photos: Hey… I shot that!
Work has been kinda busy lately, so I’ve fallen behind on my “3 days a week” writing self-assignment. But to be honest, I was never very good with homework, including that which I assign myself. Leading up to the weekend, there had been a lot of projects at the office, and a lot of stretching my brain in new directions–and old ones, digging up a lot of coding/programming knowledge I haven’t had to use in decades.1 About all I was looking forward to was some good brunches, plenty of time in air-conditioned comfort and maybe getting some video game time in with The Elder Scrolls Online.
And I did get to all of the above, but I also got a nice little ego boost in the mail. Two months ago, I was approached by a non-profit magazine asking if they could purchase one of my photographs for the cover of an upcoming issue. Even though it wasn’t my first time being asked, it was still really exciting since the last time wasn’t for a cover. Seriously. THE COVER.
And seeing my name/photo credit listed under the table of contents wasn’t too shabby either:
I don’t really brag, nor do I humblebrag, but it’s hard not to gush a little when I open the mail and see my photo2 on the cover of a magazine. Especially when it was a totally random shot taken while walking to dinner a few years ago, that I’d already modified with a filter or two. And frankly, I could use a little boost from time to time.
And it’s just about two years after I had a picture–of a cocktail, naturally–appear in Amtrak’s Arrive Magazine. So while I haven’t exactly hit the big leagues yet, I like that the photos were of things I was already interested in rather than paid gigs… yet. I did use the money from this last photo to buy a new camera and I’ve started looking at some freelance photography requests online. Nothing too major yet though, as I am far from being a professional, at least that’s what I think. But maybe it’s time I started charging for those cocktail photos littering my instagram feed. 😉
Lessons learned (so far) from this:
- Describe/Tag everything. For my blog, I’m making sure that the images and photos in posts are properly described and well tagged. If it’s instagram, facebook or flickr, I make sure that locations/venues/events are tagged when I post. (Yes, I know tagging can be annoying if you overdo it.)
- Make sure my photos on flickr are properly licensed. Most of mine are ok to use with attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives. Not that everyone will respect that, but generally if a large company wants to use photos found online, they know better than to just steal them.
- (For now) Just keep taking pictures of things I love. I’m not about to post ads looking for photo work, and it feels like that might make it less fun–again, for now–and as noted before, my day job can get pretty darn busy!3
I can’t remember who it was, but someone did tell me that once you get paid for something three times, you’re a professional, so maybe? In any case, I’ll enjoy patting myself on the back for as long as the good feeling lasts and hope that someone’s looking to use something else of mine soon!
1 I may be able to write HTML code off the top of my head–sometimes even when drunk–but once you go beyond that into other languages, I am mostly lost at sea. Mostly.
2 Shot on iPhone 4, mind you.
3 However, if a restaurant/bar out there really likes my photos… let’s talk.