Stock Photo Planning for August & September

Plan your shoots with our photographer content creation planning guides

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

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

With the beautiful weather of summer winding down, the excitement of going back to school and inspiring monthly themes and days of observance, both August and September provide ample and interesting opportunities to create great photos for stock submission.

Major themes to inspire photos for August and September include Back to School, National Wellness Month, National Dog Month and the start of autumn.

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

Back to School

With school starting in August and September, educators will be on the lookout for stock photos that capture the excitement and anticipation of a new school year. It’s a nostalgic time of year that can be beautifully captured in photographs. 

Photos of kids walking to school with backpacks as well as greeting each other after a long summer are some fun ways to capture the excitement of a new school year for stock photo customers.

Photo by Marko Subotin

Photo (L) by Marko Subotin // Photo (R) from Scopio

Photo by Denis Kuvaiev

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Classroom images are popular with Noun Project’s educational customers. As part of Noun Project’s diversity and inclusion mission, we strive to provide stock photos of people from underrepresented communities. These images with a Black male and an Asian male teacher with a diverse group of students are great examples of inclusive representation in this sector.

Photo (L) by Winnie Vinzence // Photo (R) by Winnie Vinzence

Not all students attend school in person. Images of kids in a home school environment help fill a niche that is not always represented in stock photos.

Photo (L) by Flamingo Images // Photo (R) by Flamingo Images

For stock images without people, consider photographing still life images of school supplies or chalkboards, as well as classrooms without students or teachers. When photographing images without people, keep in mind that photos with copy space are highly valued by our customers.

Photo by Thomas Baker

Photo (L) by the Zamurovic Brothers // Photo (R) by Thomas Baker

With a property release, photographing empty classrooms or libraries provides generic stock images that educators can use. 

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

Photo by Shutter2U

Keywords: school, back to school, education, classroom, students, teachers, class, school supplies

National Wellness Month

August is National Wellness Month and promotes healthy living by focusing on physical, mental, and emotional well-being with an emphasis on self-care, managing stress and promoting healthy routines. Images that capture the essence of this month can help promote its message of self-care to a wider audience. Images of people engaging in healthy activities are very popular with Noun Project’s customers who download and purchase stock photos.

Photo by Alia Youssef

Photographing people engaging in activities such as yoga, meditation, drinking water, eating fruits and veggies, exercising and getting good sleep are examples of ways you can capture National Wellness Month in stock photos. Keep an eye out for natural lighting and serene backdrops, such as a park or garden, to convey a sense of calmness and tranquility.

Photo (L) by Jacob Lund Photography // Photo (R) by Jacob Lund Photography

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Photo by Artem Varnitsin

If you are creating stock images without people, there are plenty of options to create still life scenes and flat lays that represent National Wellness Month. Photographing vegetables, fruits, bottles of water and skin and spa items are an easy way to represent National Wellness Month. Consider leaving room for copy space in some of your compositions as Noun Project customers often look for a space in stock images to place text. 

Photo by Alina Kho

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

Photo by Alina Kho

Photo (L) by Yes Photographers // Photo (R) by Yes Photographers

Photo by Yes Photographers

Keywords: health, self care, wellness, fruit, vegetables, meditation, yoga, exercise

National Dog Month

National Dog Month is a celebration held in the United States every August. It is a month-long event dedicated to recognizing the importance of dogs in our lives and raising awareness about responsible dog ownership.  Various initiatives take place to promote adoption, spaying and neutering, and the overall wellbeing of dogs. Additionally, it is a time to honor and appreciate the contributions that dogs make to our society as therapy animals, service animals, and loyal companions.

Photo by Avel Shah

Making stock photos of dogs is fun, but it also can be challenging. Follow these 7 tips for photographing dogs:

  1. Capture their natural behavior, such as playing, running and even sleeping
  2. Use natural light to give the photos a more authentic look
  3. Get down on the dog’s level to create an intimate feeling
  4. Focus on the eyes, just as you would in a photograph of a person
  5. Use treats and toys to get their attention
  6. Take your time and be patient to capture those candid and genuine shots 
  7. Photograph dogs with their families to help the dog feel more comfortable and to add interest to the image

Photo by Suzanne Strong for Noun Project

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

Photo from Scopio

Many customers at Noun Project are looking for stock images that represent work. Get creative and take images of dogs with laptops or helping their owners work from home.

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

Photo by Avel Shah

Keywords: dogs, pets, national dog month, pet portrait

The Start of Autumn

With summer wrapping up, we begin to look toward a new season. September holds the Autumn Equinox on September 22nd. With the arrival of autumn, there is a great opportunity to capture stock images of cozy sweaters, soups and hot beverages in anticipation of cooler weather.

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Photo (L) by Anna Ivanova // Photo (R) by AtlasStudio

Photo by Stefy Gutovska

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

Photo by Stefy Gutovska

Keywords: fall, autumn, cozy, sweater, tea, September

More Inspiration:

Other significant themes, dates and observances to inspire your stock photos for August are: National Peach Month; National Watermelon Day on August 3rd; National Avocado Day on August 7th; International Cat Day on August 8th ; Women’s Equality Day on the 26th; World Photography Day on August 19th; Women’s Equality Day on the 26th and last but not least, on August 15th, we celebrate National Relaxation Day.

September’s major themes, dates and observances include National Suicide Prevention Month; Labor Day on the first Monday of the month; Cheese Pizza Day on September 5th; Rosh Hashanah falling on September 15th – 17th in 2023 and Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September 15th – October 15th.

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Suzanne Strong
Suzanne Strong

Creative Director for Photos at Noun Project and Photographer

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