Where to find cheesy corporate stock photography?
September 29, 2018 10:52 AM   Subscribe

For a comedy project, I'd like to find stock photography in a corporate setting that is bad enough to be funny, but in an unintentional way.

I suspect that the look I'm going for is best encapsulated in 2000's or even 1990's era stock photos in business settings. It's a subtle thing to chase after...

* a guy in a suit gritting his teeth to show determination
* a too-brightly colored dress shirt with Seinfeldian puffiness
* two people hunched over a laptop like they're cracking the secrets of the universe.

My theory is that it takes us a while to recognize patterns as ridiculous and formulaic. The current stock photos on offer at the main stock sites don't have much comedy value because we're inside the bubble of the culture that generated them

Also, I need clean licensing for royalty-free use. No grabbing from Google Image searches for me.
posted by ErikH2000 to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There’s always Pixabay.

Determination example.

More hits for determination.
posted by maudlin at 11:49 AM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Re Pixabay - I will say that I immediately got a chuckle from the woman jumping between two rocks in a business suit. Yes, that is the kind of cheese I'm after.
posted by ErikH2000 at 11:57 AM on September 29, 2018

There’s @darkstockphotos which just seems to pull from Getty.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:38 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

My memory of stock photography in the late 90s is of it all being in glossy paper catalogues, so that might be part of the reason you’re not finding older images online. You could maybe look for one of those catalogues on ebay, then if you find what you like and the company still exists, contact them to ask if they still have the image in their archives and can licence it.
posted by penguin pie at 3:27 PM on September 29, 2018

As someone who searches for stock photos a lot I can tell you that the aesthetic you’re looking for is still alive and well. Search Getty, iStock, Shutterstock, Masterfile, Alamy, Age Fotostock, Dreamstime—you’ll find tons of that shit.
posted by ejs at 12:23 PM on September 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

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