bad stock images, soalr, staring at the sun

Bad Stock Images of our Job

One of our highlights of 2020 on social media was the Twitter hashtag #badstockimagesofmyjob.  In it, people shared the bad, the awful and the frankly hilarious images available on commercial stock image sites that don’t quite capture the nuances of their profession.

We’re very careful with images on the Joju website, and all our materials.  We always use images of our own work wherever possible, so that what you see on this site is an authentic representation of our work. The extent to which a solar website uses stock imagery versus their own work is actually quite a good indicator of how experienced they are; in fact, this is one of our top tips when it comes to chosing a solar installer.

We do use stock images ocasionally, of course – mainly for abstract concepts like ‘smart grids‘, ‘range anxiety‘ or ‘electricity tariffs‘.  But for actual installations, no.

And that’s because they tend to be terrible, as the following examples show.

bad stock mages, oslar, allen key

“Yeah, we build all our PV systems with an allen key we got with some IKEA furniture”

It’s a pretty benign one to start with, but can you imagine how long it would take to install a solar roof, doing every bolt up by hand with an allen key?  Our roofers use power tools to tighten bolts up quickly, and to the correct torque setting.


bad stock images, solar, wrong shoes,

“I’ll just walk into the middle of this array to do this one up”

Where to start with this one?  Not only is this chap also building this array by hand, he’s also making the mistake of walking on the panels.  The silicon cells in a panel are just 1/10th of a mm thick, and walking on panels can cause micro-cracks in the cells – which will damage the performance for the next 25 years or more.  And don’t get us started on those shoes (nice though they are).  All operatives should be wearing steel toe-capped boots on site, because a 16kg solar panel can hurt if you drop it on your toe.

bad stock images, solar, trapped

“Hold on a minute!  How am I going to get out?”

It’s a nice shot of a roofing team hard at work, put it poses more questions than it answers?  Why have they left a hole in the middle of the array?  How does he get out without walking on the panels?  Are they even thinking about what they’re doing?

For extra solar geek points, you may have spotted some damaging close-shading at the far right hand side as well.

Conclusion?  I don’t think they know what they are doing.

bad stock images, solar, staring at the sun

“I am the resurrection, and I am the life …”

Another common trope is the installer in full glory pose … which is always gloriously cheesy.

Of course, the sun is behind him in this image, so the panels must be facing, errr, north.

bad stock images, soalr, staring at the sun

“I’m so proud of this finished proj – aaarghhh, my eyes!”

A similar sort of problem for this fella.  Except this time, while marvelling at his handiwork, this project manager has gone full Donald Trump and stared directly into the sun.

bad stock images, solar, ladders not scaffold

“What’s the best way of installing these panels, boss?”

“I reckon the three of us can work off the top of two really tall ladders”

What could possibly go wrong?  Well quite a lot, actually.  Construction is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in; and within construction falls from height are still the largest source of fatalities.

That’s why we treat Health and Safety extremely seriously.  We always work from eaves-height, full-width scaffold platforms on pitched roofs, and fully edge-protected areas on flat roofs.

Sadly, it’s still possible to see examples around the country of installers taking shortcuts with scaffold safety.

bad stock images, solar, no edge protection

“Yeah, let’s just carry this panel up the roof along this teeny strip of tiles”

Another example of shocking H&S, this time from an image in the Telegraph.

Curiously, national newspapers seem to propogate these sorts of bad stock images of our industry. It’s actually rare to see a good one.

So, keep an eye out for terrible stock images as you read the paper.  And do share them with us on twitter, @jojusolar – we’d love to see them!

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