Bigstock dives into the photographer’s mind on how kooky images end up on its site

bigstock dives into the photographers mind on how kooky images end up its site businessman with a bucket h 15475226

You’ve seen them: Those wacky photos in magazines, websites, and advertisements. Mass media (us included) often need artwork to help illustrate text, and because commissioning a photographer is not always feasible, they rely on stock photo agencies. But without ever knowing what clients will have in mind ahead of time, these agencies try to offer a large selection of photos that are as broad as possible. And because they try to hit every topic imaginable, oftentimes the photos available are not only borderline bizarre, they are sometimes unexplainable.

Vectors at iStock

To help us get an idea of how these photos come about to begin with, and what goes through the photographers’ minds during the process, we reached out to our friends at Bigstock, an online stock photo and illustration site that’s part of the Shutterstock family.

Here, Brian Masefield, Bigstock’s community manager, talks to us about some of the weird photos available on their site:

“A recent Google search for awkward stock photography yielded over 10 million results. Indeed, there is no shortage of stock photos that exhibit that certain je ne sais quoi – those particular images that tickle our funny bone, give us a giggle, or make us scratch our heads in bewilderment, in a good way.

For all the laughs and confusion, it is important to remember that there is an art to this genre of stock imagery. Awkward stock photos don’t just happen. Or, do they? Three of our favorite Bigstock photographers dished on the story behind these photos.

Aa
Ariane Wasabi’s “Tomato Woman

Sometimes awkward stock photos come from bursts of inspiration. Not just from the photographers, but from the models. Ariane Wasabi shared that this image was the result of taking a break from the shoot, versus anything that was to happen during it.

“The idea was to try and get a candidness into some otherwise very posed images,” she said. “There was a lot of goofing around and freestyling in front of the camera that wasn’t planned. It was a lot of fun and it shows in the image.”

Often, the humor comes from the extremes of the concept the photographer or artist is trying to convey. This image above usually brings about a light smile, or a flat-out guffaw, but the concept is oh-so real. Helder Almeida says that this photo shoot was inspired by an idea that anyone in an office environment can relate to.

Al
Helder Almeida’s “Businessman with Bucket on Head

“The conceptual message came to mind thinking of a business person who is blind to strategic business,” he explained. “The lack of vision from someone who is afraid to take chances.”  

Almeida also shared that the bucket, the very thing that really makes this image a standout, was actually an afterthought.

“The original plan was to have the model wear a bandage to cover his eyes,” he said. “But with the bucket, it made for a fun shoot, and I was very pleased with the result.”

bigstock-Funny-Portraits-43179646
Jozef Polc’s “Teeth

A common theme in the creation of most intriguingly funny stock photos is spontaneity. Some photographers choose to leave in the funny, offbeat, behind-the-scenes bits on the cutting room floor, and some choose to submit them to stock agencies with the rest of their entries. It can make for some great, unexpected, and humorous content. Jozef Polc took a challenge presented by his model, and turned it into a stellar example of an engaging, supremely quirky stock photo. The result is a light-hearted, and, yes, funny photo that could find a home in any dental campaign.  

“My model told me that she didn‘t like to smile showing her teeth,” he said.  “So for this picture she had to ‘borrow’ a smile from another model, put it on the tablet, and mess around with it in front of her face on a tablet.”

For photographers, what’s the moral to all this? Don’t toss out the candid clips of those photo shoots. They could become solid stock photo gold.

(Images courtesy of Bigstock)

Gaming

Forget easy mode. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice needs an equal mode

For many players with disabilities, there is no feeling of hope when it comes to overcoming Sekiro’s difficulty. Adding accessibility options make the game playable for everyone, and without compromising the experience.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Gaming

The best Wii games, from Super Mario Galaxy to Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo shook up the gaming world with the Wii and its unique control scheme. Here are our picks for the best Wii games — just don't blame us for having too many Mario titles on the list.
Business

What can tech companies do to create more women-friendly workplaces?

The days of deliberately excluding women from most workplaces is over, but that doesn’t mean they’re all welcoming. There are ways to recognize and combat unconscious biases to make offices more inclusive.
Product Review

Fujifilm's X-T30 is a pro-level camera that costs less than an iPhone

At just $900, the Fujifilm X-T30 keeps pace with the $1,500 X-T3 in many respects. It is an impressively versatile machine and is great as either a first camera for beginners or a second camera for pros already shooting on the larger X-T3.
Photography

Go for bokeh, not for broke with the best cameras under $1,000

Looking for a great camera without spending more than $1,000? From the stellar Fujifilm X-T30 to the beginner-friendly Canon EOS Rebel T7i, here are the best sub-$1,000 cameras on the market right now.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Photography

These are the best camera straps you can get your hands on

Choosing the right camera strap for your needs can be a tough decision. To help sort through the junk, we've rounded up the best camera straps on the market for you to choose from.
Photography

Fujifilm X-T30 vs. Sony A6400: Midrange mirrorless cameras compared

The Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony A6400 are two of the best cameras you can buy for under $1,000, but which should you choose? Each has an edge in certain situations which makes picking a winner difficult, but here's how they compare.
Photography

Photography news: Sony brings Eye Autofocus to critters via A.I.

In this week's photography news, the Sony a7 III and a7R III have some new capabilities, thanks to updated firmware. Lexar teases a crazy fast 1,000MB/s memory card, while Vimeo launches bulk upload possibilities.
Product Review

Equal parts tool and toy, the Lensbaby Edge 35 bucks photographic tradition

The Lensbaby Edge 35, part of the Composer Pro optic swap system, creates tilt-shift-like blur without the tilt-shift price. Made for photographers who want find tradition boring, it opens up new ways to work with blur.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Photography

Etch-A-Snap camera puts a modern spin on one of your favorite childhood toys

Can't draw on an Etch A Sketch? Snap a photo with the Etch-A-Snap and the camera will draw out the scene for you. The weirdly cool camera designed by Martin Fitzpatrick replaces the usual LCD screen with an old-school Etch A Sketch.
Photography

The Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 is a knockout lens for any smartphone

Where cheaper wide-angle accessory lenses add distortion, and costlier models don't always justify their higher prices, the Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 offers a valuable balance of modest price and high quality optics.