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Free Stock Photography FAIL

Free Stock Photography, or “Shudder Stock”

To celebrate Labor Day Weekend, I share with you my free stock photography fail session, suffered while searching for images of the working man/woman.

In need of photos for a web design client with a temp agency, I went with’s  free stock photography option first.

I’m so glad I did.

Free Stock Photography Keyword Search: “temp worker”

free stock photography

If you aren’t sure you wanted to COMMIT to being a hooker, rest assured temp hooker positions are available.

How did this photo even happen? Who puts a model in a 1970s (or current British) latex hooker dress and “Pretty Woman” thigh high boots and then thinks, “Hm… you know what we need? A shot of you with a laptop…”

This is not “sexy secretary.” This is “dominatrix train wreck.”  What if you forget Secretary’s Day? She might not honor the safe word.

I was also offered this gem:

free stock photography

Wait… don’t sit on the trash can and put the laptop on chair? Whaaa…?

While she IS  more appropriately dressed than her free stock photography temp counterpart, I don’t think this would make a good image for my client. Bragging that you offer temps who can’t differentiate between chairs and desks isn’t going to be a business booster.  Plus, she looks pretty depressed to be scolded for doing it backwards AGAIN. That could bring down the whole office. Or she’s just imitating Kristen Stewart’s “happy face.”

Somehow, I suspect this temp would also be “inappropriate for the work place.”

free stock photography

Sure, I could get you that file… or maybe I could just loosen my tie here a little and…*bow chika bow wow…*


Luckily, my client doesn’t just offer office workers. He also provides temp help for more industrial trades.

Free Stock Photography Keyword Search: “construction worker”

free stock photography

I’m sorry, but this man has never used a hammer for anything except killing his prom date.

free stock photography

I don’t think that’s a level sir, that’s a tape measure, and you’re not using it… NO! WAIT! Sir, PUT DOWN THE HAMMER…

Free Stock Photography Keyword Search: “technology worker”

free stock photography


Or perhaps you prefer a recent graduate from Bob’s Calculator College:

free stock photography

But the one photo that appeared on almost every temp search was sure to solve ALL my free stock photography problems:

free stock photo - shudder stock

Would you like a contraceptive sponge shish kebab while I put on my face? Are you cold? I might have another sleeveless snow bunny jacket here somewhere…

Amy Vansant

Voted Funniest Non-Mommy Blog by a Bunch of Moms I Got Really Drunk.Amy has been finding creative ways to make no money since high school.

21 Responses

  1. Nicole

    We have a subscription to iStock photo at work… we have spent many a day doing exactly this. Thanks for the laughs. Bob’s Calculator College made me guffaw.
    Nicole recently posted..solus ipse*
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  2. kath galasso

    I feel I have been missing so much just searching for sunsets, highways and inanimate objects. Who knew there was an entire comedic world in there. How fun.


  3. Tracy

    This is why I take a lot of pictures. I never want to have to rely on stock photos…although I only ever need photos for my own blog.

    This stuff is very funny, but I’m feeling a little panickey on your behalf. Did you end up finding anything appropriate?
    Tracy recently posted..Photo Friday: Harvey Wallbanger
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    • Amy Vansant

      Dreamstime actually has pretty good photos at reasonable prices – I just ended up actually paying for a few that weren’t obviously ridiculous.
      Amy Vansant recently posted..Boobie Washer


  4. Meredith

    Finding good royalty free images for online projects (like my blog) has always been a crapshoot for me too. It is the biggest reason I just draw cartoons most of the time now to illustrate my points ;).
    Meredith recently posted..Dear Mom,


  5. Stacey

    The construction worker really does look like a serial killer.

    I was on a stock photo site yesterday. I used the search term “shy.” Apparently that’s code for “naked women.” None of them looked particularly shy either.
    Stacey recently posted..Small World



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