What It’s Really Like To Be A Stock Photo Model

Read the full article through the link below to get a better feel for the real world of stock photo modeling. You won't find high-end models here but it may help put food on your table or make a car payment when you need some money fast. For many it is a easy way to make some quick money and maybe even have some fun.

You see them everywhere: corporate websites, condominium brochures, the pages of magazines—even on sites like the one you're reading right now. Stock photo models are ubiquitous, but unlike the Caras and Kates of the world, chances are you don't even know their names. It's not your fault—in fact, that's kind of the point. Stock photos, for the uninitiated, are generic images that publishers and companies license rather than shelling out for an original shoot, and the models in them are supposed to look like the everywoman (or everyman, as the case may be) so that they illustrate a story without ever being the story.

If the veil of anonymity ever does get lifted, it's often because things have gone very, very wrong. Take Samantha Ovens, the unsuspecting model whose photo appeared above a column in The Guardian under the headline “I Fantasize About Group Sex With Old, Obese Men,” or the Reddit user whose 14-year-old likeness was gruesomely “unzipped” in a PSA warning against online predators. Other stock regulars have inspired online fan bases, like the cheery Ariane, who was christened “The Overexposed Model” (dot Tumblr dot com) after eagle-eyed interneters began spotting her everywhere: travel agencies in Germany, grocery stores in the Philippines, weight-loss pop-up ads in the States and the list goes on.

Cases like these are a minority, however—and a sliver-sized one at that. There are hundreds of millions of stock images available online featuring countless models of all ages, sizes, races and nationalities, most of whom are anonymous. But in the spirit of putting a name to at least one of the faces, I talked to Faiven Feshazion, a 25-year-old actress, host and sometimes-stock photo model to find out what it's like on set (how do they get all those women to laugh alone with their salads?), whether she ever worries that she'll see her photo next to a kinky sex confessional, and how the heck anyone gets into this line of work.
As it turns out, the answer to the latter is pretty straightforward: Feshazion does commercial acting like television ads and infomercials, and when she submits herself for castings, the option is right there. “It will be like, ‘Oh! An Ajax commercial. Oh! Stock photography,'” she explains. “So if you fit the description, you just submit yourself because it’s easy money and you really don’t do anything. It’s just, ‘Business attire. Meet in Brooklyn at 9 a.m. We’ll have food there. Let’s do this!’”

The catch, as the more unfortunate cases demonstrate, is that stock models have no say over where the photos end up. As long as they've signed a release contract, the photos are free to be licensed by almost anyone. And unlike, say, a television spot, which can pay out residuals on top of the initial fee once it airs, stock is a one-time buyout. “It’s nothing—like 200 bucks for a couple hours. And you have no rights in perpetuity.

Source: Hilary George-Parkin/luckymag.com
Image: alehidalgo on pixabay.com

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