If you're posting to Instagram publicly? Guess what: ownership and usage of those photos become a bit tricky. If you're posting your content to Facebook, guess what? The same applies. TikToks on your public page? You guessed it since you're publicly putting it out there, any company probably has access to it.
This is to be expected of applications and services that are free; after all, if what you're using doesn't cost you anything then guess what: you're the product.
However, what happens if you paid for a service and the company that you hired to provide said service still uses your content like they were the ones doing you a favor?
That's what happened to Christian Demeritt upon graduating from Florida A&M University with a Theater degree. She wanted to get some headshots taken and a friend of hers hooked her up with a photographer some 10 years ago, who agreed to take her pictures for a very low price of only $100.
It turns out that that low price came with a catch: the photographer sent Christian a modeling agreement before she agreed to meet up to take the pictures, which she signed and sent back to him.
The photographer then sold the pictures he took of her, as he had the modeling rights to them, and Christian started noticing her picture in different advertisements: like one for breast reduction surgery. Christian stated that two months after receiving the photos, coincidentally she underwent breast reduction herself.
In an interview with Insider Christian wrote: "I've always had a large chest, I thought it was funny because it specifically is advertising for breast reductions and my breasts are huge in that picture."
Christian ultimately doesn't blame the photographer for the agreement, stating: "I was just excited about the discount and I signed it without reading the fine print. This whole thing is completely on me."
Christian's friends began seeing her image popping up in various places, like on the cover of a romance novel, or in a Sacramento News and Review article with her countenance superimposed on the Mona Lisa. The title of the article: "Is Sacramento's Art Scene Too White?"
"Random people have said they have seen me and either recognized me from different ads or their family and friends had. It's been going on for over 10 years now. It's just part of my life," Christian said.
On her TikTok account, @christian.joy.d, she discussed tons of different instances where that particular headshot photo was used. "I don't know if y'all remember Madame Noir but they use this for a couple of their articles one was like 10 tops to wear if you have big boobs, another one was like open letter to the guy who accidentally touched my boob."
The Today Show also produced a segment on Christian's headshot fiasco. The aspiring actress who hopes to land professional gigs says that she isn't highlighting the story to receive any compensation from the photographer as she owns up to not understanding the model release, but that she just wants to caution others to think first before signing as often times deals that are too good to be true usually are.