The stock photo industry has been around for almost a century now. During this time much has changed, and microstock photography has grown a lot. Behind a microstock library are several photographers, from amateurs to professional photographers; the images are sold almost exclusively through the Internet and the price for images are very low.
This business model has led to many jokes and memes on the Internet due to accidental comic effect of sterilized interactions or the silliness of the scenarios these pictures represent.
Famous pictures include these GIFs (the "Hide The Pain Harold" meme):
Microstock photography has also created one of the most famous models in the world. You probably don't know her name (it's Ariane) but she is a mixed-race Chinese/Canadian model working in the stock photography industry, and her photos have been used all over the world for several different types of companies.
Here is a famous picture of her smiling and eating a salad ;)
In 2012, Megan Garber of The Atlantic wrote: "To see a stock image is... to know you're seeing a stock image". But now in 2016, this is not the case anymore. The style of popular stock imagery has changed a lot. It has gone away from the cheesy stock imagery and gone to more realistic ones.
To celebrate this change and introduce their new stock image library, Adobe Stock started a campaign by creating "a limited-edition clothing line giving a salute to the most infamous stock images creatives love to hate."
"Some stock images have earned their place in the history books." said Oskar Hellqvist, Abby Preist's creative director and the mastermind behind the campaign. He said that it is time for overused and hilarious clichés to retire. "Turning them into a limited edition clothing line is our way to salute them and an attempt to create something disruptive and unconventional in the genre. The creative community already shares the knowledge and power/humour that is embedded in these images. Hopefully it’s something that they will enjoy and wear."
Take a look at their tribute to what once was:
As stated in Adobe's lookbook: "Let’s celebrate efficiency, firm handshakes and flawless cosmetic dentistry. Let’s honor hilarious vegetables and seniors smiling at their laptop. Let’s all hail the stock images from an era when stock images were looking very much like… stock images."
But Adobe isn't selling their collection to the public. So we took matters into our own hands, licensed the photos and made some tweaks so they would look good on T-shirts and sweatshirts. Because we want everybody to be able to enjoy these hilariously cliché stock photos on their bodies.
Take a look at the collection and choose your favorite cliché.