What Algorithm? Adventures in Stock Photography

The internet is a strange place, and stock photography sites represent a perfect microcosm of the weird and the beautiful, the inspiring and the unnecessary, the fake and the way-too-real which exist in it.

It’s true, original photography is always the better way to go, but depending on client budgets sometimes it’s necessary to drop in stock—whether it’s an image to go along with a social post or blog, or if it’s used on a prominent advertising campaign. Either way, I run into a whole lot of weird, and weeding through the selections on any given site can offer office LOLs, head scratches, and disgust (I eliminated those here, you’re welcome)—and sometimes I even find what I’m looking for.

Here are the latest gems I wasn’t looking for in this installation of “What Algorithm? Adventures in Stock Photography.”


What I Searched: Computer mouse click
What I Got: A rat powered mini yellow canoe


What I Searched: Dream house
What I Got: Mannequin parts (WHO IS YOUR REALTOR???)


What I Searched: Geothermal energy model
What I Got: Dog model


What I Searched: Pixel glitch
What I Got: …Who thought, “I know what the world is missing,” and made this?



>What I Searched: Patriotism
What I Got: 4th of Ju-Why?



What I Searched: Sugar cube
What I Got: Sugar glider (It’s close, but not)



>What I Searched: Support network
What I Got: OK, who’s to say they AREN’T helping each other, but this seems a little too specific



What I Searched: Coffee
What I Got: Definitely not coffee



What I Searched: Cardiology
What I Got: Construction site


What I Searched: Three people silhouetted 
What I Got: Three-eyed feline




What I Searched: Family in Maine  
What I Got: Optimistic divorcee, go get ‘em, hon


Thanks for looking through this visual onslaught of poorly cataloged and entirely random images. I hope you have better luck with your search results than I do! #whatalgorithm


Sarah Karp
Senior Designer

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