Picture of Inaccuracy

I’m aware that stock photos aren’t generally considered the epitome of realism, but even so, it’s still pretty shocking how misleading they can be. For example, consider the subject matter of a person holding a plate of food. Depending on the supposed end-use of the photo, the plate’s contents will be one of two things: an extremely bland-looking salad that appears to have no dressing on it, or a pile of cookies as big as the smiling plate-bearers’s head.

There’s no middle ground. You can replace the bland salad with a single apple and a tiny dish of cottage cheese (honestly, who eats tiny serves of cottage cheese on its own?), and the cookies with a disturbingly proportioned burger and chips. It adds up to the same thing. In no stock photo featuring food will you find a regular-looking meal. Prove me wrong on this.

Any weight loss meal delivery service worth its salt (or lack thereof) would be horrified to have such drab representations of calorie control gracing their websites, and that’s partly because these images are majorly off the mark in terms of what diet food looks like today. It’s all about the Mediterranean diet these days, you know, and fats are a part of that. Likewise, any company flogging meals of the burgers and cookies persuasion is unlikely to want to be represented by images of ludicrous serving sizes. That’s just asking for a lawsuit.

So, my question is this: who actually uses these stock photos, if neither purveyors of healthy, ready made meals nor treat manufacturers? I guess people use them on blogs and stuff, to illustrate articles about that one trick to losing 3kg overnight. Or the amazing story of the single mum who makes $10000 a month in just four hours a week, so she can spend more time baking huge piles of cookies for her kids. Facts aren’t exactly a focus of those sorts of articles, so they can probably get away with misleading imagery.