Dreamstime's most popular stock photos in 2019 - Dreamstime

I always say that an end may also mark a beginning and you'll see I'm right, in a way. As we look back at this year’s most popular stock photos, you’ll understand that they speak not only of 2019 concerns and interests but they also contextualize and set the trend for stock photography in 2020. So get ready to see what you'll shoot next year.

Art mirrors reality or should we say, contemporary realities, and photos are no exception. Our top 10 best sold stock photos mirror global challenges, shifts of perspective and interests, optimism and pessimism at the same time. Ready?

Climate affairs

2019 has undoubtedly sparked more controversies around climate change realities, actions and counter-actions than any previous year. It may be the rise of strong voices, opinion leaders that get people to react and strike or it may be just the scientists’ gloomy reports on how our home planet will no longer be a cozy home. All we know is that environmental stock photos took a large chunk of the stock downloads this year.

Environment Earth Day In the hands of trees growing seedlings. Bokeh green Background Female hand holding tree on nature field gra

Let’s go around the world

People’s mobility has changed the world’s economics and dynamics. More and more countries rely on tourism as one of the main revenue source for their budgets. More and more people travel for leisure and travelling is surely one of the favorite pastime activity. So you might have guessed one of the hot topics in stock photography in 2019, hot topic that will definitely continue in 2020, there’s so much to see around the world.

Ready for summer vacation, travel background

Business talks

Business is a stock concept par excellence. However, try some warm light, some unusual angles because your business will be to discover how business concepts are re-defined next year. Focus on leadership or team stories but give them a twist, the result has to be inspiring.

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation.

Business project meeting. Marketing team discussing new working plan. Laptop and paperwork in open office

Oh yes, this is Christmas!

Holidays will never ever go out of fashion. It’s the Christmas spirit, it’s the Xmas joy, the carols, the cinnamon smell, the family gatherings, the gifts, the lights and the trees. Whatever it is, Christmas has never missed a spot on our best sellers list in the past 10 years.There have been years when the holidays claimed more than one spot and the explanation is simple. The word for Christmas is SIMPLE. You get the hint.

Creative frame made of Christmas fir branches on white wooden background with red decoration, pine cones. Xmas and New Year theme

Grounds for backgrounds

Stock photography normally addresses a category of customers that are not necessarily into the art for art’s sake business. They’re more into business, meaning that they’re looking to sell or advertise products. That’s why backgrounds will always come handy. The simpler the better.

old wood plank wall background, Old wooden uneven texture pattern background

Space Odyssey

We said that 2020 will be the year of travels. Indeed, we’ll travel but will there be earthly limits to where we can go? Will we travel into space for business or pleasure? Will we need to look for a Planet B, some say there is no Planet B, or will we just enjoy a swift ride to the moon and back for the fun of it? We do not know the answer but we do know stock buyers really loved the space in 2019 .

Panorama view universe space shot of milky way galaxy with stars on a night sky

And this has been the list of our most downloaded stock photos in 2019. We take this list with great interest and excitement, hope you'll do too. It truly speaks about us, mankind, about what is now going on, not only in our little stock world but also in the whole wide world. Looking forward to 2020 and stay tuned, more tops will follow.

Photo credits: Hd3dsh, Kasto80, Rawin Tanpin, Panom Bounak, Valentin Jucov, Sarayut Thaneerat, ​Mooshny.

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December 19, 2019


Thanks for the summary and tips!

December 17, 2019


It's always interesting to see the most downloaded images and I love the environment earth day hands image especially.

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