Coronavirus Stock Concepts Analysis – Part I

The global Coronavirus epidemic will certainly have a negative impact on the stock industry, however there are still plenty of opportunities to mitigate this downturn by quickly uploading trending concepts that should have a long shelf-life.

In this first part of an upcoming series, I’m happy to share with you some of the results from detailed brainstorming / research carried out during the past few weeks. I’ll try to get these out asap since one week is a long time in this crisis and speed is everything.

I’ll highlight each of potentially trending concepts with an image / concept that is already out there. Our goal is to improve upon them, reach the coveted first page and lead to regular long-term sales.

Customer and pharmacist outside a pharmacy in Cascais, Portugal during the Coronavirus Covid-10 epidemic

But first, would appreciate if you could help me out!

Throughout my blog, as you can appreciate, I’ve given quite a bit of my time to help you make sense of this complicated stock industry and focus on making money. I’ve also given away earnings info on some of my best-sellers which will directly lead to those images reducing their value (how much is impossible to say but suffice to say that copycat thieves may be lurking).

If you feel that the information below and throughout the blog is useful I kindly ask you to donate as much as you feel is reasonable, such a price of a coffee, by clicking on the following link below:

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Most disrupted sectors

By focusing your stock energy on creating concepts on the most disrupted sectors would be useful to buyers. From my research, I’ve pinpointed the following sectors which will take many years to recover, if ever.

Tourism and hospitality

travel cancelled

I’ve selected the above concept as a good, yet not excellent, example. However, nothing within the image screams out Coronavirus, although as a generic image for any sorts of cancellation it works OK, although if the plane was on tarmac then it would make more sense! Compare it with this much stronger and model-released concept.

CaptureSticking with the theme of travel…

He did a good job to clone out any logos from the suitcases in order to upload as commercial

This works well and looks familiar! Copycats are real and expected… 😀 What I have searched and didn’t find much are concepts of hotels closed because of the epidemic. What the market needs are close ups of signs in front of famous hotels that clearly indicate that they are closed. Small hotels may work well too in a generic sense, but the larger more well-known would be best (as editorials, of course).


Another highly disrupted sector is public transportation, particularly for the more vulnerable in society. One concept I searched for and didn’t see much of were older people with face-masks within buses, airplanes, etc. For instance, I searched for “coronavirus, bus, old, person” and only 80 very very poor hits. One person with plenty of negative space works well, such as the following:


Retail disruption

Retail physical disruption is one of the easiest to demonstrate, which means that concepts and technicals need to be excellent. A simple “sorry, we’re closed because of Covid-19” won’t suffice (it’s too late now). As well as images of deserted empty streets…those that got in early did well. In addition to people waiting to enter supermarkets practicing social distancing…there are more than enough of those.


Since times are moving on and we’re now heading to a stage when shops will start to cautiously re-open, would be an ideal time to get in on the “re-opening” phase of the crisis. Perhaps something a certain optimism that the tide is turning and things are slowly “getting back to normal”. For instance, although need to link it to the crisis somehow:


Meanwhile, some businesses are thriving, such as takeaway:

Glovo and UberEats delivery couriers on motorbike in front of a McDonalds restaurant during the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak
Ubereats and Glovo delivery drivers outside a McDonalds in Cascais, Portugal. This is linked to another trending keyword “gig-economy”

In addition, non-essential services will slowly be getting back to work, including manufacturing as is happening in Spain from (April 13th). So anything to show such workers, in a positive light, should do well.


What is trending

Now that I’ve identified some of the key sectors which have suffered major disruption, I’ll analyse some of the current trending keywords / phrases. Some of these will be more obvious than others.

Protect the economy vs save lives

Academics will be debating the actions of our world leaders for the next 100 years, in particular whether the balance between saving lives and saving the economy has been struck. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

We’re not academics or policy-makers, so sticking to what we do best, how do we show this in a visual means of communication? Not easy but I thought these concepts were brilliant:

Great post-processing work here

Keep it simple, stupid 🙂

What tends to work best are simple, yet powerful concepts. In fact, anything that shows two polar opposites works really well…when showing too many variables, it can be too difficult to understand. Take for instance the following from a Brazilian municipality IG message to stay at home:

Caption reads: “In which one would you rather choose to stay”

In addition, the following works great for “stay at home” concepts. Dramatic and effective:

stay at home

Anything too complicated just gets relegated to the search engine dumps as buyers will search and not buy, for instance:

This doesn’t work because the concept is not clear (save for the face-mask) and poor technicals, including: straight on flash, heavy shadows, overexposure). Try harder, Gorlov, as well as clueless SS reviewers!

Work from home

Work and study from home are not new concepts…but with the latest twist, you can make it profitable.

work from home
Strong series by Sharomka, although my only critique would be that it doesn’t necessarily tie in with what’s going on. How would you tie it in? I’ll leave it up to you!
This works as well but not immediately clear that it’s during quarantine

This includes adding humour to your concepts. In this case, the travel influencers who are also “working from home” and still posting on their social media.


Study from home

Unlike the above, studying from home is a much newer phenomenon and one that should become even more common-place in part due to the current crisis but also because technology has facilitated. How do show this in a new light is a fun challenge.

study from home
Girgio did well here with the concept but the technicals are poor. Good effort though!

Whereas, high marks go to Sam for the following concept:

high marks

I did see a considerable lack of the above concepts for people from poorer backgrounds and ethnic minorities, although the following stood out as a good concept. So something to keep in mind when supplying the agencies.


Live Streaming Lifestyle (such as cooking, exercise, teaching)

Continuing on with the theme of stay-at-work learning…we’ve seen a proliferation of social media to teach/learn/share lifestyle tips. These have already been done to death and at a high standard, but would be profitable to link these in with the crisis as has been excellently done by the following contributor:

stay at ome

Universal Basic Income

Not everybody is benefiting from working from home and large sections of the population are stuck at home without generating any sort of income. In these unprecedented times, governments are stepping in to provide emergency funds to those people in the form of a basic universal income, including temporary workers. This is in order to lessen the blow of high unemployment and hopefully, in some cases, avoid social unrest.

This is a policy shift from the principle that people have to work in order to earn their income, and a move towards the idea that people deserve to be able to live even if they cannot work. This is being rolled out on a temporary basis in many countries and may become a permanent feature.

Would love to talk endlessly about it from a social policy point of view, but this being a stock photography / videography blog, how would one go about to demonstrate these types of concepts? From my research I have seen few examples of such concept linked to the current crisis, with the exception of the following:


Portraying health staff as heroes 

This is a quite obvious one, but doesn’t make it any less trending. I’ve spotted some great examples of showing this concept and up to you to improve upon them.

This one can be done at home. Source
This is deliberately corny and works well. Source

Portraying overpaid superstars as anti-heroes

Linking in with the above, I’ve noticed a backlash against highly paid sports superstars,  relative to what emergency workers contribute to society and how much they’re paid.

Why are football players paid so much - 3

In response, many sports stars have taken voluntary pay-cuts, up to 70%. How to show this concept is tricky and I’ll leave it up to you.

Mistrust of China / World Leaders / WHO

I’ve left the most controversial to last. There’s a growing mistrust that, at best, China manipulated coronavirus data which prevented the rest of the world from taking early-precautions and at worst, deliberately infected part of its population and wider world to gain world domination.

The truth probably lies somewhere in between…and this will probably be explored in more detail on a separate blog post.

I’ve identified some promising existing concepts that we may be able to improve:

kung flu
Kung Flu!

On that note, I’ll end Part I of the series.

What’s next on Part II?

  • Soon to be trending concepts

Here’s a hint of blog-regular, Theo, showing off his newly acquired VR glasses!

What you watching, Theo?
  • Futuristic concepts
  • What about other threats, such as climate change?
  • Rising China continued
  • Analysis of trending keywords / phrases

Until next time and stay safe!

About Alex

I’m an eccentric guy, currently based in Portugal (fled Madrid to escape the brunt of this nasty Coronavirus), on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage, when things go back to normal. I’ve devoted seven years to making it as a travel photographer / videographer and freelance writer (however, had recently go back into full-time office work to make ends meet!). I hope to inspire others by showing an unique insight into a fascinating business model.

I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography


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