Woman paid for headshots, didn’t read the fine print and now sees her face in ads she doesn’t want to be in


  • Christian Demeritt takes headshots after graduating from college in 2010.

  • Years later, she saw her image pop up online in various advertisements, billboards and a romance novel.

  • She didn’t read the fine print and told Insider that her story was a cautionary tale.

Imagine scrolling online and coming across an ad with your face on it, but you never agreed. Or seeing your face on the cover of a romance novel and never knew until a stranger or friend told you.

These scenarios are a reality for Christian Demeritt when she notices that the same headshot she took more than a decade ago after graduating with a theater degree from Florida A&M University is being used in a breast reduction ad.

Christian Demeritt, an actress from California, says the headshots she took in 2010 have resurfaced in various ads and billboards for years.

Christian Demeritt took headshots after graduating college in 2010. Years later, she’s seen her image pop up online in various advertisements, billboards and a romance novel.Courtesy of Christian Demeritt

“I’ve always had a big chest, I thought it was funny because it’s specifically a breast reduction ad and my breasts are huge in that picture,” Demeritt told Insider, noting that she β€” strangely β€” had her bust reduced by two months after taking the pictures.

She said she got the headshots in 2010 after a friend put her in touch with the photographer, who was able to give her a good deal at the time – about $100. Before they met in person, he emailed some documents for signature.

β€œHe did mention that there would be a model release form. I didn’t know what that meant,” said the Miami native, who is also an aspiring actress.

Since then, many people have said they have seen her image in many places, including a billboard and a novel cover. She didn’t reveal the photographer’s name because, as she told Insider, he did nothing wrong, but hopefully her story can be a cautionary tale for others.

“I was just excited about the discount and signed it without reading the fine print,” she said. “This whole thing is entirely up to me.”

“I didn’t read the fine print”

The first sighting was in 2014, four years after her photo shoot. Demeritt said a woman she knows contacted her on Facebook and mentioned seeing her face in front of a local newspaper in Sacramento.

“She sent me a newspaper magazine called the Sacramento News and Review,” she recalled. “It was a picture of my face from the headshots, but it was photoshopped onto the Mona Lisa … and the headline said something like ‘Is the Sacramento Art Scene Too White?’

Demerit was confused as to why her face was being used, especially by a post in a state she hadn’t even visited at the time. When she contacted her friend, she learned that her image had been used as stock photos. That prompted her to reverse-engineer a Google search, which led her to realize her likeness was being used “all over the place,” she said.

“Random people have said they’ve seen me and either recognized me from different commercials or their family and friends recognized me,” she continued. “This has been going on for more than 10 years. It’s just part of my life.”

In January, she shared her story on TikTok, @christian.joy.d, and since then people have been telling her they’ve already seen her photo. In one video, she talks about being on the cover of a book titled His BIG, Childhood Sweetheart by Samantha Drake.

A spokesperson for Afro Romance, the book’s publishing company, told USA TODAY last month that they purchased her photo from a stock website.

A similar situation happened to a New Jersey mother in 2011 who saw her 4-year-old daughter’s photo used on an anti-abortion billboard, Insider reported. She later learned from the photographer that her child’s photos would be used for stock photography.

“I get a little upset when I think about the fact that he’s still making money off of me and so many other people,” she said, but added that she takes responsibility for her actions. “I’m a rule follower, I didn’t follow the rules in this case. I feel like it’s my fault because I didn’t read the fine print.”

Read the original Insider article

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