The American Civil War and the Wild West

There’s been a recent increase in demand for images of 19th century America, including the American Civil War and the Wild West.

Although these trends are particularly popular in the USA, we are seeing demand internationally as well.

Here are some popular topics within these categories…

The Wild West (1850s to 1900s)

Iconic Wild West imagery is always popular, and designers are looking for fresh interpretations of outlaws, cowboys, sheriffs and other gunslingers. Horses and frontier towns are also frequently seen.

It is important to note that we are also seeing hardy and intrepid female characters as the focus of the story.

19th Century American Life

As well as Wild West archetypes there is also demand for images of more general 19th century life, both on and off the frontier. Male and female characters are needed, as well as couples and including African American characters. 

The US Civil War (1861-1865)

The Civil War forms the backdrop to many fiction titles, and designers are looking for imagery depicting the uniforms and battlefields of the era.


The plantations of the Southern states are another important visual reference point and appear in many fiction cover designs. 


Be accurate with period detail.
We know historical costume photography can be costly and elaborate to set up, so it’s heartbreaking when we see glaring anachronisms in an image – things like coloured nail polish, tattoos, nose piercings, and 21st-century make-up techniques. Unfortunately, these simply won’t pass muster with publishers.
Similarly, when on location make sure you’ve checked the background for power lines, street lights, and other signs of modern living!

Keyword your images.
You’ve set up a shoot with models dressed in Victorian / Wild West / Soldier costumes, have a hair and make-up artist. Spent a considerable amount of money and effort on this shoot, artworked and uploaded to our site. One thing you forgot to add… the keyword Victorian , Wild west, US Civil War.

We receive many retro images without any period attached to them. Our keyworders are not historians and will have no idea what to apply. So please, apply the time period with the Quick Edit Tool. Here is a link with information about how to use the Arcangel Quick edit Tool.