On stock photos on Church websites or "who are these people?"

Comment: I'm not criticizing my church, but I wonder (because I've been a member there for 5 years!) who are these people? I'm pretty sure that blond, if I saw her in the church foyer, would catch my attention. Are the people who really attend there so unappealingly unattractive that we couldn't be used?


  1. Very true. I remember one time when Northland did that. There was quite the uproar by students. I think a petition was started, and would have been delivered if they had not changed it shortly thereafter.

  2. Yea, Jim. ....

    We all want to know, which blonde? :)

  3. The 70 year old ... closer to my age!

  4. I've heard that churches purposely don't put photos of regular attenders on purpose, but never understood why, myself. I personally get turned off when things are obviously "marketed."

  5. I can see it from the web designers point of view. He is working hard (and fast) to make the design work. He needs "some people" ... well where do you get them. It will delay the final product to wait for photos, approvals, etc. So he just buys some off the web to get'r done

    But I do think it is a little bit of falseness ... that these perfect looking people are at our church and "look how happy" they are.

    I don't like it but it is a minor thing

  6. "I don't like it but it is a minor thing"

    Really? I can't be sure that it is a MAJOR thing, but I'm beginning to wonder. No, it's not a minor thing, and your own blog testifies to this.

    If a church's web site manifestly deploys common marketing idioms, designs, agendas, styles, and all the rest (which we all can recognize as part and parcel of the wider commercial marketing environment), it's myopic to suppose this does NOT communicate something to those who recognize these things in a church's presentation of itself to the community.

    In today's media environment, it's probably ~impossible~ to avoid communicating something via a church web site design. We are all far too exercised in parsing what we see, even if that parsing happens at a sub-conscious level.

    So, the issue is this: What shall we communicate via our church web site design? Believe me, the web site designers have this question foremost in their minds, and they answer the question in a way they suppose will please their customers.

    Unless their customer is sufficiently savvy to the ways of marketers to give a flip in the first place.

  7. Reminds me of a Jerry Seinfeld episode

    JERRY: Elaine, what percentage of people would you say are good looking?

    ELAINE: Twenty-five percent.

    JERRY: Twenty-five percent, you say? No way! It's like 4 to 6 percent. It's a twenty to one shot.

    ELAINE: You're way off.

    JERRY: Way off? Have you been to the motor vehicle bureau? It's like a leper colony down there.

  8. Jim's actually talking about the kid who appears to be about five or six. :^)

    Personally, with the number of people at Fourth with carry permits, I think you could get some good shots of people who are entirely able to defend themselves AND look good in the process.


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