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.

Selfies with Substance | 5 Tips How to Create Amazing Selfies

Like it or not selfies are now part of our culture. While originally defined as just an image of ones self…it has now morphed into being defined as any image that you take (you or a group) by your “self” with your phone or device.

While it is a bit nutty to be compelled to constantly document everyday life, it is not all bad that we have the technology in the palm of our hand to capture things as they happen to share our lives. It is actually quite amazing that we can tell our story visually and share it with people all over the world.

But how do you separate yourself from all the crap out there? Well create them with some substance. What I mean by this is be intentional about what you are taking selfies of and take some steps to make them the best quality you can.

Check out these 5 tips to create amazing selfies:

#1 – Think Before You Click

This is first because I personally feel that knowing why you are capturing an image is important. You are going to be likely sharing this with the world, so taking a quick moment to ask, “Why am I taking this image?” or “What is the purpose?” is important.

So yeah, I am coming at this as a marketer and photographer, but really if you want to have images that are amazing and have some substance behind them….all it takes is a few moments to think it through.

Sure there are moments in time you have to just jump in and capture. There is something fun to spontaneity. However if you train yourself to think a moment before you click before most selfies…you will also be taking some time to think about the story you are telling.

#2 – Where You Stand…There You Are

Selfies are not usually just about the people in them, they are also about what is around you. Most of the time it is about an exciting event, fun experience or an amazing moment in time and the background helps tell that story.

But all you have to do is Google bad selfies (or maybe just don’t and save yourself) to see some of the epic fails captured when people are paying attention to themselves and not what is going on around them.

Again…take a moment to stop and think before you click. Sometimes a simple adjustment is needed to take an awkward image to an amazing one.

man and woman standing in front of a dumpster...what not to do for a selfie...be mindful of your background
Yup…Dumpster Love

And for all that is holy STOP taking images of you or your group in the bathroom. Not only is it gross…the lighting is terrible and you are basically associating yourself with what goes on in the bathroom.

woman taking a selfie in a bathroom mirror...what not to do for a selfie...be mindful of your background
Get Out of The Bathroom


#3 – Creative Angles Do Not Make for Better Images

Just because you twist the camera one way or another, does not improve your image because it is more “creative”. Often it actually can make your image look weird or even unflattering (up the nose, double chin, etc…).

Instead choose to take images that are well composed and balanced. Look straight on at the camera and leave some space around you to capture you in the moment. Have fun with different textures or framing behind you.

Here is a great article (although it uses landscapes for examples…the rules apply to all images) about composition technique: https://petapixel.com/2016/09/14/20-composition-techniques-will-improve-photos/ 

woman taking a selfie it is at a low angle...what not to do for a selfie.
Up the Nose…

#4 – Lights…Camera…Action

Lighting is critical in taking amazing selfies…this can make or break an image!!! But is can also be fun to play with shadows and light. this is where you can be creative!!!

If you are inside try to find the best light possible. Natural light is best. If you find a window…stand facing it and take the image. This works most of the time if the light is not too intense. If natural light is not an option, a nice pool of light from a lamp can do the trick. Also colored light can sometimes be fun. Overall with interior shots just be aware of how the image looks.

For outside, the best images come out on a cloudy day (which is pretty often where I live), but if that is not case then opt for a nice shaded area. Why? This keeps you from having harsh shadows. If there is not a tree in sight, then you have a couple of options depending on the time of day. Really it comes down to how the image looks. If you face the sun and it is not so much you are squinting, then you get a bright and brilliant image that pops. If you have the sun behind you it can offer a softer backdrop or create a cool silhouette look.

#5 – Use the Right Tool for the Job

Selfie Stick: Invest in a selfie stick if you are going to be regularly documenting your adventures. They are often very affordable and easy to take along. This will help you have better control over the composition and angles of your shot. Click HERE to check out the best current options.

Flexible Tripod: This is great for taking an image while using your timer. It easily wraps around a wide variety of objects to give you a steady shot. Click HERE to check out some options.

Photo Editing App: Often these are free, but even if it costs a small amount it is worth it to have the ability to tweak an okay image into something beautiful. Click HERE to find some of the best for 2018.


Hope you found this helpful. I am passionate about helping others learn how to better tell their story and selfies really are part of that now. When you layer intentional thought, a splash of creativity and tools to help up your game, you can create some stand-out amazing images!!!


man kissing a woman on the cheek in a selfie
Good Selfie!!!


How to Create Your Own Branded Images & Memes (Video)

Do you want to create your own branded images or memes, but are afraid to try to learn a new program like Canva? Or you do not want to invest (let alone try to master) in programs like Photoshop or Illustrator. Well this is the tutorial for you!!

All you need to create simple branded images and memes is: Microsoft Word, your logo, a unique image (or legally downloaded stock image) and the snipping tool (or a similar screen capture tool).


Hope you found this helpful! Please comment and share.

Written by Amanda Goff
Let Us Help You Unlock Your Story

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.