As I'm writing this, Thanksgiving is one week away, I've been raking leaves, chopping wood and thinking all of the cool photography equipment Santa could bring me for Christmas.
In fact a lot of my recent uploads to Dreamstime have been Christmas and winter images like this one of falling snowflakes:
But most designers and stock image buyers are not thinking about next month, they are thinking four to six months down the road.
I used to work for BYTE magazine which was a monthly magazine focused on cutting edge computing technology. Even at BYTE, a magazine covering fast moving technology, we had something like a two or three month lead time. The editorial staff was always thinking ahead by three or four months.
Now simply using my last few sales as an indication, it seems like spring images are now in demand. I recently sold this image of my son cutting the grass and some gardening images.
Think about the lead time for the packaging on a box of fertilizer or on a garden hose. And then think about how those warehouse stores start putting out the gardening supplies before the ground has even thawed. Sometimes your lucky to find a leaf rake or snow shovel in the season that its needed!
Seed catalogs start flooding into our mailbox on the first of January. Plus consider when all those great beach photos are needed. The best time to sell the warm sun and getaway fantasies is to people when they are freezing in the winter and getting tired of shoveling snow. All of those brochures, websites and travel posters have to be ready well before they are needed.
So you have two options it seems. Either try to shot Mother's Day images at Thanksgiving or wait six months for your images of current events to come back in demand.
Right now you might be anticipating the ski season but the buyers are already planning their fishing trips!