Shitty stock – a collection of really bad stock imagery

shitty stock


Designers don’t spend all day colouring in (believe it or not). Sometimes we have to perform the dreaded stock photography search. It usually comes about when a client refuses to pay for a shoot and consists of several hours of staring blankly at a screen hunting for an image that doesn’t exist. Partly because there is so much terrible stock photography out there, or if you prefer, shitty stock!

You know, the sort of image where the models were given the direction “so can you just look into the distance and point?”. Photographs of men in suits trying not to look at the camera while they study a flip chart; pictures of cliches and their literal interpretations (oil tankers turning round or somebody clutching a bunch of keys with a keyring that says “success”); cats taking selfies; giraffes dressed as pirates and women with bags on their heads. Basically, every possible image except for what you are actually searching for!!

People must be downloading these images though, as the man responsible for Shutterstock, one of the most popular stock photography sites in the world, is now a billionaire. So in honour of all the shitty stock out there, here is a collection of some of my favourite terrible stock photographs I have found. I have included the image captions for further amusement, or incase you should ever need to search for a similar image.


Image Caption: ‘Tourist with map in mountains is pointing into the distance’.

Image Caption: ‘Two architects in suits looking’.

Image Caption: ‘A man who had an accident when he slipped on a banana peel lies on the ground’.

Image Caption: ‘A needle is discovered’.

Image Caption: ‘Young woman wearing a paper bag over her head is standing on a tropical beach and is waving’.

Image Caption: ‘Businessman holding binoculars and pointing out something against cloud arrow’.

Image Caption: ‘Businessman standing on a bridge’.

Image Caption: ‘Businessman standing on a wharf with Statue of Liberty in the background’.

Image Caption: ‘The symbol of being a good gardener’.

Image Caption: ‘A cool giraffe wearing a pirate hat and eyepatch with crossbones’.

Image Caption: ‘Couple of cats taking a selfie together with smartphone camera’.

Image Caption: ‘Sausages with cooked vegetables’.

Image Caption: ‘Sheepdog smelling great Dane in field’.

Image Caption: ‘Take me to the dream clean sky’.

Image Caption: ‘Unhappy woman receiving an unwanted Christmas present in the shape of an iron’.

Image Caption: ‘Woman with glasses made out of cookies’.

Image Caption: ‘Man getting a facial’.

Edit: This next one was sent to me by the guys at Bird – Thanks for Rachel!

Image Caption: ‘For the coffee lovers’.

Feel free to send me any really bad stock images and I will add them to the list.


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