Would you like to wake up as a meme-character one day? What would you feel if your nickname was “The Everywhere Girl/Boy” because images of you spread to every corner of the internet? Would you go public or stay anonymous? While you’re thinking about these unanticipated questions, we’re sharing with you a list of people who found themselves in these exact situations according to and against their will.
Meet Hide the Pain Harold, The Everywhere Girl, and other stock photo celebrities whose images have been viral for decades.
András Arató (Hide the Pain Harold)
If you always thought that stock photo models are mostly young and female, András Arató – also known as Hide the Pain Harold – will quickly break this assumption. A retired man from Hungary, who is an electrical engineer by profession, became a famous stock photo model a decade ago because of his authentic facial expression.
Most often, he was featured in ads as a call center employee. He also took part in various photoshoots, the concepts of which were used to illustrate senior people doing sports and having an active lifestyle. These things were meant to look fun (as they often are for many people), but András Arató was smiling in every picture. However, for some reason, his facial expression looked more like he’s hiding pain and faking a smile instead of enjoying the process. This turned out to be so relatable to people worldwide that one day, András Arató woke up as a stock photo celebrity and a meme character almost overnight.
Now András Arató is 75 years old. He has his own Instagram, portfolio website, and presents at TED talks sharing what it is like to be a meme character. He has also been featured and interviewed by the world’s leading media such as BBC and The Independent.
Rebecca Ariane Givens (The Overexposed Stock Image Model)
Another stock photo model you have definitely seen but probably did not know who she was is Rebecca Ariane Givens. On the internet, she’s often referred to as ‘The Overexposed Stock Image Model’ or ‘That Asian Girl”. Images of Rebecca Ariane Givens have been used in thousands of ads by different companies, from travel agencies to gyms and cafes.
At some point she became so popular on the web, that internet users started creating themed blogs where they collected every single ad with the model. However, this approach was not appreciated by that Asian girl. Unlike Hide the Pain Harold, Ariane Givens prefers to remain unknown. You can hardly find a couple of interviews with her answering questions on how it is to be a worldwide famous stock photo model.
As Rebecca Ariane Givens did not want to take advantage of her popularity as a stock model, a journalist Niccolo Massariello hated the day when he agreed to pose for a stock photoshoot. He turned out to be so frustrated by his experience that he even wrote an article for Vice with the title “Appearing in Stock Photos Was the Biggest Mistake of My Life”.
The story is the following. Trying to distract from a painful breakup, Niccolo Massariello decided to pose for his friend. He signed the papers (model releases) but he did not bother with the details. A couple of months later, he noticed his image on the website called “Those Catholic Men”. The photos of him were used to promote products all over Saudi Arabia as well. He realized that now he has no power over these images and the only thing left is to hate the day when he agreed to pose for a stock photoshoot.
Meanwhile, Niccolo Massariello did not end up writing just one article. You can also listen to his story on TEDxBratislava.
Jennifer Anderson (The Everywhere Girl)
Imagine how you would feel if you once modeled for a stock photoshoot, and later, your images popped up in every corner of the internet? This is what happened to Jennifer Anderson who is now known as ‘The Everywhere Girl’ due to this reason.
In her interview to the New York Post, she said that she spent two days posing as a college student for the only stock photoshoot in her life. However, the concept appeared to be in demand among different companies and educational institutions so that she got on the covers of many dictionaries, pamphlets, and other printed copies. Even her nephews of different ages found her images in their textbooks at school.
Here’s a video recorded by Jennifer herself, telling her story of becoming a stock photo celebrity.
Jesper Bruun (World’s Most Downloaded Man)
A Danish model Jesper Bruun is the fifth on our list but this does not mean he is the least known. On the contrary, he is called the world’s most downloaded man by Fernando Martins. A Brazilian photographer goes on a journey to meet the “World’s Most Downloaded Man” in Denmark. In a joking manner, he says that because of the ubiquity of Jasper’s images, there’s a great competition in the stock photography industry.
Although the video gained hundreds of thousands of views and was featured on Fast Company, TIME, and The Verge, there’s no official confirmation of the fact that Jesper Bruun is the most downloaded man in the world. He’s just a nice-looking stock photography model whose images have been featured in numerous advertising campaigns all over the world.
Although this article was written for entertainment purposes, the conclusion you come to after reading it is quite important. You should always read the papers that you sign unless becoming a stock photo celebrity is what you intentionally want. Or better yet, always consider the fine print.
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