by Naomi Donabedian

Wah! All this juggling is so stressful!

Stock art and photography are a good resource for displaying a recognizable idea, understood by all, young and old, beyond language barrier. Stock art colors the white space delivering a neutral message. The reasons stock art is good is also the same reason it’s bad. It’s a cliche and you’ve probably seen it over and over again. At its worst stock is a visual pun, or a dumbed-down illustration of an otherwise abstract idea. Juggling, sadly, has become the vehicle for stock art themes. Finance woes (juggling the books is Brian Dubé’s favorite cliche), busy at your job, busy at home, crazy for technology, health conscious, or just a disturbing juggling clown, there is juggling stock art to represent your concern. What burns me is the lack of proper juggling displayed in stock art. Juggling as a graphic is reduced into throwing balls thrown in a circle. A cascades look like juggling, and isn’t difficult to illustrate. Do non-jugglers really believe that throwing balls in a circle equals juggling? Lets view some examples:

This is not and CAN NOT be juggling

juggling success, get it?

Any successful broker understands this common juggling metaphor.

How the gods control Earth. This one actually know how to juggle.

How many men can you juggle? Again an accurate cascade.

Good thing moms know how to juggle.

Skinny ladies who eat all their vegetables know how to juggle too.

Does not represent juggling

Aww... somehow all is forgiven when its a cute animal juggling!!

  • Carisa Hendrix

    This is such a brilliant article. I was inspired to do one about hooping http://www.firepedia.com/hooping/bad-hooping-stock-images/

  • Ross

    Awesome article. It’s sad. At one point these images were needed for something. So their was a need for a poorly photoshopped image of a woman juggling money and a house. And like in the hula hoop one. A grandma sticking their head through a coincidentally matching hula hoop to her outfit. Like that wasn’t planned to look foolish… I came across a good stock photo of a juggler the other day. I can’t find it but it was a man in a suit juggling 6 balls the size of softballs with a hardcore motion blur that had a slight glow behind each ball. Shower pattern of course. And the balls all had the same reflection… which didn’t even match the lighting of the photo. Sigh sigh sigh….

  • Rodney D

    I hate the fact that juggling is a cliche for the rest of the world. It makes light of it.

  • Stephen Morris

    I appreciate the message you are trying to convey in this article, but it is sad that you seem to find it necessary to steal others artwork in order to make your point. The fact that all the images displayed above still have the respective watermarks, indicates that you did not purchase the rights to legally use these images in your article. Regardless of how you feel about the way juggling is portrayed in stock photography, you should respect the work of others by not using their images illegally.

    As you are using one of my images, I will ask that you either purchase the rights to use these images from the respective stock websites or remove them from this site. Otherwise, I will ask my agent to initiate legal action against your business.

  • http://www.dube.com Dube Juggling

    Hi Stephen,

    We consider the article and use of art in the article as criticism of stock art which does not infringe on copyright based on the U.S. fair use rules. We are not using the art to illustrate a concept.

    Whoever, if you prefer we will remove your individual photo. Which photo is yours?

    -Naomi

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