Women have been consistently taking protagonism in society and media for years now, and the stock photos of women you use must reflect this.
Since last year, the greater visibility impulsed by social activism for women’s rights, female empowerment, and inclusion only increases the need for modern and accurate photos of women, which are a far cry from the old stock image clichés.
If you’re a marketer, blogger, business owner, or social media content creator, make sure to study this list of the trendiest stock photos of women and the 6 agencies that have them!
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The most important aspect to consider when using photos of women is to stay away from stereotypes.
This applies to everything from businesswomen to stay-at-home mothers to young women from Gen Z finding their path in life. You want honest and modern representations of these roles. That's what really works in visual marketing.
Beware! A woman portrait can be stereotypical despite attempting to be positive. A photo of an impossibly dolled up, smiling woman with her neatly seated children is as unrealistic as one that shows a disheveled woman looking distraught as her children make a mess.
It’s not enough with avoiding stereotypes, you also want to break them. Visually powerful women photography shows women in non-traditional roles.
It’s important to remember this is about empowerment. Discard images that show women being overly-sexualized, or that imply a “feminization” of a non-traditional role. This is also valuable when using styled stock photography aimed at women.
Business is a big category here. From typical businesswomen to modern entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals.
#3. Body positive
Women photography has forever been linked to beauty, and historically, to imposing unreachable beauty standards. Not anymore.
Now we are all about real women, with real bodies and real beauty. Young adults such as Millennials are very into this.
Don’t be afraid of showing unconventional attractiveness and unique looks, but also that female bodies come in every size and shape. It's a great visual cue for branding in 2021!
#4. Diversity Focus
In real life, most groups of women have members from various backgrounds. So make sure your photos reflect that diversity.
Remember, no stereotypes. You don’t want one African American woman to “spice up” a group of blonde women. Diversity can mean mixed races, a range of ages, women with disabilities. And true multiculturalism doesn’t subject black women, Asian women, or any other minority to prejudices or accessory roles.
#5. Senior Women
The inclusion of senior women in active, fulfilling roles is very desirable. Remember women over 60 are baby boomers, these happy mature women are far from your canonical grey-haired, knitting-loving grandmas.
These top stock photo sites have great, royalty-free collections of women photos worth exploring, and they’re very affordable!
Photocase – Unconventional
Artsy German stock photo site Photocase has a great selection of modern women’s pictures, such as the ones that accompany this article.
Stock Photo Secrets Shop – Budget-Friendly
Beautiful girls, young women, mature women. The most diverse women photos can be found in our Stock Photo Secrets Shop, and at very pocket-friendly prices.
Shutterstock – Rich Library
Dive into a pool of hundreds of millions of women images! Shutterstock has the most varied women faces in all kinds of settings, backgrounds, and roles, all ready to download and use.
iStock – Affordable Premium
Renowned agency iStock is perfect to find affordable yet high-value, beautiful woman photos with diversity in terms of ethnicity, culture, age, lifestyle, and more.
Adobe Stock – Trendy Creative
Uber-trendy stock photo service Adobe Stock is perfect to source high-resolution woman imagery that is freshly modern and as authentic as it gets.
Getty Images – High-End
For example, Humaaans is a stock illustrations service where you can customize female human characters as much as you want –from body type and skin tone to clothing and setting– and download them in vector format, ready to use in your design. Pretty cool!
Which site are you exploring first? We'd love to know!
Header image: Copyright by Addictive Stock/Photocase.com, all rights reserved.