girl next door on exercise ball

The Queen of Stock Photos

Just looking at her, you feel happy, uplifted, somehow better about yourself in that moment.
You don’t immediately register her age (very youthful), her beauty (symmetric), her build (slight), her race (Asian, perhaps mixed). No, she is just the embodiment of happiness, satisfaction, promise. In that instant, her smile makes you feel warm, worthy, safe. Who is she? She’s the girl I call The Queen of Stock Photos.

Stock photos, if you don’t know them, are professional photos that anyone can purchase (on sites like Getty Images and iStockPhoto), to use in news stories or for marketing, company brochures, ads, even blogs.

I first discovered this beautiful girl’s face when I chose this image for my very first Facebook ad, promoting my former fitness startup, Gigabody.

girl next door doing situps

I was drawn to her image, and so were the people who saw the ad, with her improbably joyful situps in the park. The ad got lots and lots of Facebook clicks, despite it’s otherwise crummy side placement. Not only was she cute in the girl next door but more way, her face definitely sold clicks.

Not long after running the ad, I started noticing this same girl everywhere – on giant signs at conferences, in online ads, on well-known company homepages and flyers. She’s not exactly a chameleon. Once you know that adorable smile (broad and genuine with remarkably tiny teeth), you recognize it anywhere. But if you’ve never made the conscious connection, you’ve still probably seen her again and again, for companies large and small.

Let’s get to know her a bit.

The Queen of Stock Photos loves to work out.

You can look like her too if you use our _____. (product/gym/service/class)

Fitness dance studio zumba class

happy with weights

gym machine

on a walk

beach crunch

on the gym machine

queen of stock photos, tiny waist

smiling with the exercise ball

sports bra

She likes to run and get outdoors.

queen of stock photos, running on the beach


running in a jacket

running on the beach

running towards me

running, angle

Healthy lifestyle woman smiling outside

She appreciates the moment.

her back at the beach

happy at the beach

She eats healthy. She could be a vegetarian if you want.

she eats healthy

But really it’s that smile. It’s undeniable.

smile in red

smile wearing hat

stock photo girl with piggy bank

She gets her car fixed at Big O Tires.

Big O Tires ad, queen of stock photos

She cares about her gut flora. Do you?

ubiome stock photo

But wait there’s more. So much more!

She’s definitely this lucky photographer’s muse.

Do you recognize her now? She is the Queen of Stock Photos.

Valerie Lanard

I am a fitness buff, engineering leader, and wearables lover. This blog originally started as part of my now-defunct fitness video startup, Gigabody. It has evolved to encompass my writing on tech and work culture as well. Find me on a bike, on a hike, in a skort, or near a usb port.

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