Technically speaking, stock photos are used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer, often for a lower cost. These photographs involve people, and are produced in studios using a wide variety of models posing as professionals, stereotypes, expressing common emotions and gesticulations, or involving pets. Continue reading to see eighteen more strange and funny examples.
Newspapers and magazines were first able to reproduce photographs instead of line drawings in the mid-1880s with the invention of the half-tone printing press. Initially starting with staff photographers, eventually independent free-lance photographers took over. One of the first major stock photography agencies was founded in 1920 by H. Armstrong Roberts, which continues today under the name RobertStock.
For many years, stock photography consisted largely of outtakes ("seconds") from commercial magazine assignments. By the 1980s, it had become a specialty in its own right, with photographers creating new material for the express purpose of submitting it to a stock house.