In my October Braindump last year, I shared a couple of instances where my wedding photos had been used by local businesses around Kerala without my permission.
I still remember when I saw the first one of these the year I got married. I'm ashamed to say that I felt a little excited by it because look at me! Modeling and whatnot! The excitement vanished upon realising that models actually make good money doing what they do. Or doing what I did for free on my wedding day in any case but let's not get into the hours and hours of smiling for cameras until it became impossible to produce plosive sounds with my mouth.
In the past almost three years, people have sent me quite a lot of photos of me smiling at them from billboards, of Shane and I looking all lovey-dovey in advertisements for "wedding centers", of photography studios passively claiming to have taken my picture, of beauty parlours advertising that they do bridal make-up,...the list is endless.
I wish I'd saved all of those pictures for this post but alas, I have only a few. Henceforth, I shall save every one of them so if you're in Kerala and you spot one of these do send them along.
But right now, it's time for that list.
This is one that I've shared before and here's what I said about it about it at the time:
It's an ad for a wedding center, although the meaning of the term "wedding center" is usually quite ambiguous where I come from. It could mean a wedding auditorium or a store that sells all wedding related items. Either way, our forced, fake romance during a photoshoot in front of family and friends who were trying to make us laugh in the background is supposed to convince people to shop with these guys or worse, get married. Pfft!
Secular Beauty Parlour
I call them secular because notice how there are three kinds of brides displayed? One's a Hindu (me), one's a Christain and one's a Muslim. Of course, the assumption is that there are only three religions that matter but still, props for effort.
Fake Fotography Studio
This studio is literally called 'Better Fotography Studio'. But you know what might actually be better for their business? If they used their own fotographs for their promotion.
"Bridal make-up is not our forte."
This is another one I've shared before.
My thoughts at the time:
That's a picture of me from my wedding day (the one at the bottom if you hadn't guessed already), adorning the door to a random beauty parlour somewhere in Kerala. My immediate reaction was, why the hell would they not put me on top? followed by wait a minute - YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHTS TO THAT PHOTOGRAPH!
My thoughts now:
I can see that Bridal make-up is the last item in their list of services which could possibly be the reason why threaded eyebrows went on top and I got stuck at the bottom half of the door. You know what I think they're trying to communicate? (read point number 4 heading ⬆️)
Personalised Photo figure Photo Frame Gift for Anniversary gift Return gift Wedding Gift Birthday Gift for your Friends or Family & Relatives Size: A4
I literally just copied and pasted the name of this product as displayed on amazon.in:
When I first saw this, my immediate reaction was, JEZUZZZ that's expensive for something so easy to produce.
My second reaction was, how nice that Shane's torso could provide enough surface area for a two-sentence long quote!
I know you want to read my third reaction but I'm just going to leave you in the dark. Much like I was after I got blinded upon actually reading that quote.
Facebook Profile Pictures
These, I have no problem with.
I find them flattering, even. Here's what I've said before:
They raise my value in comparison to when I'm used as a stock photograph. Although, people have been known to use stock images of potatoes as their profile pictures but...meh...this is not too bad.
We studied in the same school for seven years, exchanged about two sentences to each other in that duration, went to college in two different countries and started speaking properly for the first time on Facebook a whole two years after passing out of school. That's completely different from meeting your future spouse on a matrimonial website so no, you can't use our picture to advertise this family approved, Indian version of online dating.
These were the only guys I got in touch with after our wedding planner sent me their details. My wedding planner was pretty miffed at their audacity and because I saw his message first thing in the morning on a weekend, and because the non-confrontational side of my brain wasn't fully functioning yet, I gave in to the impulse to start a fight. I think they took it down soon.
"Golden Couple" Contest by Manappuram Jewellers
We did not model for this. We never got paid to promote their campaign. And they do not have the rights to our wedding photograph.
So maybe before they award gold to the winners of this contest, they should consider sending across a small share of it to the "golden couple" that inadvertently modelled for them without pay? Seems fair to me 😉
I'm planning to make this one of those posts that gets updated each time I get a new "entry". I wish I had all of the photos that had been sent to me over the years but at least from now on, I have a place to store them.
Also, no one is allowed to remark on my selective laziness wherein, I don't mind spending hours sweeping through my library to put this post together, but couldn't be bothered to do something about the actual photographs being used without my permission.