World’s Most Downloaded Man

Posted on 4/18/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Everywhere Brazilian photographer Ferando Martins, head of Brazil’s Câmera Clara Photography Studio, looked he kept seeing the same face. Jesper Bruun, a native of Denmark, was everywhere. He was a tourist in Australia, a rockstar in France, a family man in Bolivia.  He and a young woman were customers for Banco do Brasil and he is also pictured as a call center worker for Deutsche Bank. Martins’ customers seemed to prefer using images of Bruun rather than images Martins could produce.
Martins calls Bruun the “the world’s most downloaded man,” and he decided to travel to Denmark to try to learn Bruun’s secrets. See this video of the odyssey.

But, Who Is The Most Downloaded Man?

I got to wondering if Bruun really could be the “world’s most downloaded man” when no one knows his name.  Of course, we must remove politicians, sports stars and entertainment figures from consideration. Their pictures are downloaded frequently because they are known for their accomplishments. The only accomplishment Bruun might be famous for is being able to look good in a picture. His name is definitely not a household word.
I have no doubt that the world’s most often seen model lives in Denmark because that is the home of Yuri Arcurs, the “world’s most successful microstock photographer” who licenses over 10 million individual image uses per year. In addition to Yuri there are a number of other very successful Danish photographers who have learned from Yuri and follow in his footsteps.

So I contacted Yuri. Had Martins done the same before he made his video he would have learned that while Bruun is one of Yuri’s regular models, images of him are not the most downloaded. The top two male models are Ole R or Rodrigo R. At the moment Yuri’s staff is still counting to determine who is actually number 1.

I did a quick check of some of the top downloaded images on iStockphoto and found 11 images of Ole R.  Collectively these 11 images have been downloaded more than 59,700 times from iStockphoto alone. Since only a small percentage of Yuri’s total downloads are from iStockphoto, and these same images are on many other site, these 11 images alone have probably been downloaded several hundred thousand times. Just one of the 11 has been downloaded from iStockphoto more than 12,000 times. On top of this Yuri currently has a total of 488 images of Ole R. in his collection.

When Yuri’s staff finishes the count they plan to file a claim with Guinness World Records on behalf of their top female and male models. It is highly unlikely that any model who hasn’t worked for Yuri Arcurs will come close to beating the record. At this point Yuri’s team doesn’t have any idea who the top female will be.

For photographers the important lesson is that a huge number of the people interested in paying to use images are very happy to use the same image someone else has used as long as it is (1) a good image; (2) can be found easily and (3) is available at the right price.

Copyright © 2012 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff