About a month and a half ago, I was minding my own business when an old Elementary school friend DM’d me a screenshot of a Facebook post she found with my photo as the cover image.
I was in shock.
Popsugar used my photo for a fashion post they put up on their site. I repeat, Popsugar used my photo.
Wait. When did this happen?
How come I didn’t know about this?
I had a dozen questions and a mixed bag of emotions because I suddenly realized that dun dun dun dun… I had recently deleted that very photo off of my Instagram.
I’m featured! Wait, no I’m not.
I searched for the article and, lo and behold, my photo was there right next to the article titled “28 Ways to Style Hunter Boots That Don’t Involve Black Leggings and a Raincoat”.
I clicked on the link and frantically scrolled through to find my photo somewhere among the 28.
And there it was. Or wasn’t.
Since the photo was no longer up on my Instagram, it was just white space (see below) with the subtitle “To pull off a monochrome look with a quirky printed sweater” above it.
My first response was ugh, why did I delete that photo?
Then I realized, I did nothing wrong.
If I had known then I would have kept the photo up there.
Hello Popsugar, are you there? It’s me with the quirky printed sweater.
So then I thought, no big deal.
I decided to repost the photo, tag Popsugar and the writer.
I figured, they’ll get it and refresh the old link with my photo. Easy peasy, right?
I did get two heart emojis from the writer though. So, she acknowledged it. Sorta.
So the next day, I sent Popsugar an email.
I mean, I don’t think it’s so crazy to want credit for my own photo.
Close, but no cigar.
Three days later, I got an automated email response back. Essentially saying, we’ll get back to you. Almost two months later, I still have no response.
So then I thought, I’ll just DM the writer.
Without proofreading and much thinking through, I sent her a series of DMs explaining the situation and showing her the screenshots of what I was referring to.
Specifically, when I google the article, my photo comes up right next to it.
But if you google it now, my photo no longer comes up as the cover image for the search result. The original Facebook post of the article, however, is still using my image (see below).
I honestly hoped that she would be able to get my photo back on the post, along with my photo credit. And that this would be the end of this saga.
It’s been about two weeks and she still hasn’t seen my message.
Things aren’t looking so sweet.
Maybe she’s not responding because of the class action lawsuit against Popsugar for using influencer photos and making money off of affiliated links.
Or maybe, her inbox is flooded with DMs and she hasn’t gotten around to mine.
Either way, I’ve hit a wall on who I can contact about this.
I realize that on one hand, this may seem like a silly thing to get worked up over.
On the other hand, Popsugar used my photo without ever notifying me or asking for my permission.
Not to mention, my photo was used to promote and sell Hunter boots.
They’re getting paid from whatever they’re making off of the affiliate links and I can’t even get photo credit.
Reclaiming my photo
This has been such a disappointing experience.
Especially since I’ve been reading Popsugar since high school and never ever imagined that a nobody like me would end up on there.
And when it actually happened, I had NO IDEA. Until someone else stumbled upon it.
So it’s time to take matters back into my own hands.
I’m reclaiming my photo.
As the saying goes, if you want it done right, do it yourself.
Shop this look
Thank you for stopping.
See you in my next post!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This is not an ad. All opinions are my own.