an Oh Myyy Property

Stock Photos. They're pretty much ubiquitous in our daily lives: they're used on signs, billboards, internet ads, and seemingly everywhere else.

As a digital artist, I use stock photos for references when sketching out a new painting, sometimes they even end up as part of a finished piece. Most people don't really think about where these photos come from though.

Reddit user MegaWorldTime asked:

"People who can be found in a stock photo, what's your story?"

Some of the responses were what you might expect, a model takes a job doing a stock photo shoot, but others were completely out of the ordinary.

Some responses have been edited for content/clarity.

Pretend You Know What You're Doing


About 15 years ago, my eldest sister was working for an ad agency. Shoot day came around and one of her models called in sick about two hours before they were scheduled to start shooting. Cue my phone ringing back home. I was about 16 at the time with zero modeling experience, zero self confidence and had just had a rather questionable hair cut. I ended up racing over there not having a clue what I had said yes to, under strict instruction to pretend I was 18, a professional model and that we didn't know each other. It was the most frantic, random, awkward, hilarious experience and I forgot to ask what the photos were for. 15 years later my sister finds the ripped out Panadol (paracetamol) ad on a page of a European magazine and we both have a good old giggle.


Gee, Thanks Mom

My mum's best friend is a photographer. She did a lot of stock photos of her son with him just smiling in different situations. One day he opens a (very popular in my home country) teenage themed magazine and sees himself hanging onto a soccer goal with a big smile on his face on a page about erectile disfunction...


Must Keep A Straight Face


I'm in one, I was the guy standing over someone's shoulder pointing at the screen. We were supposed to pretend to talk and keep moving the mouse around. We basically just kept monologuing about stupid stuff then got told off by the photographer for laughing.

I still haven't seen what those pictures were used for, if anything.


Presidential Visit

So back in 1996, Bill Clinton stopped in my home town during his election campaign and the kids at my elementary school was asked to participate in a ceremony held out front the public library. Well those photos are now used as stock photos on Alamy and I appear in one of them. BTW: I'm the red headed boy.



Unexpected Fame

I used to work for an outdoors shop and the company would often ask staff to send in reviews of kit to publish in their catalogue along with a photo of you in said kit or using whatever gear you were reviewing. I sent in a review of new softshell trousers and it was published - all pretty typical.

Then I got a call asking if they could use the pic for the website - so I figured they'd just publish my review under the product on their website. But no, they used my pic as the stock pic for the particular brand I was wearing. So you had all these professional outdoors models with chiselled jaws or legs for days in the photos for each brand.... And lil old me with my gimpy smile representing my fave brand.


Joke Job


There was a casting call for stock models and I applied... half jokingly

I made $200 for sitting around by a pond for four hours getting my picture taken. I really hope they never get used, but all in all solid gig 10/10.


Jack Of All Trades

I am a 40 something, pasty-ass white man. I am a hoodied thug in 2 different tv ads, an office boss in another, a lightsaber-wielding nerd in another, a frustrated office worker who's salty language gets censored, a bow-hunter, a spy, and many voice characters. It's fun.

If you watch the outdoor channel or travel channel or discovery or oann or awe or youtube you probably saw but still wouldn't remember me lol.


At Least Your Photo Made It To Europe

We had a family friend who was a photographer, he took photos of my brother and I growing up for memories and to practice photography.

He got some good shots of us playing around in the mud one day, and asked if he could sell the photos to be used as stock photos. Sure, why the heck not.

5 years later we got a phone call from someone traveling internationally. They saw a photo of us in an ad in Europe. Hearing that has a 10 year old jazzed me for days.


That Must Be Awkward


When I was 14 I was pretty overweight, but I didn't really care. At the time it was 2006ish so news stories about Childhood Obesity were all the rage. My friend's dad was a stock photographer and I guess it was noticeable that I'd always joke around about being fat, so he asked his son (my friend) to ask me if it'd be okay to take some neck-down photos of my torso in exchange for a video game or something. I agreed, my parents signed off, and to this day a number of news articles about childhood obesity every year have my 14-year-old belly in the stock photo.

(I'll never tell you which ones, and I've leaned out now)


She's Just Proud Of You

Actual stock photos, not digital ones, the ones that come in the backs of picture frames that you're supposed to discard. I was a child model when I was five or six years old. They did one shoot where I had a fake family (mom, dad, brother) and they had us walk along the beach together. I guess they don't change stock photos very often, because ten years later my mom was walking through a random Hallmark and found a picture frame with that stock photo in it. She still has it on a shelf in our house, me and three strangers.


Addiction makes you do strange things...

Addictions are dangerous. It takes a hold of your life and strangles it. It festers slowly and disintegrates your world. Well most of them do. We all have behavioral addictions that often become a quirky character trait. Sometimes it can actually be cute. Well certain behaviors within reason that is. Some can be downright annoying and fodder for the therapist.

Redditor u/milanamilana asked people to divulge a few things, asking... What's your "strange addiction"?

Ah the cones...


When I am out walking in wooded areas I spend a lot of time trying to find pine cones to stand on.

I do it because when you find a suitably dry one it feels amazing and sounds so good. Do it. Tends to work best if they are stood upright. wewannagetloaded

The sound of music...

I will listen to music for hours on end while walking around a room, imagining various stories and scenarios. Glissando365

I do that constantly. It doesn't interfere with my life but I love coming up with all kinds of stories and dropping myself into them. ParsnipPizza2

Flesh eater.


Chewing the inside of my mouth. classik_e

My 30 year old sister has done this her whole life, and I have never seen or met anyone else that does it as noticeably as her. She'll take the second knuckle of her index finger and push her cheek in so she can chew on it. She's gotten better about not doing it as often. I've never asked her why she does it. yolkfacekilla

Daydream Believer. 

I'm not sure how common this is but shopping for million dollar penthouses and yachts that I will never be able to afford. I just like to dream I guess. ShellSwitch

I do this a ton, it's my night time wind down in bed activity to look at /r/roomporn and imagine myself as the buyer. What I would change, what I like etc etc. ExeterMegaladon


This is so gross but I am addicted to picking. Pimples, dry skin, scabs, anything pick-able I will dig at it till I bleed. No I am not on drugs. It's so bad that I am contemplating hypnosis. Annon8765

I'm so hangry!


Going through the kitchen in search of food, giving up, then lowering my standards and looking again. bibi-chocobun

I do this ALL THE TIME!!!!

I open the fridge, look around, take a mental note of what is there and close the doors and walk away. an hour later i come back and open the fridge, look around and think of what i might want... as if my stomach wants it, but my brain says no. tunersharkbitten

Look at the people...

Analyzing other people when I'm out in public. I enjoy trying to figure out who they are just by what I see. DARKcsb

I like doing this with my mom.

We would guess "who went with who" at the food court in the mall when I was growing up. We would look at people with their trays of food and try to guess who their significant other was waiting at the table.

My mom was almost always right. It's a fond memory :) girlroseghost

Staying mute...

I'm addicted to avoiding phone calls. QiNavigator

I purposefully reply to texts with at least hour delay so it's not fishy that I am never able to accept any calls.OresteiaCzech

I found a reality series...


Donating sperm to lesbians.

I started off donating to some friends then they began recommending me to other lesbians through a FB group.

It's so rewarding and I've fathered 7 so far. Socialist7

Thank you for reading! 

Reading creepy stories on Reddit, which I guess isn't that strange. Alec122

And then regretting it when you try to sleep? Because that's what I do. CautiousMusic


Sam Tabone/WireImage via Getty Images, Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic via Getty Images

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If you talk to anyone studying English as a second language, they'll tell you how hard it is to learn. If you grew up speaking English as your only language, it probably doesn't seem that difficult; but as a bilingual native English speaker who learned a second language later in life I can tell you, English is WEIRD!

English has so many inconsistencies in spelling, pronunciation, verb conjugation...don't get me started. American English, UK English, and Australian English all spell things differently and the same word can have completely different meanings or connotations.

It wasn't until my freshman year of high school when I started learning Japanese, in which a word is always pronounced exactly like it looks like it should be, that I gained a real understanding of how hard English would be for someone to try to learn as a second language. Even as a native speaker who loves the English language and writes for a living, I sometimes struggle with its many homophones (there, their, and they're, for example) and grammatical inconsistencies. Even our mnemonics that are taught in school to help remember these differences don't always hold true. "I before E, except after C" is something most American children are taught in elementary school, but what about neighbor, weight, and veil?

Redditor STUDkatz asked:

What's something weird about English (or another language) that native speakers don't think about?

Below, you'll find an assortment of the weird quirks of the language that you've probably never thought about.

My Brain Hurts


English might be difficult. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though.


It's Right, But Why?

A native speaker has a knowledge of implicit grammar (through learning naturally as a child) that would require an adult years to study and review.

You're spewing out the correct answer but god help you if someone asks you to show your work.


I am an editor and I still sometimes have trouble when asked why something should be a certain way. I just KNOW it's wrong (or correct) and I can't always explain why.


It took until i was 16 to realize there's actually a rule to figure out if you should use a or an... Before that (and admittedly since) I was just going with the one that didn't sound dumb out loud


Unnecessary Combination


People assume a lot of silly things, such as words that can be combined always are.

Examples: "Yeah I maybe doing that later." or "I do that everyday."

I want to punch myself for writing that.


Running A Bit Long

Run has hundreds of uses (forms). Last I checked it was a little over 250. You run a program, you run over toads in your car, the chicken run has a duck in it, The ads run too long on the TV, you run out of toilet paper, you run down to the shop in the car, you run up a bill at the shop after the assistant gave you the run around. You run into a friend but you have to run home as you had the runs and something was running down your leg. You run to the toilet but you run into a problem. Your kid is running a lemonade stand in the doorway. You're now running a little brown cable along your path. You hope nobody takes a picture and runs it in the paper as you are running for office. Your stance is against gun runners but you're hauling a little brown nuke right now. I've run out but there's more.


Sometimes The Joke Is In The Translation

Pakistani urdu-english speaker, there are a LOT of words that are absolutely hilarious when taken in the context of english but my 2 favorite have to be which is a letter in the urdu alphabet and is pronounced exactly like "Meme" and another which is a punjabi name which is literally spelled and pronounced "Butt", there is also a national level bakery brand called "Butt"

Urdu is a great language


Strength Or Weakness?


There is a common nine letter word with only a single vowel in English.

That word is "strengths".


Ordered Descriptors

Adjectives have a specific order they are supposed to be arranged. For example, you would never say the green large five dragons. You would say the five large green dragons. The order that English typically follows for adjectives is:

1. Quantity or number

2. Quality or opinion

3. Size

4. Age

5. Shape

6. Color

7. Proper adjective

8. Purpose or qualifier


Rhymes with Confusion

Read and lead rhyme and so do read and lead, but read and lead don't rhyme and neither do read and lead.


About Time You Realized It


I never really appreciated the word "about" until I started learning French and realized there are about a couple dozen different words you have to learn about where in English we would just say "about." It's just about one of the most versatile and useful words we have.


Confusing Combos

Native English speaker here.

How irritatingly complex and nuanced English (and other Germanic languages) verbs are for having tons of common verbs that change meaning completely or only subtly with one flip of a preposition and sometimes even more so by stacking a few more on.

Put + on, in, out, off, toward, into, forth, away, up, up with, down, past

Set + on, off, out, in, up, down

Run + off, on, out, into, away, up, down, over, at, through

Take + on, out, in, away, up, over, off

Break + in, out, up, down, up with, into, out of away

Give + up, out, away, in, out

Get + on, in, out, up, down, away, away with, along, by, back, through, across, over, into, at

Work + up, up to, out, through

Come + in, out, by, across, through, over, at

Do + in, away with, over, up

Hang + up, in, out, out with, over, with, off, back

Then ones where the options are fewer, they're either somewhat related or *not at all*.

Chat vs chat someone up.

Make something up vs make out.

This list isn't exhaustive because I got tired of thinking but I've heard many a friend moan and groan about how every combination seems like a whole new word or phrase to memorize. That even if it looks familiar, they can't trust it. Most other languages just have a unique word for each idea or at least morphology that is somehow linked. Work + through makes sense in that it implies you're belaboring or in the midst of resolving something (imagine pushing *through* something). So some make at least a little logical sense. Put + up + with has no clue in it that it means to endure or tolerate. Come + over is just like "went from toward me above something?"

Set + off (an alarm) makes no sense at all. Isn't it actually going *on*?

Break + in (to use a new item for the first time, implying the start of the process of making it yours) — just "breaking" your boots is bad but if you do it on the inside, it's desired?

Give + out as in, "my car's engine gave out." (went kaput) Did it hand you a piece of candy?

If repeating doing something is "doing something over," then what do these mean:

"coming over"

"handing over"

"taking over"

"getting over"

At least in languages like Spanish that are better stocked in the logic department, these all are treated as different ideas that they are.

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EDIT: Spelling mistakes and additional examples.


H/T: Reddit

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