See the lady in this photo?
Keep an eye out for her. She’s going to be famous – for being the internet’s hardest-working “frustration” model.
She’s everywhere, this screaming lady — who, I should mention, is also a gifted “anxiety” model.
She and a handful of other characters seem to show up on every blog I read.
That’s probably because, aside from the crucial Lindsay Lohan gossip and a little bit of news, what I read online is mostly blogs about success and self-help (can’t help myself), business and entrepreneurship, or – the most meta of all, blogs about blogging.
These are abstract concepts. Unlike on a travel blog, where a natural way to communicate the idea of beaches in Indonesia is a photo of beaches in Indonesia, there’s no precise, tangible way to show productivity or anxiety or financial freedom or writer’s block.
Enter stock photography sites. They offer an inventory of pictures that show either attractive or very, very average people making gestures that are supposed to indicate pondering, procrastinating, worrying about the future, having creative epiphanies, enjoying financial freedom, or all those things at once.
I hate those photos.
First of all, everyone uses the same ones. Even in posts that lecture on the importance of originality. Second, who are the people? I don’t know them, and I don’t want to because they’re goofy and generic and they emote way too hard. They look like stills from a bad play. And they often “dress for success” in stupid-looking suits.
Also, in my opinion, most of them don’t match the concept they’re supposed to convey.
It’s time for them to knock it off.
Here are my top 10 (ok, 12, but 10 sounded better) stock photo personalities who need to be retired…
…and what it looks like they’re really saying.
1. “Goals” Guy
2. Aforementioned “Frustration” Lady
3. “Problem-Solving” Gal and Guy
4. “Creativity” Babe
5. “Next Career Step” No-Face-Man
6. “Overworked” Dude
7. “Wealth/Motivation/Joy” Sunset Lover
8. “Nail-Biting Anxiety” Business Lady – and her less popular, casually dressed sister (on left)
9. “Office Teamwork” Multi-Culti Businessfolk
10. “Perfectionism” Nerd
11. “Freedom” Butterfly
12. “Procrastination” Man
What about you? What are you sick of seeing on blogs?
What else is hack-y and overplayed? Tell me in the comments.