A couple weeks ago I was contacted by a friend in Puerto Rico with an incredible story. She was walking through a gas station and noticed my face on a box. Without knowing, I had become the face of a brand.
This story may seem pretty unbelievable but let me back up and explain how this happened. When I first got into photography about fifteen years ago I took pictures of anyone and anything around me and put many of these shots up for sale on stock websites. When I met Patrick I got him into stock as well and if we couldn't find someone to shoot, we would model for each other. Ten years later, after the "money shot" had been taken, all of that hard work finally paid off.
I wish I could take credit for the photograph but I have to admit, Patrick was the true mastermind behind it. It may look like we are in some sort of swanky NY photo studio but in reality we were in my apartment and I was wearing my roommate's suit. The session was going fairly well until Patrick suggested that we add some money as a prop to the shot. We worked through a few different ideas like fanning the money in front of my face and throwing the money before we landed on the concept that will forever be named "the money shot." Patrick suggested that I fan the money out and hold it toward the camera. Patrick crouched low and used a wide angle lens to elongate the frame and make the bills seem larger than life.
To be honest, I had forgotten about "the money shot" until two weeks ago when I saw it on the front of a major gas station incense brand. When I saw my face in a retail store, advertising an incredible product, I felt like all of the work I had put in ten years ago was finally paying off.
Do I feel like a celebrity? No, I'm still the same person I always was. But just because I don't feel like a celebrity doesn't mean that I'm not one. You don't always get to decide how famous you will become and in this case, it was a big surprise. The last few weeks have been whirlwind of emotions. Eventually I want to visit Puerto Rico to see it in person but I want things to calm down a bit before I make the trip.
Over the last ten years Patrick has made considerable money on "the money shot" and the sales continue to roll in. As of today, he has pulled in over $9.
Sadly, I have not benefited financially from this celebrity endorsement, but I feel like this has simply opened the door for me. My friends and family already call me Don and if this incense ever comes to America, I'm sure more brands will be asking for my endorsement as well.
I've never gotten rich, monetarily speaking, from shooting (or modeling for) micro stock. But after this experience I think I might give it another shot. In ten more years, who knows where you'll see my face.