Shubnum Khan Features in Posters & Advertisements Across the Globe! South African Author Shares ‘Cautionary Tale’ of Stock Images in Tweets
Shubnum Khan Features in Posters & Advertisements Across the Globe (Photo Credits: @ShubnumKhan/ Twitter)

It all started six years ago when she was a student. The South African author Shubnum Khan participated in a free photoshoot because she wanted some nice headshots. It was natural for her to not think much about it until one of her friends messaged her to say that she was spotted on an immigration poster in a Canadian newspaper. Curious to know, Shubnum studied the picture and recalled the time it was taken. She soon discovered that her same photo was being used in several posters and advertisements promoting different products all over the world. Shubnum explained her ‘Cautionary Tale’ of stock images in a series of tweets on June 28 to aware the youths to be little careful.

The image of the South African author was seen on a McDonald’s ad in China, various immigration posters, skin products and even dating websites. “After some WTF moments, a friend reminded me we did a photoshoot a few years ago. When I was at university I heard about a free photoshoot by a CT photographer who promised us professional portraits in exchange for shooting us,” reads Shubnum’s tweet.

As she begins with her 'Cautionary Tale' of stock images!

The photographer took photos of 100 various faces of all ages and races in Durban. Much like her friends, even she was excited. However, Shubnum admitted on Twitter how she unknowingly gave a photographer the rights of her image and found her stock photograph used commercially across the world. The participants signed a release form at the beginning, and Shubnum thought it was to permit him to use the photos of his portfolio. But she did not read the small print.

She was excited and overlooked the small print.

“If I’m not welcoming immigrants to Canada, I’m selling carpets in New York, leading treks in Cambodia, or looking for love in France,” mocks Shubnum.

Shubnum appears to sell everything!

And apart from all the odd moments, she did not receive a single penny for any of these advertisements. Most importantly, they are misleading, dishonest and falsely promoting these products.

She did not receive a single penny.

Shubnum Khan’s advice to young people!

She further informed that her photographer would take the photo down as it could affect her work as an author. Shubnum is a South African author and an artist who is famous for her 2011 novel Onion Tears that records the lives and journey of three generations of Indian Muslim women in South Africa. At present, she is working on her second novel.