, all of which would work well with your portfolio and most certainly fall under some of the popular categories.

8. Editorial street photography

Although people in images require for model release forms, you can still shoot street style images and mark them as ‘editorial’. This gives you the chance to explore cities and try your hand at a new genre if you haven’t explored street photography.

This is especially true if you’re shooting or filming crowds of people. You can still submit these images to stock platforms to be used to illustrate events and be used for other media. Be sure to add the locations of the images and preferably the date.

9. The A-Z project

There’s 2 ways to work with the A-Z project. One is photographing objects that start with each letter of the alphabet. The second way is to find the whole alphabet around you city, including objects that resemble letters in some way.

It’s harder than it first looks but it’s another series that can make your portfolio more creative if you present the images in a series.

The trendy approach

10. Inspired by trends

Another place to seek inspiration is our yearly trends report. You can see the visual trends cover from 2017, 2018, and this year’s 2019 visual trends to gather ideas on how to work with ideas and movements that are central to visual communication.

The trends reports are a good starting place regardless of the medium you work with. We cover not only photography, but graphic design, web design, and other fields in the visual arts. Keeping up with trends keeps you ahead of the game, with a possibility to tap into a new niche.

11. Recreating iconic visuals

Finding inspiration from some of your best photographers and artists is another way to add an artistic touch to your portfolios. Sure, recreating visuals might seem hardly creative, but upon analysis and the process of recreating them, you learn quite a few things about the necessary elements such as lighting and composition.

You can turn to art history, inspired by our trend this year — Embracing Art History. Recreating the works of the masters of the past can prove to be quite an enriching experience and quite fun if you have to organize and take care of every aspect of the production.

4 topics you can’t go wrong with

12. Niche content for holidays and events

Something else we discovered while analyzing data from our library, is that most of our contributors upload files towards the end of the year, tapping into the demand of holiday-themed visuals. To take this a step further, you can create whole projects about more niche events for important dates for marketers.

13. Backgrounds for every occasion

Another interesting fact about stock platforms is that there are simply never enough backgrounds. From scenic landscapes, to plain cityscapes — you can count on the most plain or intricate composition to sell.

It’s important to give clients versatility, so empty space with backgrounds is key. Keep the compositions simple, with enough room to crop images, print, and display in a larger format.

14. Patterns and textures

If you think backgrounds sell year round, you’ll be amazed at how many designers refer to stock platforms in search of textures and patterns for projects. If you’re a photographer, simply keep an eye out for interesting textures.

The top sold photograph on Depositphotos is a textured black wall, so chances are you can really contribute to your portfolio if you include a series (or frequent uplaods) of interesting and creative textures and patterns.

15. Location scouting perks

When location scouting for photoshoots, take picture of your surroundings because chances are, they can also be used to enrich your portfolio with the perfect locations. It goes without saying that you cannot upload visuals with prominent structures (or you’ll need a property release form), but in generally it’s a good place to start to add architecture and a piece of street style photography to your existing portfolio.

If you’re curious about the kinds of images that sell well, we analyze and cover the trends on the Depositphotos blog. In having a few things you can count on, such as our library insights, you can begin to gather the things that make stock platforms unique. In understanding what the clients are looking for, you can learn to tap into the demand of the market and make your portfolio stand out.




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