Subjects That Sell

Posted on 1/6/1998 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



January 6, 1998

The principle demand for images that will be used in advertising revolves around

Business and Family Life situations. Concepts that illustrate Business and

Lifestyle principles are also in high demand.

Our agency, Stock Connection, focuses our marketing and promotion toward the

advertising community. Our sales by image type over the past three years are

the following percent of total dollar volume. (In general, these figures may

hold true for many agencies that sell primarily to the advertising market.

Agencies that concentrate on selling to the editorial market will have a much

different experience.)


Business 8.80%

Communications 1.70%

Housing 3.13%

Industry 2.19%

Medical 1.82%

Money & Banking 1.86%

People w/Computers 1.47%

Technology 3.57%

Transportation, roads 7.91%

Cities, skylines 2.14%


Concepts 6.54%

flags 3.18%

Abstracts & backgrounds 5.09%


Lifestyles 12.33%

Children 3.30%

Recreation, sports 8.63%

Travel 5.61%


Animals 4.65%

Water 3.45%

Sunsets 1.37%

Mountains,trees,desert 1.90%

Landscapes, other 3.19%

Nature 2.78%


Agriculture 1.29%

Disasters .51%

Editorial .17%

Education .67%


(bridges,architecture, etc.) .90%

If we add to the concepts category: water, sunsets, deserts, clouds, fireworks,

roads, money, as well as still lifes in other business categories, we find that

better than 35% of our sales are for concept illustrations without people.

Images that illustrate the following concepts are always in demand: caring,

change, communication, elated, elderly, endurance, fast start, fresh,

futuristic, good life, graceful, happiness, healthy, joy, love, new technology,

power, risk, romance, security, simplicity, speed, strength, success, teamwork,

time, wealth, working together.

If you would like a free list of 200 concepts that are often used in advertising

send a self addressed stamped envelope to: Jim Pickerell, 110 Frederick Avenue,

Suite A, Rockville, MD 20850.

Copyright © 1998 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff