What emotions are most sought in stock photos?

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Photos don’t have emotions, organisms do.

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My brain read your post as “orgasims”…


Is that like a simulated orgasm? Being an organasm might not be so bad.

Not if you go by the urban dictionary definition.

They list seven definitions currently, sounds good to me!

None of them are mine, which was merely the idea of a living orgasm.

What kind of stock photos should we use for these?

I am sure this article demonstrates something important, and is not clickbait.

Mmmmmmmmm, living orgasm…I’m sorry, what were you saying?

I am interested in the weirdness of how/why people use such stock photos. Like “women laughing with salad”. Sometimes I actually call companies and ask them: “Who are these people?”, “What do they have to do with your company/product/service/etc?” Nobody ever seems to know!

As a graphic designer, I hear over and over “we need an image and it has to have a diverse group of people, doing this particular thing”, which is hard to find a lot of the time. Also, a lot of stock photography falls back on stereotypes…bosses and doctors are male, assistants are female, women are weak and emotional, men are strong and stoic. It’s very frustrating.

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But why pictures of people? When I started using the internet, what I loved about it was that it was text. Better yet, upgraded text, hypertext. Text can be used to communicate things we didn’t already know. Whereas people generally do know already what people look like.

Some might suppose me a misanthrope, but I prefer that if pictures are to be used, that they are pictures of what is being discussed, or advertised. Rather than people in a white featureless void smiling at a camera on the ceiling, or people crowded around a desk gazing intently upon an unreadable paper. I don’t know if they represent the company itself, their customers, some models, or others. Without any context, they are only chronic, annoying distractions which dilute the content.


Fear is selected nearly twice as often as surprise.

What about ruthless efficiency and a fanatical devotion to the Pope?


Hatred for watermarks is top of my list right now…


Pedantry failure. The organisms displaying the emotions are depicted in the photos, therefore the emotions are depicted in the photos, therefore the emotions are “in” the photos.


There are a lot of marketing materials such as brochures, posters, presentations, etc. that need images. Even for the Internet, certain areas of the sites need visual aids of people and things to help people that are not as comfortable finding things on a computer. For businesses that deal with all levels of the public it is absolutely necessary.

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True that. But these days you have “designers” who insist on cramming “positive emotions” into pretty much everything. Give me the raw data, give me the datasheets, keep your smiling babes you’re using as a vapid replacement of actual information.

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If all you need is data, then you don’t need a designer. But if you need a designer, I hope that they are good at their job and just don’t cram useless images into every available space. If they do, they are not good at their job.

White space is our friend.

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