People in stock photos are always so chipper.

Except when they’re expressing a negative emotion, then they are appropriately sad, mad and otherwise not cheerful.

Me, probably.

They live in a world utterly unlike our own. I got some special once to get lifetime access to a stock image library and figured it could come in useful at times. It has, many times, and I’ve used it more than I expected to over the course of my (almost) daily blogging this year.

I sometimes go to other sites where I have access to Creative Commons photos, but try to find an appropriate stock photo first. Sometimes they’re so awful, they’re great. Like the photo I used to illustrate my post about stock market spam the other day:

Gosh, Jim, what a big arrow you have!

I mean, how could I not use that?

There’s a trend I’ve seen among the images, though, and they often involve a hand, a tablet, and something on the tablet. Sometimes a magnifying glass is involved:

What is that person *really* looking for?

There used to be a great Tumblr, Women Laughing Alone with Salad, that poked fun at the trope in stock photos. I checked my provider and, sure enough, there are plenty of women alone with salads:

They’re not alone! Is that legal?

I didn’t quite know what to make of the “businesswoman” search:

Not sure what’s up with the “help me” woman.

Truthfully, the “businessman” search was equally befuddling.

Do businessmen play leapfrog in empty offices? I really want to know.

So when you see completely odd photo choices on my posts, you’ll know why they are there. Doing my searches for appropriate photos amuses and inspires me daily. Maybe I’ll write a blog post about leapfrog tomorrow. Or not.

All images by StockUnlimited, except screenshots of StockUnlimited search results, which I artfully screenshot. Of their images, which they own.

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