5 Hilarious Examples of Stock Photography

This post is purely for fun…but is definitely a good example of what not to do!!! Using stock photography is fine at times, but be mindful of how it aligns with the story that you want to tell.

That being said, unique content is always best practice, not only do you own the content…but it is something that you have created (or hired a pro to do) that truly reflects your brand.

Here are 5 hilarious uses of stock photography that you should totally avoid mimicking.

#1 We Are A Team!!!

group of business professionals looking at camera

This just screams, “we had the office intern play with photoshop”. I am not sure the message they are trying to convey with this image, but it has to much of an air of comedy to take it serious at all.

#2 “Let me think about this…Caption please”

Doctor talking to patient. Male patient looking like they are thinking about something


WOW…this image looks disjointed and soooooo staged. It is important to capture real responses and not hyper staged or melodramatic ones. This reminds me of my early drama classes in grade school where the teacher scolded us for showing our responses (ie…patting your arms while saying “burrr I’m cold”). Caption please!!

#3 All in A Days Work

image of young businessman with red umbrella in flower field

This is just ridiculous all together by how out of place this business man looks holding a red umbrella in a field of yellow flowers. This could be used for a very specific message customized for a specific brand, but not sure how this is a valuable stock image for any other purpose. This is another one that screams…”caption please!!”

#4 “That is a great idea!!!!”

business team coffee shop connection orginazation concept

Another highly staged image. When you want to capture interaction….actually interact!!! When I work with clients to create life-style images that capture what they do in a day, I get them going on a conversation that they would naturally have. This allows for an authentic interchange.

#5 Its going to be a-okay!!

ar service, repair, maintenance and people concept - happy smiling auto mechanic man or smith showing ok hand sign at workshop

Yeah…I feel ensured by your gleaming smile and “ok” hand gesture!!! PLEASE use authenticity with your images and capture your people in action.

Five Tips to Get A Rockin Business Headshot

No matter how wonderful the product or how amazing the cause, when you are the owner or on staff in a customer connected position, people will want to see who are. Several years ago, there used to be more of a refined control over the “face” that was associated with the company. The consumer did not get to see “behind the curtain” so to speak. But now with a shift to content marketing, social media and the need to have a strong visual presence for search engines like Google, the community can research to find out more about who is associated with a company.

This is where a headshot comes into play. Believe it or not, this image can make or break a deal. A headshot is often the first impression that someone has of you before you ever meet or talk to them. This is why we have written this post and help professionals create a rockin business headshot. But before we get to the top tips, here is a sampling of what not to do and why:

Bad Headshots | Silver Keys Media
Identities Hidden to Protect The Innocent

So now that you have a visual snapshot of what not to do, here are the top five tips you can follow to make certain you are on the right track


  1. Get a professional image.
    Ditch those selfies or cropped image from last years holiday party and make the investment in a quality photo session. However, not all photographers are equal. Make certain to visit their website and take a look at their portfolio. If they know how to take headshots, they will have this highlighted as one of their services. A wedding photographer may capture lovely images, but may not know how to present you in a polished and professional way.
  2. Have photographer deliver it to you in a large format pngThis format will give you the ability to resize and optimize your image for different online sites. Why? because you will want a certain size for your profile image on social sites and a different the size you will likely use on your website. If you are working with a web designer, be sure to ask them what format they prefer your head shot image delivered.
  3. Be prepared with a  few different looks for the photo session to give you variety.
    You want to make certain that you have some choice for your final edited images, so bring a few professional looks. It can be as simple as changing your jacket or add an accessory. Sometimes photographers will have on-site viewing of proofs so you can choose them on the spot and take some additional if you do not like what you see.
  4. Choose a complimentary color, black or dark grey for your clothing.
    Also color is also crucial! Don’t try out a new color, wear shades that you know look good on you.
  5. Choose a look that matches your business personality, yet is professional
    You want to have an image that feels like you. People will look at a headshot and they create a persona in their mind of how you will interact with them. So make certain to identify ahead of time the professional personality you want to have online

Why is the Right Image Worth a Thousand…

An image can truly be worth a thousand [fill in the blank] when it comes to marketing. This could mean “likes”, dollars, clients or whatever other type of return matters to you as the end goal regarding your marketing efforts. You put in time, brain-power and money into promoting your business right? So why not capitolize on one of the elements that is known to draw in clients / supporters / the community [pick your target].

 Today if you do not capture your audience visually, they will move on and you will lose them. So what to do if you want to do a better job of visually communicating your company’s message?

Know Your Message

#1 Know Your Message: You want to make certain you know what your main message is for your website, social media cover image, blog posts, etc…Your audience will notice when you match your images to what you are saying.

2# If You Use Stock Images…Pay For Them: Don’t just download from the internet…those images belong to someone and they deserve to be compensated for them. If you do not make certain you have the rights to use images, you will pay way more if the owner finds out (I love 123Royalty Free Images).

Show som personality

#3 Have Fun: Look for images that reflect some personality and will make a visually enjoyable experience for your clients, donors or community.

#4 Create Something You Are Comfortable With: This is your business. Your marketing reflects you who are. Yes it should match your marketing message, but it should also be something you are proud of.

Professional Photography

#5 Hire a Professional: Original images add amazing value to your marketing…because no one else has them. Also with a professional you can rely on them to help guide you through telling your story.

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Top 8 Reasons to Choose Silver Keys Media

We realize that you have your choice in who to do business with and certainly there are other companies out there that will do a good job for you. However Silver Keys Media does bring some unique things to the table. Here are 8 Reasons to choose Silver Keys Media for your video, photography and marketing services.

What stories do you have to unlock?

  1. We create video, image and marketing tools that tell your story. Before we begin any project, we will start with a session to uncover and unlock the message you want to communicate and the goals you have.
  2. We take the journey with you. This means from the initial inception of the idea/concept to the finished piece, Silver Keys Media will be there to make certain that you receive quality products and services.
  3. We are a mobile video and photography studio. Why? We prefer to capture video and images in your own environment. This can mean local travel to your place of business or beyond that to a location that will tell your story.
  4. We keep your budget in mind. It would be great if money was no object, however we know that you cannot do everything at once. We will help you prioritize your marketing action plan and get things done in a way that will move you towards your goals, but not break the bank.
  5. We bring a cinematic style to video and artistic flare to images. This comes from 10+ years of artistic experience working on projects beyond corporate video and photography. We strive to make your visual marketing tools stand out in a dynamic and compelling way. We use experience from theater, artistic photography and film making to give you an edge.
  6. Asking us questions is always FREE. Please contact us if you have questions, want a proposal or need some explanation.
  7. We have got connections! Silver Keys Media can help you with your Marketing Strategy Plan, Video, Professional Photography and Social Media training needs. For the things we do not do, we have a broad range of trusted network resources that can help you with other important tasks. Please feel free to ask us for a referral.
  8. We like the KISS philosophy. Sure you can get as complex as you like, we can handle it…but our default is to keep projects simple and manageable.