Stock Photo Shoot Planning for May

Plan your stock photoshoots with our photographer content creation guides

Photo by Suzanne Strong

Welcome to our monthly photo shoot planning guide where we share themes, special dates, and suggested tags to help guide you in creating and preparing your stock photos for submission to Noun Project for the months ahead.  

May is an exciting month, with its vibrant, blooming flowers and longer days, it serves as a bridge between the brisk renewal of spring and the forthcoming abundance of summer. May is a month to honor the contributions of our mothers, older people, teachers and more. With all of this, May offers a myriad of themes and holidays to create stock photos.

Many countries across the world celebrate and honor mothers in May on Mother’s Day. Older Americans Month, observed in May, acknowledges and celebrates the ways in which older adults enrich our communities. During Teacher Appreciation Week, the second week of May, we honor the amazing educators who inspire and guide students.

Use these themes as suggestions and expand with your ideas on what types of photos best say “May!” and let these amazing images from Noun Project help inspire creative direction in your photo sessions..

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring moms and motherhood that is observed in different forms around the world. In the United States, Turkey, Australia, Brazil and Japan, among Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May in the US, Turkey, Australia, Brazil and Japan and more. Among other countries, Mexico and India, for example, observe Mother’s Day on May 10th. France and Sweden celebrate their mothers on the last Sunday in May.

To honor mothers on Mother’s Day, many people give gifts such as flowers, cards and candy and also show gratitude to moms by coming together to make a meal or going out to brunch. Many mothers are appreciative of spending time with their families by taking a picnic, watching a movie together or going to a museum. 

Great ideas for Mother’s Day stock photos include images of mothers and their children or adult kids spending time together, engaged in fun activities.

For stock photos without people, flat lays and still life images of picnic spreads, brunch food items such as croissants and coffee and photos of flowers and greeting cards are fun options to illustrate Mother’s Day.

Photo by Anna Ivanova // Photo by Yes Photographers

Photo by the Zamurovic Brothers // Photo by Diliara Garifullina

Photo by Paulo Sousa // Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography // Photo by Suzanne Strong for Noun Project

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography
Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Suggested tags: mom, mother, Mother’s Day, family, brunch, bouquet, flowers, card, family, child

Older Americans Month

Older Americans Month is a month is observed to recognize the countless contributions of past and present older persons to the country and our communities. The month’s theme for 2024 is Powered by Connection Aging Unbound,  which “…recognizes the profound impact that meaningful relationships and social connections have on our health and well-being.”

Realistic images of older people living vibrant, full lives are sorely lacking in the media and stock photos–especially of BIPOC folks. Older Americans Month can be a great source of inspiration for photographers to help fill the gap in creating images that show authentic, positive images of people over 50. Older people hiking, having dinner, dating, taking walks, working in offices and participating in hobbies, such as photography or biking are realistic activities that can be photographed for stock images.

For more tips on how to create images that better represent older individuals living full, vibrant lives, check out our interview with Center for Ageing Better. 

For specific needs of photos of older people, check out Noun Project’s Dynamic Aging call for photos.

Photo from Centre for Ageing Better

Photo by Artem Varnitsen // Photo by Jacob Lund Photography 

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography  // Photo by Alia Youssef

Photo of man in wheelchair and photo of woman on bike by Centre for Ageing Better

Photo by Winnie Vinzence

Photo of woman CEO and photo of businessman by Jacob Lund Photography

Photo from Centre for Ageing Better

Suggested tags: older, mature, gray hair, authentic, lifestyle

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is a time to recognize and show gratitude for the hard work and dedication of teachers. During this week, students, parents, and school administrators often take the time to express their appreciation for teachers through cards, gifts, and other gestures of thanks. In 2023, Teacher Appreciation week takes place May 6th to May 10th, with Teacher Appreciation Day falling on May 7th. 

The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day “as a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.” Teachers play a crucial role in the education and development of their students, not only in traditional education, but in emotional and social growth and are often role models and mentors to their students.

Students and parents can show gratitude to their teachers through gestures such as giving school supplies to classrooms, sending gift certificates, providing a teacher luncheon  and sending hand-written notes. 

Ideas for stock photos to submit to Noun Project are images of flowers or bouquets, chalkboards, classrooms, teachers, gift certificates, a spread of food for a luncheon and flat lays of teacher supplies. 

Suggested tags: teacher, education, teacher appreciation, school supplies, gratitude, flowers, gift card

Photo from Scopio

Photo by the Zamurovic Brothers // Photo by AtlasStudio

Photo by Yes Photographers

Photo by Tomas Baker // Photo from Scopio

Photo by Anna Ivanova // Photo by the Zamurovic Brothers

Photo from Centre for Ageing Better

Photo by Tomas Baker // Photo from Scopio

Photo by Rosley Majid

Suggested tags: teacher, education, teacher appreciation, school supplies, gratitude, flowers, gift card

More Inspiration

Other significant themes, dates and observances to inspire your photos for May are Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month (AAPI Month); Mental Health Awareness Month; National BBQ Month; National Camera Month; as well as the fun theme of Cheese Month. National Willdflower Week starts the first week in May. Other days of note include May Day on May 1st; Star Wars Day on May 5th; National Nurses Day on May 6; Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday in May. International Day of Families, celebrated May 15th, is a United Nations observance that celebrates the role of families in society and promotes awareness of issues related to families.

Interested in joining our community of photographers and contributing to Noun Project? Submit your photos and explore our guide to creating authentic, inclusive images.

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Suzanne Strong
Suzanne Strong

Creative Director for Photos at Noun Project and Photographer

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