Stock Photo Content Planning for May

Plan your shoots with our photographer content creation planning guides

March: Prepare for May

Welcome back to our monthly photoshoot content planning guide, where we share themes, special dates and suggested keywords to help guide you as you create and prepare your images for submission to Noun Project. Alongside our guide, we’ve included sample images from our collection to help inspire creative direction on your shoots.

In March, it’s time to start shooting and prepping your stock images and content for the month of May’s major themes and special days: Mother’s Day, Older Americans Month and Teacher Appreciation Week.

Use these themes as suggestions and expand with your own ideas on what types of photos best say “May!” 

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, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, which in 2023 will fall on May 13th.

To honor mothers on Mother’s Day, people give gifts such as flowers, cards and candy. Showing gratitude to moms by coming together to make a meal or taking your mom 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, and photos of flowers and greeting cards.  You can also create images of picnic spreads and brunch food items such as croissant and coffee.

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

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

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 2023 is Aging Unbound which offers “…an opportunity to explore diverse aging experiences and discuss how communities can combat stereotypes.”

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.

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

Photo from Centre for Ageing Better

Photo by Artem Varnitsen // 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

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 7th- May 12th, 2023, with Teacher Appreciation Day falling on May 2nd. 

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. Other ideas for stock photos 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 keywords: teacher, education, teacher appreciation, school supplies, gratitude, flowers, gift card

Photo from Scopio

Photo by the Zamurovic Brothers // Photo by AtlasStudio

Photo by Tomas Baker // Photo from Scopio

Photo by Anna Ivanova // Photo by the Zamurovic Brothers

Photo by Tomas Baker // Photo from Scopio

Photo by Rosley Majid


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 as well as the fun theme of Cheese Month. Other days of note include Star Wars Day on May 5th, National Nurses Day on May 6 and Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of 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.

Tune in again next time for more tips and ideas on photos to create and upload!


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For content planning for social media users, small businesses and marketers, check out our 2023 content planning guide and calendar.

Suzanne Strong
Suzanne Strong

Creative Director for Photos at Noun Project and Photographer

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