Stock agency sites are places for many talented people and many others. This is a billion (trillion?) dollar industry that is like a teenage Instagram influencer; always trying to stay relevant by setting, following, and reinforcing trends.

For the past two years, we have moderated tens of millions of photos, illustrations, vectors, and videos. I’d like to say that we’ve seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion and watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate, but nada! We, however, have seen trends come and go, as well as trends that had left the realm of current and became the norm.

So, what is (forever) trendy on stock agency sites? Here is an ever-expanding list. We tried to sort them by level of annoyance, but it proved more difficult than imagined.

1. Pregnant woman caressing her (growing) belly
2. Woman shocked with marriage proposal
3. High-fiving someone
4. “Yes” gesture
5. Hand heart

1. Pregnant woman caressing her (growing) belly

She is by far the most frequent visitor on stock agency sites. Be it on a photo or a video, a pregnant woman caressing her belly will greet you every hour on the hour. The mystery of future mother’s need to flirt with her belly rivals the mystery of the pyramids.
We conducted a poll among our female moderators who’ve experienced the joys of pregnancy and had that amazing once- or twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hang out with their bellies. Of all the respondents, 80% said they had never done that, 10% said that they only held their bellies at the end of the last trimester when they thought they would explode, and the remaining 10% couldn’t explain the why behind it all. Some were even mildly offended by the question and refused to answer. Go figure…
Every expecting mom who ends up in front of a camera will do her best to court her belly as if the Messiah himself is brewing in that particular oven.

There is actually a question on Quora: Why do pregnant women always hold their bellies for photos?
The jury is still out, since there are no answers.

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

2. Woman shocked with marriage proposal

What’s with that?
You’ve been with a guy for god knows how long, you probably sent him subtle messages through all means of verbal and non-verbal communication, perhaps if you are psychotic you gave suggestive pillow talk while the poor sod was sleeping, and still you manage to appear shocked at that incredible and unexpected turn of events.
And how do we know she’s shocked? Because she will cover her mouth with her hands, probably to prevent herself from screaming “Finally!” Or perhaps she’s experiencing an amygdala hijack and all rational thoughts have left her brain.

Water photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

3. High-fiving someone

When was the last time you actually high-fived someone?
When was that burst of emotion so strong and overwhelming that you had to slap someone else’s palm high up in the air?
Maybe if you’re an overweight middle-aged man whose team of similarly frustrated guys beat a team of 20-somethings with chiseled abs.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

4. “Yes” gesture

Something you do when there’s no one else to high five. The level of emotions involved is the same.
Judging by stock photos and videos, you can “yes” whenever you want; when you successfully logged onto Facebook, when you updated your credit card on PayPal, when you dropped a particularly large one, when your favorite pesto is on sale (ok, that’s in a supermarket, so there’s also a chance to high-five an unsuspecting passer-by).
If a person yessed so much during the day, they’d be referred to a psychologist-psychiatrist-neurologist; that dreaded trifecta for “get your head checked”

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

5. Hand heart

I’m almost pissed at the evolution for giving us opposing thumbs. No opposing thumbs, no hand hearts. Instead, we have to suffer through an endless wannabe romantic photos and videos where a girl (it’s always a girl) makes that dreaded shape with her hands, and if a ray of sunshine goes through it, then all is well with the world.

Water photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Yours,

Mod381.