Generally, the point of stock photos is to depict a wide variety of generic situations that will then be licensed by publishers to illustrate their articles. CollegeHumor uses stock photos all the time, and we've found a good deal of weird stuff before, but when I was searching for "middle-aged man crying" (as one has frequent cause to do), what I found was so much more than a middle-aged man crying. It was the stock photo journey of a lifetime.
In the first page of results for "middle-aged man crying," was this gem:
Obviously, I abandoned my previous search goal, because life had provided me with a new purpose: look at every single photo that model had ever posed for because boy, oh boy, there were a lot.
I'll answer your first question right away. Yes, there is a close up of his presumably naked crotch being covered by two weird wicker slipper things:
Clearly, these are completely fucking weird, but, you know, maybe there was a perfectly logical reason for this photoshoot and the model was only ever in normal photos after that.
But no, this nonsensically sassy Elizabethan era gentleman begs to differ. While the official ShutterStock, alien-speak description for this photo is, "close-up portrait of a man with a beard and mustache in a medieval suit and hat studio on a burgundy background," we can all agree that the real description should be, "NIGHTMARE FODDER (on a burgundy background)."
But, maybe, MAYBE, someone might have need for a really creepy photo of a Shakespearean era fancy man. Maybe even one of that man, say, screaming in horror while whipping his hair like he's in a Vidal Sassoon commercial:
But there's definitely no chance, in any conceivable reality, that anyone could find a reason to use a really creepy photo of a Shakespearean era fancy man where that man is ALSO exposing a significant portion of his midriff:
I do not doubt for a second that I am the only person ever to buy that photo.
But those still aren't even the creepiest images in this guy's portfolio.
Let's scroll back up and take another long look at that one. We've got a mostly nude man, with beads holding his many hair braids in place, a lacy pair of what must be women's underpants, some kind of quasi-ballet stance, and, for good measure, the most desperately haunting look to ever appear on a human's face.
That one is probably the creepiest photo in the whole series, but this for-some-reason-now-he's-clean-shaven one is a close second:
You can't tell in that photo, but the model is, of course, pantsless, but, again, don't worry. There IS a close up of his presumably naked crotch being covered by two weird wicker slipper things and his billowy blouse:
Those are the top contenders for creepiest photo, but are they the weirdest? No.
This is. This is the weirdest. Here we have deranged beardo, wearing part of an Elizabethan costume, holding a big piece of would like it's his dick, with those bizarre wicker slipper things draped over both the stick and his shoulders.
I hope the person who owns the copyright on this photo, Vladimir Salman, set up a special alert that would notify him when someone bought that photo. I hope when that alert reaches him in his fucking wicker slipper filled, burgundy hut at the edge of civilization, even he goes, "How the hell could anyone possibly use that photo?" And then I hope he doesn't click around enough to find this article. Because I'm pretty sure Vladimir Salman is both the photographer, and the guy in these photos. And he's terrifying.
Check out the rest (yeah, the REST, there's more) of the weirdest stock photos on shutterstock.com