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Top 12 Overused Stock Photos [Slide Show]

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110729-01. Intro

Top 12 Overused Stock Photos

A staggering amount of horrible stock photography is available online. We've all seen the pics. Heck, most of us have been guilty of using them at one point or another.

For this slide show, the MarketingProfs marketing team had no problem quickly identifying the top offenders in the category of horribly overused corporate stock photos.

Why would we do such a thing? We were pumped about our PRO Take10 video, How to Select Images That Make Your Marketing More Effective

Now check out our slideshow featuring the top 12 cliché stock photos, and be sure to leave a comment about them and the ones we missed!

110729-02. 1. The Multicultural Team of Close Talkers

1. The Multicultural Team of Close Talkers

The Multicultural Team of Close Talkers is the perfect photo to showcase a diverse workforce that likes to work very closely together. Bonus points if more than five people are using one piece of technology.

110729-03. 2. The Headset Hottie

2. The Headset Hottie

Use this photo when you want your call center to seem friendly, customer-service oriented, and surprisingly attractive.

110729-04. 3. The Techno Yogi

3. The Techno Yogi

Is your product or service so incredible that it makes the user experience a Zen state? Well, then, this is the photo for you!

110729-05. 4. The Hurdler

4. The Hurdler

Can you help people overcome their biggest hurdles or obstacles? Why not show them with this stock photo of a businessman jumping over an actual hurdle?

110729-06. 5. The Frustrated-at-Technology Guy

5. The Frustrated-at-Technology Guy

Do you want to remind your customers about the pitfalls of your competitor's products? Do so with an image of a frustrated man, woman, or child (you can take your pick; you have plenty of options in stock-photo land!).

110729-07. 6. The Eureka Moment

6. The Eureka Moment

Use this photo when you want to convey how truly life-changing your product is.

110729-08. 7. The AARP Couple

7. The AARP Couple

Is your target audience over 50? Be sure to feature a couple of silver foxes on your site to make Boomers feel at home there!

110729-09. 8. The Whiteboard Thinker

8. The Whiteboard Thinker

I've never seen someone write on a clear glass whiteboard in real life, but I've seen it hundreds of times on the Internet (including on our own site... no one said we were innocent!). Use this photo whenever you need to showcase strategic thinking!

110729-10. 9. The Token Female

9. The Token Female

Want to flaunt your feminine side while still showing that you can think strategically? Fear not: You can find the exact same stock photo (see The Whiteboard Thinker) featuring a woman!

110729-11. 10. The Handshake

10. The Handshake

Are you reputable? Show it with a handshake! Bonus points if it's multicultural!

110729-12. 11. The Success Jump

11. The Success Jump

Do you jump for joy when you reach a goal? Nah, neither do I. But in stock-photo land, it's the only way to demonstrate success.

110729-13. 12. The Superhero Businessman

12. The Superhero Businessman

Can you help your clients with your superhuman-like skill set? Slap a logo on this stock photo and feature it all over your website. (Another one we are guilty of using!)


Remember, not all stock photography is bad. We use iStockphoto for nearly all of our photography needs. But remember, if you use stock photos... do so selectively and responsibly.

If you need to make better photo choices for your marketing needs, check out How to Select Images That Make Your Marketing More Effective.

Let's all do our part to make the Internet a bit more visually pleasing!

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Corey O'Loughlin is a marketing manager at MarketingProfs. Reach her via Twitter.

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