A woman on TikTok says that after not reading “the fine print” on a contract she signed before a photographer took her headshots, the photographer sold photos of her to stock image websites. Now, her photo appears on the cover of an erotica book.
In a TikTok posted on Jan. 7, user Christian Demeritt (@christian.joy.d) says that she didn’t read “the fine print on my headshots contract and my photographer sold my pics to stock photo sites.” She then shows what appears to be her face used on the cover of an erotica book titled “His Big, Childhood Sweetheart” being sold on Amazon.
On Tuesday, Demeritt’s video had almost 450,000 views.
@christian.joy.d Should I do a #Storytime ? #greenscreen ♬ Song Oh no oh no oh no no no – Hip Hop
In an interview with the Daily Dot, Demeritt said that she shot with the photographer in 2010 and doesn’t remember the first time she heard about (or saw) her photos being used elsewhere. But, she estimates that they’ve been used in a “ton” of advertisements.
“My friends all send [my photos] to me when they find them,” Demeritt told the Daily Dot.
While Demeritt says she doesn’t have a copy of the contract, she said she found emails with the photographer in which he told her to “please bring ID, there will be a model release to complete.”
When she first saw her photo being used in an ad, Demeritt says she was “shocked.” She got in contact with the actor who referred her to the photographer and the actor said that the photographer’s behavior was “typical.”
“I was fresh out of undergrad and didn’t know so I just went about my life,” Demeritt says of her photos being used in ads. “Every few years or so, people send me ads with my face.”
She said commenters on her viral video say they see her in ads frequently.
Demeritt also posted subsequent TikTok videos about the situation, saying that her shoot with the photographer cost approximately $100. She added that she’s seen her face superimposed on a magazine cover, on a billboard outside the U.S., a breast reduction ad, in Madame Noir articles, job application ads, workplace trainings, and, of course, on the cover of an erotic novel. She also clarified that she hasn’t made any money from her photos being used elsewhere.
“I ain’t make no money,” Demeritt says in a follow-up TikTok. “I made zero dollars.”