Here’s an example of having the right image, at the right time, and for the right price.
I shot this photograph back in 2004 with my lowly Canon PowerShot G3 — you know, the one with only 3.8 megapixels… or less than what most smartphones offer these days? This image is yet another instance of where the color version didn’t look great (a gray rainy day with a gloomy cloud cover, flat lighting, muddy colors, etc.), but it was salvageable when converted into black and white, and then heavily post-processed to bring out the shadow details of the locomotive and the trees in the background.
Once I was satisfied with the results, I posted it to my old blog… and there it sat. Over a period of many months, I totally forgot about both the image and the post.
But not Google. Google cataloged the tags and metadata from the post and indexed it for all the world to see.
And that’s how it was found… a couple of years later… by an interested party… via a Google search.
Turns out, the graphic designer for a small music group, Poor Blue, needed an image of a steam locomotive for the design of their new music CD she was putting together, and she wanted to know if we could work something out that would be mutually beneficial to both parties? I jumped at the opportunity, and the wonderful results are what you see published below.
In this instance, my payment was in the form of a copy of the product (so I can see what was done with my image, post a copy of it for others to see here on my website, and use it as a portfolio piece in the future), plus printed credit on the product — which you can see near the bottom of the right pane in the image above. An unexpected bonus? The band was so happy with the results that we were invited to their party for the CD, which we regretfully could not attend due to it being in North Carolina, but we were happy to be included on the invite.
I know some people will take me to task for: a) not obtaining a financial transaction of some sort; b) not making sure that I elevated photography as a profession in the eyes of customers; c) not thinking of the children; d) insert outrage of choice here; etc., etc.
And my answer to all the haters on the interwebs is thus: if I were a working pro again, then yes — this would have been a cash transaction, and if they could not meet my price, then they were free to seek an image from some other source. But photography is currently just a hobby for me and this was not for a major record label or an industry giant — this was for a small music group that was willing to negotiate something that worked for everyone.
And I’m fine with that.
Edit: I’ve had a number of requests about the music of Poor Blue; I’ve been able to find only a smattering of their work on YouTube — several songs can be found here, the title track of the album my image was used on can be found here, and I found a live performance of the band here (with links to more in the sidebar).