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The face behind a stock image: How I gave away my face for free

If she is not welcoming immigrants to Canada and Uruguay, Shubnum Khan is selling carpets in New York City, leading treks in Cambodia or looking for love in France.
Her face has been on a McDonald’s advert in China and one for sedation dentistry in Virginia.
But the truth is, the South African author and artist has done none of these things.
It all started in 2012 when a friend in Canada posted a picture to Shubnum’s Facebook page. It was an advert promoting immigration in a Canadian newspaper.
“This looks like you,” the friend posted, and others responded saying it was definitely her.
“I didn’t mind being in immigration ads but I was very confused,” she tells the BBC from her home in Durban, South Africa.
“I couldn’t understand why my face was in a paper all the way on that side of the world.”
That is when another friend stepped in and said: “Hey, didn’t we do a photo shoot a few years ago, remember?”
‘We didn’t read the small print’
Two years earlier, a 24-year-old Shubnum and some university friends had gone to a free photo shoot she had heard about called the 100 Faces Shoot.
The photographer promised 100 people professional portraits in exchange for being snapped.
“I thought the picture would be used for his portfolio, or an art project,” recalls the now 33-year-old author. “People remember hearing mention of an art project.”
“It’s very quick – you sign a piece of paper, you go in, the photographer says smile for a picture. It is quick but I definitely was not told it would be for a stock picture.”
“Initially I thought it was really funny,” Shubnum says of her finding various versions of the stock image. “But over time, there were so many photos and I never got any money for this.”

Source: BBC

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