Why Are There Weird Stock Photos?

Stock images are fantastic artistic resources. They are cheap and high quality photos that you can pay for and use for a variety of purposes from marketing and advertising to websites and blogs. 

Why Are There Weird Stock Photos

If you look at the top 10 results for “stock photo” on Google Images, you’ll notice that many of them are strange.

Some of them are funny, while others are just plain odd. But, what makes these images so successful is that they are not only peculiar, but they are also unique.

It is more than likely that you have come across a peculiar and wonderful stock photo at some point during your internet scrolling.

There are countless forums and threads exploring these wacky images, but despite this interest, no one looks into why they are this way. 

Today, we are looking at the reasons why some photographers take crazy stock photos and what their uses might be.

Keeping It Weird

Stock photography is used for many purposes. It can be used as an illustration in a magazine article or website, it can be used in a video game, it could even be used on a t-shirt! The possibilities are endless.

But when it comes to stock photography, not all pictures are created equal. Some of them look great, while others just don’t quite work. But, why are some of them just plain weird?

The first thing you need to understand about stock photography is that it is often commissioned. This means that someone pays the photographer to take the picture.

In return, the client gets the image. Sometimes this is done because the client wants something specific from the photo, like a particular pose, or maybe they want a certain background.

Other times, clients commission stock photographers simply because they think the image will sell well.

The idea behind commissioning stock photographs is that they are going to be seen by lots of people. If the photograph is good enough, then it should sell itself.

However, if the image isn’t selling, then the client may commission another photographer to take a second shot.

Or sometimes, the original photographer will go back and retouch the image to improve its quality.

In addition to being commissioned, stock photography is also sold. Photographers who specialize in stock photography usually have a portfolio of images they offer to potential buyers. 

So, why would a photographer choose to shoot a weird and wonderful stock image? Well, there are two main reasons. First off, it’s fun! We all love taking pictures, right?

And, secondly, it’s lucrative. A lot of stock photographers make money through commissions, and some do it purely for fun.

In the stock photo economy, unusual sells. The more you stand out, the more likely you are to sell your products! Either way, peculiar stock photography is here to stay.

Uses Of Weird Stock Photos

Now that we know how odd stock photos get taken, let’s explore some of the ways they are put to use. Here are some examples:

For Illustration

Illustration is probably the most common use of stock photography. You see illustrations all over the place – in books, on posters, on television shows, etc. They are used for giving life to text. 

For T-Shirts

T-shirts are one of the fastest growing fashion markets today. People are creating them for themselves and using hilarious stock images to display them in public. 

For Websites

Stock photography is often used to illustrate content on sites. The more niche the site, the more niche the image that is required.

These days, websites are becoming increasingly popular with consumers. So, if you want to attract attention, you need to create eye-catching images that will catch the consumer’s attention. 

For Magazines

Magazines are always looking for new ideas to fill their pages. They can commission an artist to create a piece of art, but they generally prefer to buy stock images. 

For Advertising

Advertising agencies are always looking for new ways to promote their brands. As such, they tend to commission unusual stock images to help them achieve their goals. 

Internet Memes

Internet Memes

Weird stock photography has been around since the beginning of the internet. But, what makes it so special now?

Why does it seem to be getting more popular than ever before? There are many theories as to why this is happening. 

One theory suggests that memes are responsible. Memes are short pieces of content that spread rapidly across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

An internet meme is a cultural phenomenon that spreads through social media. Internet memes are usually humorous pictures, videos, GIFs, etc., that are shared online.

They can range anywhere from simple jokes to political statements, and everything in between.

Another theory recommends that the internet is making us all more creative. It’s easier than ever to share our work online, and this means that anyone can become a creator.

This leads to a rise in creativity, which results in more interesting images. 

The final theory proposes that weird stock photography is just plain cool. People are drawn to it because it looks different from other stock photography. It stands out in a crowd. 

Where To Find Stock Images 

There are several places where you can go to find stock images. Some of these include:


Flickr is a great place to start looking for stock images. If you have a specific idea in mind, then you can search by keyword or location. 

Getty Images

Getty Images is another good source of stock images. You can browse their website and look at the categories available. Or, you can search by keywords to narrow down your options.


iStockphoto is also a good resource. You can browse through their library and choose the type of stock photo you would like to purchase. 


Shutterstock is a premium service that offers high quality stock images. However, the prices vary depending on the quality you require.


StockSnap is a free stock image website. You can browse through thousands of images and download any that interest you. 


Pixabay is a free stock image site. You can browse through the large selection of images available and download anything you like. 

Creative Commons

Creative commons is a non-profit organization that allows people to use others’ works without having to ask permission first. Many artists and photographers make their work available under a CC license.  

Google Image Search

Google Image search is an excellent way to find stock images. Simply enter a word into the search box and see what comes up. 


So, we have established that weird stock photography is here for good. What about the future? Will it continue to grow?

I think it will. More people are sharing their work online every day. That means that unusual stock photography will only increase in popularity. 

Peculiar stock photography has become very popular in recent years and, for good reason. It’s fun, quirky, and it adds a touch of creativity to your projects.

Why not try using strange stock photos to inspire your next creative project? Have fun and keep it weird! 

Katie Dawson