The Most Awkward Stock Photo Finds of 2015


If you ever deal in stock photography, chances are you’ve seen some pretty strange images. Graphic designers like myself know that some pretty strange results turn up from perfectly harmless searches. Our team here at SugarSpun has kept track of our 15 most awkward finds throughout the year. Without any further ado, here is our list:

15. Watercolor monkey

Watercolor monkey in red heart shaped glasses










This one is interesting. The artist had to have sat down and thought, “What will I paint today?” But more importantly, where in their thought process did this monkey come from?  I can say that I have wondered what to paint myself, but NEVER did I come out with a monkey wearing pink heart-shaped glasses and a bow. Interestingly enough, you have to agree the monkey’s face is very well done, right?

14. Cigar-smoking, eye patch wearing giraffe










Do you think this one was the result of someone taking a class on Photoshop? I kind of lean that way. There isn’t much else that I can think of that would explain all of these things happening in a single picture.

13. “Sexy girl eating spaghetti”

sexy girl eating spaghetti on the couch










Note: The original image is not censored. It is just a little to risque for our fearless leader to approve its appearance in our blog sans censorship.

My favorite part of this image is the title. I did not make that title up; it came from iStock with the original photo. For starters, I’m not sure what made this girl “sexy” other than the fact that she is wearing rather skimpy underwear under that censor bar. Secondly, why curlers?? Finally, THAT’S NOT SPAGHETTI! It is obviously lo mein that she is eating with chop sticks… WHO titled this?

12. That one DJ who takes his job too seriously

Crazy DJ Steve










We all have that one friend that gets a little intense when you give them the aux cord. That is all I can think of when I see this image. Also, is it Photoshop, or is that poor dog wearing headphones??

11. Unconventional Ballerina

school of dancing










I don’t even know what to say anymore. This image has received many strange looks and questions while it has been up on my computer for this blog post. Everyone who has seen it has been very confused. I can’t say that I blame them though. Everything about this leaves me very confused and mildly uncomfortable.

10. Shudder-worthy Easter Bunny








Yet another photo that has made all passersby uncomfortable during the writing of this post. I can’t even think of anything witty to say! It’s just confusing and wrong.

9. Fancy bald cat in a dress

Don Sphinx cat dressed as a doll










I have never been a fan of Siamese or hairless cats. Frankly, they freak me out and look unnatural. I’m not a hater, but this is just my personal opinion. Why this cat needed to be in a fancy dress, I do not understand. What possible uses could this have?

8. Chameleon-dog

Frog Dog







I think this might have been another “I just learned how to do things in Photoshop! Look what I can do!” image. The poor little dog looks sad that it has a chameleon body, which makes me sad too. Creativity is great and all, but come on people! Some things just shouldn’t be done.

7. Inappropriate use of a mic stand

Passion for Lighting Equipment










That is not what that it’s for, silly model! Again, why did he have to do that? Who wants a picture of a man licking a speaker stand? Why would you ever need that?

6. Inappropriate carrot











We have all seen plenty of images like this. Whether they have phallic growths or look like people, the Internet loves a good image of a vegetable/fruit looking like what it isn’t supposed to be. My question: Who took the time to stand, light, photograph, and edit this carrot into a high enough quality that it is being sold on iStock?

5. Slightly skeptical stone with a face











The stone is so skeptical! This is the kind of image that should have short story written around it. Once upon a time…

4. Joyful man in inner tube

Strange naked man on the beach









He’s so majestic! Look at the joy on his face. I don’t care how uncomfortable this image makes me, if he was truly that happy to pose nearly naked with that inner tube, more power to him!

3. Boxing Grandpa











Does this guy look like Mr. Filch from Harry Potter to anyone else? If he doesn’t look like him to you, try harder to picture that grumpy old man as this guy. It makes the image infinitely more hilarious.

2. Another one that makes us go “WHYYY??!”

Panoramic face of angry man







Not only is this picture really weird looking, but it also took a lot of work to finish. A decent amount of time was spent on this in Photoshop or some other editing software. This isn’t something the photographer could just say “make your face do ___” and get the shot. I’m getting really into the why of this one…

Drum roll please!

1. Our personal favorite,  “The Sultry Celery Teen”

Boy doctor takes care of green celeris







“Celery Teen” is the picture that started it all. We looked at it utterly confused and thought, “This would make a funny blog post for Ariel to write!”

The image makes me wonder what prompt he was given. Maybe: “Look longingly at me while you gently hold the celery near your face.”  What could you possibly need this stock photo for, other than to talk about how awkward it is? There is nothing working for this image.

Those are top picks for 2015. We hope you get as many laughs or confused feelings as we have had!

But, for my fellow graphics’ friends out there, this is just a snapshot into our days, right? Working at a marketing agency is fun but really makes you wonder about some marketing creativity…


Ariel Stuckey

Although currently in her last year of a Graphic Design undergraduate program at California University of Pennsylvania, Ariel Stuckey is no stranger to creative design. From multiple freelance design projects to being the creative lead and graphic designer at Life Point Church, Ariel brings innovation, originality and imagination, among many other talents to the SugarSpun team. She has a keen understanding of clients’ interests and goals, which she integrates into all marketing materials.

More Posts - Website

2 replies
    • Matt Cario
      Matt Cario says:

      What we found so amusing is that you have to pay for these! I’m sure everyone has pictures like this (maybe not always loving celery so much) if they were honest about it. I know that I do!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *