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Dear Stock Photographers, Have You Ever Seen a Shopping Bag?

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“Help, I bought too many decorative hatboxes!”

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A woman carrying “shopping bags” down the street
Photo: Getty Images

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Look, I get it: Stock photography is a thankless job. Capturing life’s most mundane moments — a not-so-sad desk salad, a team meeting, a morning run — in a way that stands out without looking stilted or surreal is tough!

Still, there’s absolutely no excuse for the fact that stock photographers have apparently never laid eyes on a shopping bag, somehow thinking that gift bags (you know, the kind you use to bring wine and/or fancy soaps to a friend’s housewarming) are the same thing.

Below, a few of my personal favorite offenders:

A woman in high heels and a dress juggling shopping bags and boxes stacked high above her head. Photo: Getty Images

“Help, I bought too many decorative hatboxes!”

Woman with “sale” bag Photo: Getty Images

“Ooh, hit the mall? Where’d you go?”


Woman with lots of gift bags rubbing feet Photo: Getty Images

All that tissue paper, and girlfriend couldn’t even figure out how to wrap anything. :(

Woman with her head down surrounded by colorful shopping bags Photo: Getty Images/Vetta

“Oof, shopping at Hallmark is exhausting.”

Woman laughing with shopping bags Photo: Getty Images

Ah, the joyful face of someone who just blew her entire paycheck at Dots ‘R’ Us.

A woman in a store handing a shopping bag to a customer over the counter Photo: Getty Images

“Enjoy your new dress and also your graphic patterned boxes! We appreciate you shopping here at SALE.”

Women carrying red and white shopping bags Photo: Getty Images

I, too, do all my shopping at The Christmas Store.

Man carrying lots of shopping bags Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

When your outfit says “startup bro” but your shopping says “aspiring old-fashioned candy shop owner.”

Woman in glasses holding a coffee and a patterned shopping bag. Photo: Getty Images/Cultura RF

“Oh yeah, the bag? I know, it’s weird. I went in to grab a coffee and they just... they made me take it. Don’t stare directly at it. I’m not.”