Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Colleges are pretty un-creative when it comes to photos

So I'm a junior in high school, who did reasonably well on the SATs.  So colleges are sending me things in the mail.  Also, I'm touring colleges, so I have a lot of brochures.

When I get these, I like to play a game called "Spot the Cliche College Photo."  Basically, I've noticed that the majority of pictures used in college brochures are variations on the same basic idea.  It's fun to go through and see them all.  All are actual photos from college websites or brochures.

I just find it really funny how all their pictures have the same theme.

I grouped these based on the major categories I usually find.  Some fall into multiple categories.  There are a lot of other groups that I didn't include, like "Students with Face Paint in the School Colors" or "Students Standing in Front of a Blackboard With Complicated Equations Written On It."  Let me know what ones you notice!

For example:

The "Smart Kids Wearing Lab Coats"
(this category may also contain "Students Looking Through a Microscope" or "Students Waering Safety Glasses" or "Students Holding Up a Test Tube and Peering Into It")

The "Students having Fun on the Quad"

The "Students Working Together, Because We Are All One Big Happy Community"

The "Students Doing Things With Complex-Looking Mechanical Items"

The "Our Students Have School Spirit!"


  1. When you become a biotech major like me, lab coat pictures fail to impress because I do that literally every day. Same with the micropipetting; it only looks impressive to those who are unfamiliar, then you realize that all you're doing is pushing a button to measure a drop of liquid for you.


    School spirit is ethereal. Imaginary.
    Fun on the quad is only possible in places with lots of grass and trees.
    In your complex mechanical items page, the first picture is three students awkwardly trying to pry a piece off of a motor. The second one is a crane made out of VEX; something you can do at your high school. I know because I did it at your high school.
    The 'students working together' is actually pretty valid, it wouldn't surprise me if those shots were all candid and sincere, it's pretty common.

    So yeah.


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