If you’ve ever moved in your life, then you know that all of the stock photography out there featuring young, happy people lifting boxes and flashing exaggerated smiles is just photographic propaganda. No one can look that enthusiastic while lifting a sinking mattress. No one drinks wine in a fort of cardboard boxes while cradling the head of a generically attractive significant other. Oh, and packing peanut snow angels? They’re a lie.

I’m pretty sure every move ends the same way: collapsing onto the floor or bed with sweaty hair tapered to your forehead and questionable shirt stains relaying the blood, sweat and tears that accompanied you on the move. It’s pretty gruesome. As the brunt of moving season wraps up, here are some of our favorite awkward stock photos of people moving, courtesy of the SpareFoot marketing team:

1. Man lifting box and smiling


During his first job, Chris learned the hard way that he should have paid more attention to the “how to pick things up” instructional video.

2. Man dropping box in horror


Chris literally dropped everything when he realized what he was wearing. He cursed his outfit choice: “You can’t move in a suit!”

3. Happy family


Her fourth birthday wasn’t until the weekend, but mom and dad couldn’t wait to give Sophie her own pet human.

4. Naked, glum girl in cardboard box


The first day of classes would reveal whether Sandra was taking the “starving college student” image too far.

5. The stress of moving


Cory couldn’t believe he forgot to label his boxes before the move–especially considering that three of them were full of rabid opossums.

6. Happy family part two


The Watsons were horrified to find that the Penske truck had driven off with their legs.

7. Sleeping on the job


Nicole was perturbed by her son’s Nyquil addiction, but couldn’t shake the “awwwww” factor of his untimely napping.

8. Moving pains


It wasn’t until Jon and Cindy realized they forgot the baby that they began to reassess the state of their relationship.

9. Color family


Editor’s note: do we need to caption this? Let’s just bask in the fact that this photo exists.

10. Packing peanut joy


Unbeknownst to Gayle, Lionel was re-enacting what he saw in a Ludacris video. Unbeknownst to Lionel, Gayle replaced all their belongings with packing peanuts.

Images courtesy of iStockphoto, and



  1. The best one is 9, which I would assume is for adding your own actors into the shot like a green screened image on a movie.

    1. Thanks Cassie! Don’t worry – there are enough awkward stock photos out there for 1000 more of these posts :) Round two coming soon!

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