Archery Stock Photos are Hilarious

The challenges of running a website about archery are kind of surprising. Finding things to write about isn’t that hard—archery is, maybe, the oldest sport known to man, and there are people all over the world who are passionate about it—and there’s always something new on the horizon to discuss. New products, new gear, new competitions, people doing outrageous things—coming up with content isn’t difficult.

Plus, we’re lifers—archery is our passion. We’ve been handling bows for years, and we’ll continue doing so for the rest of our lives. It’s not hard to find things to write about when you’re passionate about something—you want to write about it. It’s hard not to. Writing about archery isn’t hard, it’s fun.

The hardest thing about running a website devoted to archery is finding archery photos that aren’t the most ridiculous thing in the world.

Ideally, you’re looking for something like this—something dignified, on-point, and proud-looking:

A man, at dusk or dawn, chasing prey. Stoic. Focused. Strong. We got that photo on CanStockPhoto, and it’s not too bad. It would be great if there were a ton of photos like that.

Instead, there are a ton of photos like this:

This is… what is this? Believe it or not, there are thousands of images on stock image sites of men and women in business attire with bows and arrows. Where on earth would this be appropriate? And what website author is thinking, “This post is great, but what it really needs is a disheveled-looking blonde woman in a business suit with a weapon.” The woman above is either at a range and dressed inappropriately, or at work and toting around a bow and arrow, and honestly, either way it’s inappropriate (“Come on, Debra! We’ve talked about this!”).

Plus, that bow looks like a Polaris, which is a great bow, but one that a lot of ranges rent out to beginners—not something that really makes you look like you know what you’re doing. And if you’re going to buck the trend and wear business clothes to the range, you’d be wise to bring a REALLY high-end bow, so that the other folks at the range can say, “Sure, she’s dressed a little weird, but man she’s got great taste in gear. She’s probably pretty good.”

So, we figured—why not write a post about all these weird images? Why not compile our favorite ridiculous stock images about archery, and celebrate them?

So here you go:

Our Favorite Stock Photos with Commentary / Short Rants After Each

First up:

Who is allowing this child to do this? One of the first rules archery is, or should be, “Don’t shoot arrows straight up into the air, because they land eventually, and they can land on you… even though you shot it.” Seriously—whoever took this photo deserves the "Worst Camp Counselor Ever" award.

Also, if you want to make sure your child will have absolutely zero interest in archery, give them a bow like this. Archery is difficult enough when you’ve got a good set-up—archery with a wooden bow and arrow is torture. (I'm kidding. Making bows with your kids can be a lot of fun, if you know what you're doing, and if you don't know what you're doing, you shouldn't make bows for your kids, and it looks like this person doesn’t really know how to make a bow).

Stock photos are usually shot in a series, and we *really* hope this kid didn't let loose with that arrow, because we don’t want to see the next photo.

Next up:

Another from the "Archery at Work” series. This lady’s on the hunt for some good ideas.

In her off time, though, she’s on the hunt for love:

Good luck, lady! We’re rooting for you! We hope you find the person you’re looking for!

Our next photo...

Alright, this one is pretty cool, but if you've gone to all the effort of making a costume, getting dressed up, and trudging into the woods, why can't you bring a longbow? Elves didn't use compounds. Everybody knows that.

Honestly, though, it's got to be kind of difficult to be a model. You show up to a photo shoot, and the photographer makes you engage in activities you have no idea how to do, and you have to look serious and professional. That probably happened to this lady here, who is clearly not an expert archer:

"Hey, photographer, what do I do with the arrow?

"I don't know. Maybe hold it like a cigarette?"

Also—man, it hurts to even look at that posture.

Many of the images are just odd. What's the point of this one?

A guy had a great idea, so they shot him with arrows? I think they’re mixing metaphors here, and it’s a little confusing. I'm not sure how you'd work this into a business presentation.

Then there's this one:

Bad. Wrong. No. Why? Why would you do this? There are a surprising number of images with people putting targets above their heads, in front of their faces, and on their chests. Are they being edgy and trying to make a metaphorical statement (something like, maybe, “They’re all after me”) or are they just being dummies?

Hard to say. The wallpaper in that last one is kind of nice, though.

OK, last up:

OK, this is another cool one. We appreciate the effort here. Era-appropriate bow, cunning-looking fox, rugged landscape. This lady get’s first prize at the local Ren Faire, and she’s earned it.

That’s All We’ve Got for Now

Those are some of our favorite stock images—as find new ones, we’ll write about them. We’ll leave you with one last image, where a proud man with a horse looks off at an office complex, and wonders:

“What are all those business people doing with bows?”

Gregory Johnson

With almost 20 years of archery experience under his belt, Gregory founded the Complete Guide to Archery website in 2019. His purpose has been to spread knowledge about the hobby and sport to anyone willing to learn.