Parent Blogging: Stock Photos vs. Reality

Parent Blogging: Stock Photosvs. My Reality by Someone's Mum

I recently started a free trial for Adobe stock photos, as I needed a specific photo for a post that I was unable to take myself.

As I was searching through the endless images of perfect children on immaculate white sofas, sleek and stylish laptops and work spaces, and interiors that seemed to jump straight from magazine covers, I felt a distinct sense of inadequacy growing…

So here is a little taste of my blogging reality, in comparison with some of the photos I found.

Living Space Stock Photo

1. Perfect living space with stain-free furniture and NO toys.

My Living space

I was JUST about to tidy some of those toys away…

Sofa stock photo

2. Just hanging out with the kids in our colour coordinated clothes on our immaculate white sofa…

My sofa - Stock photos vs. reality

In my defense it was a really hot day.

Working with kids stock photo

3. Working from home with kids. They just sleep and you get everything done in a few hours leaving the afternoons free for crafts and baby groups, right? Oh and hair and make-up and an ironed blouse DEFINITELY always happens.

Working from home - me

This is my absolute best case scenario. Usually, if I even look at the laptop both start crying almost instantly.

Work space stock photos

4. Blogging tools and workspace. The most stylish phones and laptops, artfully arranged next to some very posh coffee and some post-its. Who doesn’t work like this?

My workspace

I think this shot is my favourite. This is my truth. I particularly like the detail of my very smashed laptop screen, a casualty of a particularly funny episode of Ben and Holly when Biggest bounced up and down with joy, knocking the fragile, glorified tablet to the floor. That is genuinely what I am writing this on now. If there are any generous laptop merchants out there willing to give a discount on a good piece of kit that doesn’t freeze for twenty seconds between typing each letter, I can offer an honest and thorough review and social media coverage. But seriously.

Blogger working stock photo

5. Finally, what it looks like to be working on your blog. I definitely make sure I have nail varnish scattered around me attractively before I start writing. Oh and lanterns. And a flower garland headband. Wait, those aren’t essential blogging items?

Me working

If you look closely, you can see I have wine AND beer. No lanterns though. Sorry.

Obviously, the lives we search for and project online are often aspirational. I am as much a fan of a beautiful photo that captures the way life should be as the next person, as my Instagram feed clearly bears witness. This is just a little taste of the way my blogging life more usually goes. And my lounge does scrub up quite nicely when we have guests coming, honestly.


Linked with Pink Pear Bear

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45 thoughts on “Parent Blogging: Stock Photos vs. Reality

      1. More funny posts! Don’t fear that they might water down the importance of more serious posts. On the contrary: they’ll highten the contrast and therefore light and dark both will be all the more pronounced!

        And just so you know it: I have binge-read your blog since yesterday (I don’t have autistic relatives, but my mum used to work as “integrational helper” – that’s what it’s called in Germany – to an Aspie from first to last grade who is now successfully job-training) and I think you would be great with funny.

        Last but definitely not least I love how unexited you usually are about autism and disability in general. There are so many people out there who think it extremely discriminating behaviour if people simply do not know about disability or how to interact with people who don’t fit the norm and I fear that this only deepens the struggle to build a world where everyone has their place no matter what.

        You’re doing good. Don’t stop.

        Kindest regards from Germany xx

    1. Thank you! I was a bit nervous doing a ‘funny’ post but hopefully it will ring true for bloggers and parents alike!

    1. I am a naturally messy person and so I do appreciate that some probably do work in nice, clear, organised spaces. I draw the line at the lanterns though… πŸ˜‚ Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  1. Really made me giggle as I always fell inadequate when I see other peoples photos of nice, calm, quiet workspaces. I (probably like most people) grab 10mins when I can and its with Mia screaming next to me and toys everywhere!! #bloggerlife πŸ™‚


    1. I guess if you’re a beauty blogger then you would have them about… but I dispute the idea they would be so artfully arranged! Thanks and thanks so much for commenting!

  2. As a marketing major, I always loved laughing at the unrealistic view from a stock footage camera lens. This post reminds me of a Facebook Page called “Its like they know us.” Stuff like this always makes me laugh. Awesome post.

  3. This made my day. I love it. A healthy dose of real life. The only reason I haven’t blogged in so long is that I have lost my flower garland headband. Honest πŸ˜‰ x

    1. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ It must be a real hazard of the job. I wonder if it counts if you hold your phone up with the Snapchat filter on while blogging??? Thanks for commenting!

    1. I think sometimes we can make some parts like stock photos, for a short while… but the effort is a bit much for me to manage 90% of the time πŸ˜‚

  4. Hehe!! This all looks very true for me too…I get infuriated with the stock photos available, because they never have what I want, and I refuse to pay for pictures!! I do devour the beautiful, styled pictures that I see on Instagram etc, because I like looking at pretty things, but there’s no way I could emulate it! I love the lady with floral hairband picture, surrounded by nail varnish?!! Absolutely a blogging essential I reckon!! I can do absolutely no blogging during the day, my children won’t hear of it! Like you, I’m either on the sofa (no office space,) or in bed, surrounded by wine!! Loved this post!

  5. Love this! Absolutely spot on. PS. I have a white couch cover which I bought before having T. That whit couch cover is covered in crayon, paint, pen, food stains. And not to forget dog/cat hair/stains. Sigh. Still love it anyway. x

  6. Haha, I love this! My other half took this awful one of me a couple of weeks ago – hunched over my laptop on the sofa, half buried in rubbish and toys, while Marianna runs around covered in just her nappy and chocolate smears… And it wasn’t even organic / homemade chocolate biscuits she’d been eating. xD #KCACOLS

  7. hehehe what a great post! The reality of us bloggers is oh so glamorous isn’t it! HOW are you managing to still blog with the laptop screen though? I have used stock photos for work for many years now and the worst ones are the cheesy corporate types with big cheesy smiles!

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on Sunday x

  8. What a fun post!!

    My reality is the same as yours! Our house is a mess and what’s worse I work on my blog as soon as I drop the kids at school so the house stays a mess for a while longer.

    We actually had an eventful morning this morning and as we walked out the door I said ‘Is every house the same as ours?’. Mr 8 replies ‘Yep, they are’. How right he was!! Ha ha

  9. Oh this is brilliant, and so so true!! And for every nice photo I have there is 10 that are the real life ones!! Thank you for making me laugh! #kcacols

  10. I just absolutely love this. Beyond the occasionally stock photo search for my blog, I also have to spend vast hours trawling through them at work. I hate them oh so much. They are so cheesy and unrealistic. Thank you for showing us this real life. Mine is very similar. I love your kid-friendly coffee table btw. #kcacols

  11. Yep my reality is definitely nearer yours than the stock photos! If you saw my work spaces! Currently it’s the dining room table crammed with papers, broken toys to mend and a million things to do! #KCACOLS

  12. That’s really funny. And so true. Talk about dream versus reality. Oh well just looking around as I type – bathroom suite, bathroom tiles – can’t see the lanterns just now! Lipstick is an optional extra at the moment! #KCACOLS

  13. I love this. My reality is definitely more yours than theres. I’m usually sat on the sofa surrounded by mess, with a toddler running around creating havoc. #kcacols

  14. This is a harsh reality. I should turn on my webcam and snap a picture of what it looks like in my “office” while I’m attempting to do blog work too. It’s funny how different the reality is versus these stock photos. You would think the stock photos would be more realistic.

    Found you at #KCACOLS.

  15. Your reality is totally my reality, although throw a big, daft dog into the mix for me! I try to blog at night when the children are in bed, and the dog promptly plonks himself down right on top of my laptop until I give him the appropriate cuddles and attention that he misses during the day.
    As for the clean house – just last week we put our house up for sale. I had cleaned frantically, shipped a load of toys and junk out to Grandma’s house for storage, and when the estate agent arrived to take photos, he literally gasped in surprise. It must have been bad when he came to do the valuation!! πŸ˜‰

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