Stock Photo Shoot Planning for October

Plan your stock photoshoots with our photographer content creation guides

Photo by Alina Kho

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 images for submission to Noun Project.

The month of October offers countless possibilities for capturing fun and creative stock photos. The major theme of October is Autumn, with the changing colors of leaves, fall harvest, hearty soups, and cozy sweaters. And of course, the major holiday in October is Halloween on October 31st! Don’t forget the animals that play an important role in October: black cats, bats and spiders! October is also National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time to honor the contributions of people with disabilities to our country and to recommit to eliminating barriers in employment.

Use these themes as suggestions and expand with your own ideas on what types of photos best say “October” and let these amazing photos from Noun Project help inspire creative direction on your shoots.


One of the most picturesque aspects of autumn is the transformation of the seasons depicted by the enchanting fall hues of the foliage.  With the approach of autumn, Noun Project’s customers often seek seasonal images and look for stock photos that capture the changes in the seasons. 

Photo by Yes Photographers

Photo (L) by Carol Highsmith // Photo (R) by Carol Highsmith 

Fall Foods

With the cooler weather and the days getting shorter, soups and stews make for the perfect food to photograph for stock photo content for October. Utilizing fall-like colors such as oranges, tans, deep reds and browns will help tell the story of autumn foods in stock photos.

Photo by Anna Ivanova

Photo (L) from Scopio // Photo (R) from Scopio

Flat lays and stills of pumpkins and gourds are a fun way to showcase fall foods in stock photos.

Photo (L) by Zamurovic Brothers // Photo (R) by Zamurovic Brothers

Photo (L) by Alina Kho // Photo (R) by Alina Kho

Fall Fashion

Autumn is a wonderful time to explore the outdoors while the weather is still generally mild. An easy way to tell the story of autumn in stock images with people is to include simple layers or wardrobe pieces such as beanies, hoodies, sweaters and boots to create fall-themed stock images. When choosing clothing items to include in the shoot, consider fall-themed colors such as tans, browns and other earth tones as well as vibrant classic fall colors such as red, yellow and orange to add dimension to your autumn images.

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Photo (L) by Stefy Gutovska // Photo (R) from Scopio

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Creatures of the Season

Spiders, bats, and black cats are some of the creatures that are popular in autumn stock photos. Photographing black cats is a great way to represent the season if you can catch the shot! 

Photo from Scopio

Photo (L) from Scopio // Photo (R) from Scopio

Creating flat lays with props of fake spiders and pumpkins is a fun way to create stock photos for autumn.  Within your flat lay shoot, make sure to take some photos that have copy space.

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Suggested tags: fall, autumn, leaves, pumpkins, harvest, sweaters, cozy, soup, black cats, spiders, gourds, pumpkins


Halloween falls on the last day of the month, October 31st. Images of pumpkins, bats, cats and spiders represent both autumn and Halloween, doubling up topical content for fall. 

Noun Project is looking specifically for stock photos of people, both adults and children, dressed in Halloween costumes while trick-or-treating or at Halloween parties. A fun way to make these photos is to ask friends and family to participate in your shoot by hosting a costume party!

Photo by Suzanne Strong

Photo (L) by Manu Reyes // Photo (R) by Manu Reyes

To create stock Halloween images without people, pick up some fun props at a local party store to create flay lays and still life photos. Make sure that some of your images have copy space.

Photo by Zamurovic Brothers

Photo (L) by Zamurovic Brothers // Photo (R) by Zamurovic Brothers

Photo by Tomas Baker

Suggested tags: Halloween, party, October, costume, candy, trick or treat, ghost, witch

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. At Noun Project, our customers highly value stock images of people in office and business settings. Including people with disabilities in work environments in your stock photos can help promote inclusivity.

Photographing people with disabilities allows for a wider range of perspectives and experiences to be portrayed, creating a more authentic reflection of the diverse workforce in today’s society. 

Photo (L) by Suzanne Strong for Noun Project // Photo (R) by Suzanne Strong for Noun Project

A tip for creating authentic stock images of people with disabilities is do not try to hide a person’s disability, but do not make it the focal point of your images. Always ask your models with disabilities how they would like to be portrayed in photos.

In addition to images of people with disabilities in office settings, Noun Project is also looking for images of people with disabilities living daily life in everyday settings. Photos that include people with disabilities spending time with family and friends, and participating in sports and hobbies are popular and sought after.

Learn more through our call for photos: People Everyday.

Photo by Marko Subotin

More Inspiration:

Other significant themes, dates and observances to inspire your photos for October are Breast Cancer Awareness Month; Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15th and concludes on October 15th; Oktoberfest; National Pizza and Pasta Month; International Coffee Day on October 1st; Rosh Hashanah falling on October 2nd through October 4th in 2024; Yom Kippur on October 11th, 2024; National Taco Day on October 4th; World Teachers’ Day on October 5th; World Mental Health Day on October 10th and Indigenous Peoples’ Day (USA) on October 12th.

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

Click here to download FREE photo shoot production document templates.

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Suzanne Strong
Suzanne Strong

VP of Content & Creators at Noun Project and Photographer

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