3 Expert Tips for Finding Hispanics in Stock Photos


For anyone who uses Hispanic visuals as part of their content and creative efforts, finding Hispanic stock images in popular stock photo banks is both easy and hard. Easy, because a single search for “Hispanics” or “Latinos” returns from 100,000 to almost a half million stock photos, depending on your stock image bank. Hard, because the numbers don’t tell the whole story. When it comes Hispanics in stock fotos, the challenge lies in consistent quality, not quantity.  

We looked to our talented creative team to give us tips on how to overcome this challenge.


Tip 1: Diversify Your Sources and Know Where to Look

Not all stock photo banks are created equal; they have different strengths and their search results will vary. For example, when searching for images of Latino food or people, we’ve found that:

  • Shutterstock is great for isol ated items and general dishes;
  • iStock has good focus on specific dishes and foods, as well as general Hispanic scenarios;
  • Stocksy provides good authenticity to the images, meaning most are not posed and appear natural, similar to an Instagram feed;
  • Getty is our go-to for shots of people, situations and specific Hispanic scenarios.


Tip 2: Think in English y en Español and Apply the Right Keywords

We’ve found that stock image banks work better with English search terms. When searching, keep in mind these two points:

Be mindful of words or terms with multiple meanings in either language. Some terms are as valid in Spanish as they are in English, and your search results can vary greatly. For example, when searching for the popular and highly spiced Mexican dish “mole”, specify the sauce so that you avoid images of skin cells and freckles: “chicken mole”, “mole sauce”, “mole ingredients”, etc. work best.

Refine your search when using General Market terminology. Many Spanish language Hispanic terms have been embraced by the U.S. General Market. This is great, but can lead to search results that are too broad or may need fine tuning. Keep this in mind with words such as “empanadas”, “tortillas”, “tacos”, etc. Focus search queries to “chicken empanadas” or “flour tortillas” for tighter results.


Tip 3: Create Your Own Imagery

Using the standard search filters for Hispanics and Latinos is tempting. However, the results can be mixed, with a combination of stereotypical images and thousands of thumbnails to analyze.

Turn to your creative team to create custom imagery that is highly tailored to your image and campaign goals.  Casting the right mix of persons and scouting locations that are realistic and relatable to your target can be more effective than a poor selection from a stock bank.  Adding Hispanic elements to  a generic shot can turn a General Market snap into a total market tool,  and help build an in-house stock image database you can leverage across clients and projects. Your team’s cultural expertise will make your visuals authentic and relatable to the target audience.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *