The Story Behind 6 of the Most Ridiculous Stock Photos

Photo by Shutterstock
Pretty in Pink

Maria Miller, Staff Writer

The Shutterstock staff sits around in deafening silence on their stiff, orange, middle-school-lunchroom inspired chairs, anxiously waiting for their big wig boss who called the meeting, but still manages to be late. He is going to debut his new photo sets, that, in his words, will ‘simply and eloquently reinvent the very definition of a stock photo’. Everything in the muted conference room, the bare white walls, orange light fixtures, and the beige table, vibrates as he bursts through the door. “Attention, attention operatives!” He squalls, “Let me direct your attention to what must be my most exquisite creation yet,” he pulls the cover off the first of six poster boards.


“I call this one Cardboard Flight.”

Cardboard Flight

“…Sir how is this useful at-” the boss cuts off his employee mind sentence, “I’ll get there.”

“I’ve had my creation questioned many a time,” he explains, “Cardboard Flight came to me when I saw a homeless man sitting on the street holding a cup of change smiling. This man, with nothing to call his own but a cardboard box, seemed happier than someone like me who has everything. So, when he asked me for change I gave him this hat, a check for a thousand dollars, and said ‘fly’.”

“Apologies, sir, but I still don’t see how it fits here.”

“ Do I have to spell it out for you? It is OBVIOUSLY meant to be framed with an inspirational  quote pasted in front of it.”


“On to number two,” he announces ripping the second sheet off, “this one is called Green Eyes, Green Thumb.”

Green Eyes, Green Thumb

“Before you ask, Green Eyes, Green Thumb’s true place is to color up any instruction manual. It really covers all of the bases: it pertains to electricity and new, cutting edge technology with the plug, it has the elements of classic and natural things with the carrot, and it conveys confusion. It is perfect in every conceivable way.”


“Any questions? No. Good. On to number three, Misunderstood Inventor, Alternatively Titled Musical Mathematician.”

Misunderstood Inventor; Alternatively Titled Musical Mathematician

“We are all aware that the Abacus was invented as the original calculator, but is it possible that we interpreted the intent of the inventor? This photo, that is perfect for any textbook, project, or PowerPoint, portrays a different, and, in my opinion valid, perspective on an ancient invention.”


“I have named number four Pretty in Pink.”

Pretty in Pink

“This will be a hot seller for pet stores and shelters nationwide. It proves that even a shaved guinea pig can be helpful if you send it to Target. In fact, Target will probably pick up this masterpiece as well. Talk about a money maker.”


“Number five is titled There Is An Easier Way.”

There is an Easier Way

“Plants have vitamins in them and other nutrients. I’m not a doctor. So, I don’t know which ones, but I assure you that they are there. Things like cacti and pineapples are pokey, thus making them hard to eat. Companies that harvest them and harness their power into something productive will be tripping over themselves trying to purchase this photo for an ad.”


“I have saved the best for last! Ladies and gentlemen I present to you Hypengyophobia.”




“While this one really doesn’t need an explanation, I will provide one to humor myself. This amazing photo set perfectly portrays Hypengyophobia, the fear of responsibility. It is one of a kind in this way, so every psychology textbook, article, and magazine will snatch it up.”

“This concludes my presentation. You’re welcome.”

The guru struts out of the bland conference room without another word, leaving his employees speechless in a combination of confusion and horror.

Maria Miller - Flightline Editor-in-Chief

Maria became a member of The Flightline in January of 2016. She is a senior this year involved in slam poetry at Skutt Catholic and spends time with her beloved mule, Shoelace, outside of school. You can email her at [email protected]