10 Overdone and Outdated Stock Images We’re Tired of Seeing

Stock images are a staple of digital content creation, offering a quick and convenient way to add visual appeal to blogs, social media posts, and websites. However, over time, certain stock images have become so ubiquitous that they’ve lost their impact and relevance. From cheesy corporate clichés to cringe-worthy stereotypes, let’s explore 10 overdone and outdated stock images we’re all tired of seeing. 

1. The Handshake 

Businesswoman shaking hands with client and smiling cheerfully in meeting room

Ah, the classic handshake image—a staple of corporate websites and business presentations everywhere. While handshakes may symbolize professionalism and partnership, this stock image has been done to death. It’s time to shake things up and find creative ways to represent collaboration and teamwork. 

2. The Overly Enthusiastic Team 

Casual Business team is throwing money for success

Nothing says “team spirit” quite like a group of people in business attire high-fiving or jumping in the air with exaggerated smiles plastered on their faces. While teamwork is essential, this cheesy stock image trope feels forced and insincere. 

3. The Generic Call Center Operator 

Cropped shot of telecommunications workers sitting at their desks

We’ve all seen them—the overly cheerful call center operators wearing headsets and flashing toothy grins. While customer service is crucial, this clichéd stock image fails to capture the complexity and diversity of real-life customer interactions. 

4. The Stiff Businessman Pointing at Graphs 

Manager present information benefits for management. financial data analysis and market growth report chart. analyzing, Planning Strategies, startup project, profitable strategy, Business meeting time

No business presentation is complete without the obligatory image of a stiff, suit-clad businessman pointing at a series of upward-trending graphs and charts. While data visualization is essential, this tired stock image trope lacks authenticity and creativity. 

5. The Awkward Office Meeting 

Angry Dominant Colleague Fighting And Bullying At Workplace

From forced smiles to awkward handshakes, the stock image portrayal of office meetings often feels contrived and unrealistic. In reality, meetings are rarely this staged or sanitized, and it’s time for stock images to reflect the messy, dynamic nature of real workplace interactions. 

6. The Diverse Group of Professionals 

Office workers in a modern lobby, group portrait

While diversity and inclusion are essential values in today’s workplace, the stock image portrayal of a perfectly diverse group of professionals often feels forced and tokenistic. Real diversity goes beyond skin deep, and it’s time for stock images to reflect the richness and complexity of human experience. 

7. The Woman Laughing Alone with Salad 

Portrait of funky excited girl sit chair kitchen table fork hold pepper enjoy homemade breakfast plate house indoors.

This infamous stock image trope features a woman laughing hysterically while holding a bowl of salad, often in a kitchen or outdoor setting. While salads are undoubtedly delicious, this unrealistic portrayal of female joy and fulfillment has been widely criticized for its absurdity and lack of authenticity. 

8. The Generic Business Handshake 

Business partner handshake after the meeting. Financial and investment cooperation.

Another variation of the handshake image, this time featuring two faceless businessmen in suits shaking hands against a generic office background. While handshakes are a universal symbol of agreement and partnership, this stock image fails to convey any sense of personality or authenticity. 

9. The Cheesy Thumbs Up 

Expressive young handsome casual Asian man giving thumbs up. Isolated on white background

Thumbs up, everyone! A cheesy grin and a forced sense of enthusiasm often accompany this overused stock image gesture. While positivity is undoubtedly valuable, this clichéd image trope feels insincere and out of touch with the nuanced realities of human emotion. 

10. The Laughing Woman Using a Laptop 

Happy young asian girl working at a coffee shop with a laptop

Last but not least, we have the ubiquitous image of a woman laughing hysterically while using a laptop, often in a coffee shop or outdoor setting. While laptops are indeed a ubiquitous tool in today’s digital age, this stock image portrayal of female happiness feels contrived and disconnected from reality. 


While stock images can be a valuable resource for visual content creation, it’s important to avoid relying on tired clichés and outdated stereotypes. By seeking more authentic, diverse and creative imagery, we can elevate our digital content and better connect with our audiences meaningfully. Let’s bid farewell to these overdone and outdated stock images and embrace a new era of creativity and authenticity in visual storytelling.  

Ready to revamp your digital presence with fresh, authentic imagery? Contact Rooted Web today and let our team help you create visually compelling content that resonates with your audience. Let’s bring your vision to life and leave outdated stock images behind for good! 

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Samantha Prost

Samantha Prost is a digital content writer with almost 10 years of experience who uses her upbeat and creative energy to write fresh, fun and custom content for our clients.

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