In German there is the term Symbolfoto or Symbolbild. It describes a photographic picture that represents a concept by means of abstraction or indirection.
A Symbolfoto could be a picture of food package contents prepared in a particular way — a serving suggestion therefore is a special type of Symbolfoto. Or it could be used in news articles, e.g. showing a picture of a traffic jam in an article describing holiday traffic — without actually depicting an actual traffic jam that the article might talk about.
In other contexts, Symbolfotos can be used for satirical or humorous purposes. For instance, a picture showing a ski slope with artificial snow surrounded by dried out mountain ranges in the middle of autumn could be seen as a Symbolfoto for the climate crisis and human desire to ignore it. There are many posts on German social media captioning images with “Symbolfoto”, thus giving the picture a new meaning.
There is a thread discussing this on a dictionary forum, but it is unresolved.
Is there any term or idiom for this in English?