This is why you should always read the fine print. A woman paid $100 for headshots about a decade ago. She had just graduated in South Florida and was going to use them to find acting jobs. A decade later, her photos have circulated around the world and ended up on a soft-core sex novel.
Christian Demeritt’s Headshots Have Been Circulating for a Decade Since They Were Sold to Stock Picture Website
Christian Demeritt (@christian.joy.d), who now lives in LA while looking for work, gave a quick TikTok #TBT about the soft-core porn novel fiasco. The photographer sold her photos as stock photos, and she had no idea. A romance novelist named Samantha Drake used Christian’s photo on the cover of a soft-core book series.
This specific title was “His Big, Childhood Sweetheart: BWWM, BBW, Plus Size, Childhood Sweetheart, Billionaire Romance.” It’s book 10 in a multi-part series called “Plus Size Loving Billionaires.”
Christian Demeritt continued to explain how she first discovered what had happened. A friend in Sacramento, California, had seen her photo on the cover of a local newspaper. Sacramento News and Review had turned her into the Mona Lisa. It was an issue that addressed the question of if the city’s art scene was too white.
“I thought it was an interesting way to use the picture,” Christian said. “I actually liked it. However, I didn’t know how they got it.”
She had no idea that her graduation photos had been sold to a stock photo website.
This Woman Has Kept a Positive Attitude Despite Her Image Being Used for a Sex Novel
Demeritt’s graduation photos weren’t just used for the sex novel. Over time, they were used around the world. They were used for a breast-reduction ad in another country. Her photos were used for a social worker ad. Her image was used as a character in a piece of educational software. Further, an author on Amazon even used her face for their profile picture.
Considering the circumstances, Christian Demeritt has kept a stoic and graceful perspective. But she did mention that soft-core sex novelist Samantha Drake’s sales have gone up since the TikTok about her graduation headshots went viral. Further, when she typed “black woman” into a stock photo website, her picture came up at the very top.
Christian didn’t call out the name of the photographer who seemingly did her in. But she did admit to looking him up, and, judging by the prominence of her image in the “black woman” search query, surmised that he’s continuing to make a profit.
I’m hoping that this woman gets a decent role soon because this isn’t right. Having your headshots sold to stock photo sites without your knowledge is the epitome of appropriation.