Annette and I publish photos on this stock photo site - www.sxc.hu It's based out of Hungary and offers over 100,000 photos for free. A few times per week we receive emails from people asking for permission to use one of the over 400 photos which Annette and I have uploaded. They use the photos for whatever kind of design project they are doing... magazine illustrations, advertising, textbooks, etc.
We were in Argentina last week and received an email from someone asking to use a Mexican party photo for the front an invitation for some political event in Mexico. I wrote saying, "Sure! You may you use our photo," and I mentioned that I live in Mexico and am familiar with their political organization (it's the national electoral institute). Yesterday I got an email back saying:
The world sure is small... i just looked you up online and recognized your photo. We are neighbors. I live in the house across the street, the one with the palm tree.
Can you believe that?! He gets a photo from a hungarian stock photo site, and the one he chooses happens to be from his across-the-street neighbor who he doesn't really even know (we had only waved, said "buenos dias" and stuff like that). I was pulling the car in last night and saw this neighbor. We'd never actually met, but since the email included his name, I ventured "Isaac....?"
He turned, we both smiled and we walked to the middle of the street, and for the first time in the 8.5 years that I've lived here, we shook hands and laughed at our amazing "small world" story.
Click here for a photo of the two of us, Isaac and myself, holding the party invitation on which he used our photo.