How to Stop Attaching a Photo of a Dolphin to Your Work Emails

Dolphin photos used to be a little pleasure you allowed yourself to break up your workday, not something you would thoughtlessly attached to just any ol’ interdepartmental email. But nowadays, there’s a picture of a dolphin in the signature of every email you send, if not an entire string of them. At this point, you may feel that it appears half-hearted or even apathetic not to attach a dolphin photo to even the simplest email. But it may be time to rethink your dolphin photo usage.


“There’s a dilution of its power through greater use,” says Kim Sharpe, a dolphin trainer. “This business trend is disrespectful toward dolphins and frankly unprofessional.”


While it’s fun and pleasant to send dolphins to friends and family, they have no place in a work email—no exceptions. Here are four alternatives to convey your excitement that don’t require a Dropbox full of dolphins.


Use a Dolphin Emoji Instead

While photos can seem overly familiar, nothing beats the slick design of an emoji. It’s a universal language we all speak, and it takes up far less space than the photo of you and your fiancé kissing a dolphin in Acapulco. For example:


Client: The invoice is attached.

You: Thank you. [dolphin emoji]


See? Nice and easy! However, this alternative does come with an asterisk. After all, if you prefer more traditional emailing etiquette and hate dolphin pictures, chances are you hate pictures in general. And a dolphin emoji is just a tiny cartoon dolphin that’s ultimately still a picture. Use one at your own discretion. The upside? It takes up less bandwidth than the nine gigabytes of dolphin snaps you’d typically send.



Use ‘Dolphin’ as a Word

Used sparingly, the word dolphin works as a great intensifier, adding emphasis to an otherwise boring-as-shit “thank you”. It’s also a lot more creative:


Client: The invoice is attached.

You: Thank you dolphins much. (I’m thinking about dolphins!!)


Puns will also spice up an otherwise boring company email. So dolphin-ately conch-sider Bermuda try-angl-ing some ocean-r-eel-ated puns to sea how they w-orca. Haha, this is fun!


Try Less-Expected Sea Animals

In our daily lives, we say “thank you” so much that an iPhoto album of dolphins feels needed to amp everything up. But sending a picture of a different, more unexpected sea animal shows that you put some extra thought into your email.


Client: The invoice is attached.

You: Thank you. [picture of a manatee]


The best part of this is that it’s totally customizable. Try attaching a photo of a dugong or a whale, or maybe even an anglerfish. Whatever you like! It might just make someone’s day!



Bring Them a Dolphin in Person

Client: The invoice is attached.

You: Here is a dolphin that I have.

Client: How did you get into my office.


Sharpe calls bringing in a real life dolphin “the most emphatic dolphin picture of all” and notes that it’s the clearest way to express your excitement. Go big or go home!


If we don’t do something to make sure that attaching dolphin photos remains a treat, how will we ever know what true emphasis look like? So go ahead, spice up your company emails with these professional dolphin-pic alternatives!