Weird Stock Photos for Your Unique Content Marketing Strategy

Posted on January 26, 2022 | Updated on June 11, 2024

Stock photos are the lifeblood of most small businesses and marketing professionals. You can tweak them to serve your needs, but the cost of acquiring licensing rights is low enough to let anyone in the game. However, if you really want to stand out from the crowd with your social media ads and even on your website, weird stock photos are the way to go. 

According to Statista revenue for photographic services in the United States alone will hit approximately $5.8 million by 2024. Stock photography is much wider because it allows people from all over the world to upload their images for sale. If you have an idea for an unusual photo, you can likely find something similar already available. 

Why Are There Weird Stock Photos?

You might wonder why there is a market for photos of a grandma painting a duck or someone reaching from the inside of a computer to type on the keyboard. Because there are so many different personalities in the professional photography industry, it stands to reason some of those people see the world differently than the majority.

Photography is a creative endeavor anyway, so taking weird stock photos seems to be somewhat the norm in the market. Artists try to outdo one another by coming up with the next big off-the-wall snapshot. Marketers then use millions of stock photos to create a brand image and add personality to content.

We spent some time looking through the weird stock photography out there. There are some you just can’t unsee once you’ve seen them. We’re talking about you, grandma teaching her grandkids to play chicken with their fingers and a butcher knife. 

However, there are also some excellent options that work well for small businesses to grab attention and send a message that their company is unique without being so weird they are unrelatable. Here are our top 10 faves!

1. Crazy New Year Couple

weird stock photos dinosaur disco couple
Source: https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/crazy-couple-celebrating-new-year-eve-wearing-chicken-and-dinosaur-t-rex-mask-young-gm1201208190-344389559

This couple rings in the New Year letting their weirdness shine for all to see. 

The woman wears a glittery green dress as many people would happily wear for the holiday and holds a festive silver disco ball. The man holds a portable stereo and large glass of wine. 

Then, the image takes a turn as both have on masks turning this into a weird stock photo. The woman wears a bird mask and the man a dinosaur head. Use an image like this in seasonal marketing and talk about how this year is going to be wild. 

2. Man in Welder’s Mask at Desk

weird stock photos man in welders mask at desk
Source: https://depositphotos.com/33530773/stock-photo-work-is-getting-more-and.html

Deposit photo features this unusual stock image of a man seated at his desk with a welder’s mask on. The photo is of an ordinary occurrence millions of people see every day. What makes it weird is the skilled trade mask in an office setting.

Use this image in a company newsletter and talk about how your department is on fire or the new employee retirement plan is hot. 

3. UFO Self Parking

ufo self parking weird stock photos
Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/area-51-scifi-ufo-alien-parking-2494124

If you’re looking for some images that bring Area 51 to mind, the free stock photos on Pixabay are a great go-to. The photo is in black and white, which gives it a vintage look and makes it stand out. The metal roof with the parking sign for UFOs is something you don’t see everyday. 

Use these weird stock photos of UFOs to talk about something being out of this world or to celebrate UFO day. The free stock images can be used for commercial purposes, so you can plug them into Facebook Ads, too. 

4. Banana on Bun

weird stock photos banana on bun
Source: https://stock.adobe.com/images/banana-dog-with-ketchup/238978196

Adobe Stock Photos offers some truly stellar weird stock photos. The banana on a hot dog bun image is bright and eye-catching. The splash of ketchup on top draws the eye. The brain immediately tries to process two things you don’t normally see combined and makes the user stop and take notice.

Use an image like this to talk about how your product or service is unique. You’re able to think outside the box as a brand and come up with unique solutions. 

5. Frog Bird in Flight

weird stock photos frog bird
Source: https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-weird-frog-bird-flight-image27934205

Dreamstime’s list of weird stock photos includes this one of a frog bird in flight. The creative edge goes to photographer Marc Parsons with his extreme editing skills. By combining two things you don’t expect to see, the image captivates the viewer and makes them want to know the story behind the image.

Business owners can use this type of picture and push the idea of flying high despite all odds. Another idea is to comment that you create unique solutions to help your clients reach new heights. 

6. Flamingo Man

weird stock photos flamingo man
Source: https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/flamingo-man-lawn-gm157686741-14578184

Want to show off your whimsical side with some weird stock photos? This image of a man dressed in a Flamingo hoodie and standing on one leg is hilarious. He’s surrounded by yard flamingos. You can give people a hint of how fun your brand personality is by tapping into unexpected images. 

7. Light Bulb in Cone

weird stock photos light bulb in cone
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/W_i3K0cdTmM

This light bulb in a waffle cone highlights a great idea in a unique representation. There’s no need to use an image of another person with yet another lit light bulb over their head. Take things a little weird and tap into this interesting–and free to use–photo instead. 

8. Quirky, Colorful Women

quirky colorful women weird stock photo
Source: https://stock.adobe.com/images/four-women-on-white-background/193936771

Some weird stock photos are more quirky than anything else. Show off your fun side with this image of four women in bright outfits with their tops covering their faces.

You could send a marketing message about “don’t cover your face, we have the solution to your problems” or you could tie this into a similar topic and create a blog post for your website. 

9. Colorful Window View

weird stock photos colorful window view
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/CuEvrPd3NYc

Photographer Felix Dubois-Robert snapped this beautiful image of some neon tinted windows from the interior of a building. The lighting is perfection, with the glass casting tinted shadows inside the structure.  

You could run a campaign called “Change Your Perspective” with images of unique architecture, for example. The colors are vibrant and eye-catching. If used in a social media campaign, they would grab attention and keep it. 

10. Beautiful Woman Kissing Fish

woman kissing fish weird stock photo
Source: https://depositphotos.com/5196564/stock-photo-beautiful-young-woman-kissing-a.html

Want to stand out from the millions of other pieces of content online? Look for something a bit outside the norm. You don’t typically see a beautiful woman kissing a fish on the lips. Yet, this weird photo shows just that.  It definitely grabs attention. 

Try Different Weird Stock Photos

Don’t be afraid to swap around your images in your social media ads or on your website. The perfect stock photo may be different than what you think it is. The key is finding what speaks to your target audience and converts them into customers.

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About The Author

Coraline (Cora) Steiner is the Senior Editor of Designerly Magazine, as well as a freelance developer. Coraline particularly enjoys discussing the tech side of design, including IoT and web hosting topics. In her free time, Coraline enjoys creating digital art and is an amateur photographer.

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