35 Of The Weirdest Stock Images Ever Posted On The “Every Day, I Upload One Weird Stock Photo” Page
But there's one Facebook page that's really pushing the limits, trying to see just how deep the pool of sites like Shutterstock and Pixabay goes—it's called 'Every day, I upload one weird stock photo.' Given the self-explanatory name, I'll skip the introduction and just say that it's been going for over 1,000 days now (which equates to nearly three years), and has shared quite a few questionable images.
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More info: Facebook
We managed to get in touch with the person running 'Every day, I upload one weird stock photo' and they said they started this fun online project about 3 years ago when they were sharing funny images with a friend, and the friend explained just how much he likes strange stock photos.
"We went on Google and saw that there was a ton of them," the creator told Bored Panda. "Then, we came up with an idea to make this page, and share one per day, since people like daily posts. At first, it wasn't successful but after [we were featured on a few] bigger pages, it started to blow up in popularity, attracting more and more followers for cursed stock imagery and it still does to this day."
"I usually look for content on Google images, but sometimes also take a picture from other similar communities ... as well as grabbing them directly from actual stock websites, after searching them using certain keywords, such as 'weird', 'cursed' or 'wtf.'"
As writer Sean Coughlan pointed out in BBC, in these websites, no emotion is understated; they pioneered 'post-truth' before it was adopted by politicians, and they express both triumph and disaster with... perfect dentistry.
"Even if you wanted to avoid it, you'll have been there," Coughlan said. "News websites and social media have spread the air-brushed nirvana of stock pictures further than ever before. They are part of the click-bait culture, exaggerated and attention-seeking."
But Coughlan also highlighted that not all companies go down this path. Jaguar Land Rover and the photo agency Getty Images, for example, are deliberately countering the ridiculousness by producing their own, more realistic stock images.
But most stock images remain heroically stage-managed and follow their own rules of engagement.
"It's a place where even in the most terrible of circumstances, make-up is always perfect and no one has messy hair," Coughlan said.
Coughlan came up with a few categories that he thinks are the pillars of stock image providers:
Everything is awesome. Everything is positive. This is a land without shadows. Getting old? You're still in the driving seat. You're still going places. Show them you're happy with a really natural-looking thumbs up.
What does a 'clever woman' look like? Light bulb, pigtails, and a business suit. Obviously. She's got glasses and a pen and notebook too, so that's even more intellectual.
Why have they glued my hands to my head? In stock photos, bad news or stress is always expressed through the hands. They hold on to their heads. If it's really bad, then it's two hands.
Mental health campaigners have actively warned against the 'head-clutcher' image that seems to have become a visual marker for depression.
Technology is always fake in stock images. Just as stock image people often live in empty rooms, the gadgets they use are blanks. Images showing 'good news' are baffling on every level. It's hard to tell if they're portraying good news or tragedy.
Getting wrecked by DIY. Stock image actors are probably just filling in before that big break in Hamlet. But they know what disaster really looks like. A strange artificial room and an elaborate sense of desolation. It's Beckett with stepladders.
Spelling it out with pictures. None have had a pay rise for years, despite all the corporate blather about sharing success. Now, they want fewer sticks and a few more carrots. And with a lovely sincere smile.
Don't forget the classic meeting where the laptop isn't really turned on and some maniac with vegetables has sketched a meaningless bar chart on the wall.
So it's all over then. They thought things were looking bad for their relationship when they walked into the living room in a business suit and carrying half of a broken heart and a portable partition. But they have to keep strong.
'Business meeting, diverse.' Diverse, maybe, but completely bonkers. Imagine going to a conference with smiling zealots. And any real meeting has at least half the participants surreptitiously checking their mobiles. This is a glimpse of the end-times, with flipcharts.
Have you ever had a pain in your knee that felt a bit like a headache? No? Then stock photos will show you how it, and countless similar devastating conditions look like. They resemble an unsuccessful Harry Potter special effect, but get the point across: you're screwed.
And the part of the staple diet of stock photos, fake signposts and words on keyboards.
You can find many of these 'genres' on 'Every day, I upload one weird stock photo' as well. "I noticed that our fans really like guns (even though Facebook does not), people in costumes, or people doing their job wrong, or people doing weird things while on their job, think a gynecologist eating a sandwich," the creator of the page said, adding that the latter was actually a post from a while back which went super viral.
"I'm trying to aim for these the most, but sometimes I just share whatever I find, as long it has not been posted before, which is becoming harder and harder to keep track of as the page gets older." However, the stock image market continues to expand. Maybe not as fast as the universe, but it still gives me hope that 'Every day, I upload one weird stock photo' will continue doing its thing.