Do you get frustrated with the laughable photos you find on many of the large stock photo sites? Have you noticed that their photographs were shot for advertising or corporate collateral and not for training, education and presentations?
Until publishers and photographers understand that an important segment of their customers require photos that seem realistic, we’ll have to suffer through futile searches and wasted time.
For some people, the solution is to shoot original photos for every project. But many of us don’t have the time or budget for lots of photo shoots. And although stock photos made specifically for training purposes are a great solution, like the people cutouts from eLearning Art and the eLearning Brothers, they can’t cover everything we need.
So here are 21 reasons why most stock photos sites make me cry. I could write 50 reasons, but no time—I have to get back to searching for the right photo.
- Most stock photos feature people at work who are ridiculously happy. (How much fun can it be to hand someone a folder?)
- Most of the models look directly at the camera instead of performing an action. (What was the photographer thinking? )
- I have to spend hours in Photoshop covering up cleavage, so clients will think the photos are appropriate for the workplace. (Maybe they confused the work shots with the nightclub shots.) Note: You can use Photoshop’s cloning tool to replicate the fabric texture.
- There is not enough diversity in age, race and ethnicity. (See next.)
- I have to regularly swap heads and bodies to make my courses sufficiently inclusive. (Changing heads and bodies is kind of gross.)
- There are too many unrealistic photos of women at work in stiletto heels. (Their feet must be killing them by now.)
- There are too many unrealistic photos of men wearing slick suits and ties. (Have they never heard of business casual?)
- Too many people have extremely neat desks in spotless white rooms. (Has anyone heard of using props?)
- Sometimes they use 16-year-olds to play the part of adults. (I guess you can pay them less.)
- The $1.50 photos are the size of a postage stamp. (Why bother even selling these?)
- The sites are flooded with people shaking hands and giving out business cards. (The world isn’t one big conference, people!)
- When I search for illustrations, I get Gumby-type people with no faces. (What planet did they come from?)
- All carpenters and electricians wear yellow hard hats. (Not everyone works in a construction zone!)
- All healthcare workers, including nurse’s aids and technicians, have stethoscopes around their necks. (Even doctors don’t go around with stethoscopes all day.)
- Everyone is talking on flip-type cell phones. (Now there’s something called a smartphone.)
- Large groups of people are always crowded around monitors smiling or looking shocked. (When do they get anything done?)
- Computer monitors and flip-charts always show financial graphs. (Not everyone works in sales.)
- People at meetings are absolutely thrilled by the speaker. (How unrealistic is that!)
- There are too many people holding large white blank cards. (Have you ever seen anyone holding a sign at work?)
- All newspapers are folded to the financial page. (Not all people are fascinated by stock market fluctuations.)
- All adults over 70-years-old spend their days attending picnics and smooching. (I can’t wait!)