Stock imagery is used by media outlets when they don’t have a photo to illustrate a particular story; or when art directors are putting together a concept. Either way, there is a disturbing amount of options available on stock websites like iStock or Shutterstock.
It can sometimes be frustrating when searching for stock imagery; trying to find images that don’t have people looking goofily at the camera with a stupid smile. And then there are the times where what you’re offered is simply hilarious, cringe-inducing or makes you go WTF.
That’s what Andy Kelly noticed. So he started a Twitter account with the handle @darkstockphotos. It features extremely disturbing stock imagery. Andy, a UK journalist, sifts through multiple websites to find the weird and wacky images that exist for some reason.
“I’ve always found stock photography hilarious. And while digging through the depths of Shutterstock I noticed a few that stuck out among all the smiling models playing tennis and eating salad. Some were disturbing, but mostly they were just funny,” said Andy. “No matter how serious the subject matter is, the absurd artifice and bluntness of stock photography makes it amusing.”
While popular on Reddit and Tumblr for years, they’ve had a recent resurgence online. Take a look at some disturbing stock photography below:
Dark Stock Imagery
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.