As someone who creates online content daily, and has worked in social media for the last decade or so, I've seen a LOT of stock photography.

I work with it every day - and honestly I've wondered more than once how the model would react to knowing how their picture was being used.

One Reddit user asked:

Stock Photography Models: What is the Strangest/Most Unexpected Place You've Seen Your Photos Used?

Stock photography models kind of know their images are out there for whatever, but sometimes that "whatever" gets really interesting.

R.I.P. to the college brochure guy's social life. It's going to take him decades to live it down.

But Can I Get Hired?

I ended up finding myself on one of those "Now Hiring" posts on Facebook... for a company I was trying to get hired at.

- Pandrome

You should tell them that means they have to hire you, or it's false advertising.

- StewartTheHuman

"Have you previously worked as an employee for [company]?"

"Well, it's complicated..."

- TheRealMandelbrotSet

Also Used

One of my friends did a shoot for a university showing him sitting with an advisor looking confused/concerned.

It was to be used for the financial/debt advice brochure - and it was used there. But it was also used in the sexual health brochure!

It's a good one to roll out on special occasions!

- djaw1

Similar thing happened to a guy I worked with.

He was an older, very put together attorney. One day I was watching TV and saw him sitting with his head in his hands looking terribly distraught.

It was a commercial for ED medication.

I asked him about it the next morning and he said he had done some stock video shots for commercials years back and often pops up in all kinds of ads.

- thepeanutbutterman

I'm A Painting


When I was 17 a friend of mine asked me if I could help him model in some pictures he was working on for a project for college. We used our other friend's attic and he took a couple of pictures of me in a suit in front of a typewriter.

He really liked one of the pictures and he ended up asking me if I would be okay with him having it be part of a small gallery show he was doing at the local coffee shop.

They often had a small show and then put up the work to decorate the place and if people were interested they could buy them. I told him that I didn't mind and it was cool seeing my picture up at a place we went to so often.

Well, my picture ended up actually being bought ... which we did not expect at all.

So, there is someone out there that has a framed picture of me possibly decorating their wall or mantle, which is strange for me to think about.

- -eDgAr-

In Every Wal-Mart

Not me but my best friend: He did a photo shoot in some construction-worker garb and a hard hat.

We live in North Carolina USA. I'm on a business trip in Chicago, and I stop by a Walmart for some supplies.

I'm in the men's work clothes isle and there's my buddy prominently on the wrapping of 50ish packages of work shirts.

It was a weird "wait, where am I?" moment. I knew he did some modeling, but not specifics.

I sent him a pic, he had no idea it had been used. The guy is in every Walmart in the country and had no idea.

- stubbssammarium

Homeless Youth

Not me, but a friend of mine.

Her boyfriend was a photographer, and he took several pictures of her standing against a wall wearing a blue windbreaker. I should mention, this woman was in her late 20s/early 30s, but she could easily pass as a teenager.

One of her boyfriend's pictures of her ended up on a billboard in Russia somewhere advertising a charity for homeless youth.

- SimonCallahan

Keep The Contract

This question reminds me of the guy who sat for a picture, and then forgot about it.

Years later, he recognized his picture on a jar of freeze dried coffee, which was not in the terms of use for the picture.

He ended up suing after the company tried to lowball him and winning a crazy amount of money.

- bombaderogato

Holy sh*t! I looked it up! That's a lot of money. And f*ck nestle for trying to lowball him!

"A legal dispute with Nestle USA ensued, during which Christoff, 58, declined the company's $100,000 settlement offer, and Nestle USA turned down his offer to settle for $8.5 million. "I never gave my consent," he said to Chen. "We had a contract that spelled out the terms of the agreement, but there was just no follow-up on it. "I filed it away, and the contract sat there for 18, 19 years and -- I save things, which I guess is obvious. And no. They never had the permission." Last week, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury ordered Nestle USA to pay Christoff $15.6 million for using his likeness without his permission and profiting from it. The award includes 5 percent of the Glendale-based company's profit from Taster's Choice sales from 1997 to 2003."

- BrownEggs93

A Smoky Eye

fashion makeup GIF Giphy

I had a girlfriend who modelled part time.

Most of her work was for specific things and I only seen it because she showed me. But she did have a few model release generic headshots so when I was travelling Asia I saw a few makeup ads with her face on it.

It was just a picture of her with smokey eyes and I seen it before so I had a pretty big wtf moment seeing an at least 6 year old photo of my girlfriend on makeup ads on the other side of the world

- CharlieTuna_

Had They Contacted Me In The First Place

Not a stock photo (as I didn't upload it to my account, only on my website) but years ago a shot I took of my nails ended up being lifted off my site and used in a manicure brochure from China. I'm still wondering why... it was professionally shot and edited, but the nail art was hardly that!

Another time, a model I shot for a girly site (think suicide girls but more on the burlesque side) found our photo on a designer t-shirt, sold in stores internationally... we both sued separately, myself for the image rights and herself for personal damage due to what was written on the shirt. Don't know about her but I ended up getting a decent amount -definitely more than I would have asked if they had contacted me in the first place.

- analucylle


A coworker of mine was a firefighter in his earlier life (I worked with him after he was retired).

At one point the station he worked at did a photoshoot for something (he doesn't remember what, I've always hoped it was a calendar but can't find proof). Years later a friend of his was in a toy store and found his photo on the packaging of a firefighter toy.

He posed for a photo shoot, and years later ended up being an action figure!

- dbdew

Slack Party!

Not the same, but as a remote teacher (long before quarantines), all of our teaching material includes stock photos.

One teacher pointed out that the same girl appears in many of the stock photos. Here she's a scientist. Here she's at the beach. Here she's riding a bike in a park.

It became a game to find her in our materials and we'd have a little celebration on Slack every time she was discovered.

- anon00000anon


There was also this guy in Germany or somewhere in Europe, who ended up on packs of cigarettes. Like they have the smoking kills and rotten lungs etc. on the packs. So this guy was lying in a hospital bed, passed out with tubes in his mouth and I think he posted this pic of himself on facebook or something. Some designer stole that photo and put it on the packs. The guy himself said he had never smoked in his life and it was some unrelated medical operation. I think he sued and got paid.



My dad was a professional photographer back in the '80s & '90s and would do a small amount of commercial work. He would sometimes get me and my sister to 'model' in some of these pics. He did a job for a new small video game store called GAME that just opened in SE England back in the early '90s. He used me and my sister in a bunch of pics for their original advertising which at the time was just for this small shop. Obviously, the company hit it big time and opened up all over the country. A few years later while at Uni, me and my mates are in shopping in our local store. Low and behold there was a picture of a younger me playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the in-store display. I'd completely forgot about the pics and was slightly in shock, while my friends thought it was the greatest photo ever.


Hairy situation

My nephew did some stock modelling when he was younger and ended up in an ad for a drug that delays early-onset puberty. That was certainly a surprise when I came across his face in a magazine.


Muddy morals

A plumbing company used a picture of my muddy boots on their website. It was a picture I posted on Facebook years ago. The company is half a country away and never contacted me. They just found my picture online and used it. Huh.



I once was offered free popcorn and movies for a year if I did a shoot for a movie theatre in Maryland. I was 16, so I thought "heck yeah!". The theatre closed down three months after that, so I never did get to use my year of popcorn and movies.

BUT I did move to Florida for college and a few years in went to the local movie theatre..... and there I was. Passionately munching on some popcorn, pretending to laugh at a movie. I guess one movie theatre company bought the other theatre out, which included image rights.


Thifty gifty

Early last year (pre-serious COVID) I was at my local thrift store and found a picture frame with a picture of my sister and brother in law. Apparently, they had donated it without removing the picture.

Naturally, I bought it and gave it back to them as a gift.


I'll ketchup later

not me, but my dad is a photographer who spent quite a bit of time in stock photography. I remember one day we were taking a walk around the village together when he just stopped and whipped out his camera. There was a big splodge of ketchup on the floor, and apparently, that required photographing. He told me a few years later that that photo had sold quite often, become one of his most popular. Of course, being an indescribable splodge of ketchup, we've not managed to actually identify it in use anywhere yet.


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Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!

What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."


"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

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As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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