Stock Imagery Comes Alive

Imagine if Getty had a “animate me!” feature that dynamically created a piece of video from a preselected set of their most clichéd royalty-free images. The result would be something very close this gem of an ad from Elderplan. Watch as a group of racially-diverse seniors:

  • Boisterously lip synch into a microphone
  • Toss vegetables around a la Bosom Buddies
  • Shoot poorly-formed jumpers
  • Hitch a ride on a tugboat to go cycling
  • Seductively pet a parrot
  • Do the roller coaster wave in a sixties-era Mustang convertible
  • Run a marathon, then collapse from pulmonary complications into the arms of a loved one

Stock and Trade

As I’ve mentioned here in the past, I spend my nights as a fighter of injustice and stubborn stains, but by day I’m a mild mannered designer/blogger. Part of my job involves extensive stock photography searches from time to time. Anyone who has ever done this will tell you that no matter how precise your keywords are or how serious the topic, you will invariably end up with a few images that defy the most complex search algorithms and sneak through undetected demanding to be seen.

Today marks the beginning of a new feature here at Wheeeeeeee called Stock and Trade where I will chronicle my journey through the at times insanely styled world of stock photography as well as identifying flawed search technology that turns up bizarre results.

Below is an image that is representative of the first type of image result you can expect to see. It’s characterized by the whacked out props, met(rid)iculous retouched poses, and the fact that it actually fits within the search criteria I laid out: Latin America, child.

This second image is a good example of the second type of stock weirdness that will also make it’s way onto your Wheeeeeeee light table. This image type is significant and worth documenting because the same keywords used above also returned this result:

The search continues…