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I sold a photo!

If I were a professional photographer, I guess this would be a very ordinary event. However since I’m not a professional photographer, this is kind of exciting! A while back I was contacted by someone from a graphic design firm, Bluestone + Associates. The firm had been contracted to do a project for Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, and as part of this project, they wanted to use one of my photos.

Honey Locust Seed Pod

Their plan was to use my photo as the background image for an interpretive sign. It would be enlarged to be 30 inches by 20 inches (76 cm by 51 cm), and then overlaid with text and some smaller illustrations. In addition the design firm told me that I would credited as the photographer on the sign. While we were discussing their plans, they sent me a mock-up of how my image would be used.

Mock-up of the Interpretive Sign

I actually remember taking this photo. I was using a point-and-shoot camera, and I had struggled with my camera’s auto-focus to convince it that yes, I really did want it to target that little thing in the tree far away. After taking a number of blurry shots, I was lucky enough to get this one.

I didn’t ask the design firm how they found my particular image, but after we had come to an agreement on the sale, I tried searching for “honey locust seed pod” on Google Images. Okay, I didn’t find my photo on the first page of results, or the second… or the eleventh. Basically I was unable to ever find my photo using Google. However when I tried doing the same search via Bing Images, it turned up in the fifth row of results. It kind of makes you wonder what criteria different search services use to sort their image results.

At any rate, I am very pleased and flattered that my photo will be on display at an arboretum. I may never sell another photo again, but it’s nice thinking that this one will be on display in the kind of place that I like to visit.

Update: My photo installed at arboretum.

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

29 thoughts on “I sold a photo!

  1. I am totally with you on this. I wish we could sell more photos, but we are not professionals either. It is exciting when someone other than friends and family like your photos and even be willing to buy one.

    1. I’m told that some people sell their photos as “stock photos”. They don’t make much per photo, so they are depending on selling quite a few, and even at that, I think they’re just earning a little pocket money.

      It may not make money, but it has been fun to self-publish photos on the web so at least some of the better photos get seen and maybe someone will like one or two.

  2. Congratulations! I gotta say, that is a very impressive shot for a point-and-shoot camera. I’ll bet there is some irony there for you. Did you say something like, “uh, ok. But did you see all these shots I took with my really, really good camera???!!!”. Anyway, congrats again.

      1. Well, then, it’s a good thing I’m completely speechless. You have left me wondering why I have invested a couple thousand so far. I had no idea one is capable to get those great shallow depth of field shots with P&S. I looked at your Flickr stream. You have many, many wonderful shots.

        1. Well, thank you! I’m using a Panasonic Lumix right now, and I have been amazed what a good job it’s doing on macros. I also typically do a bit of editing to most photos before uploading them to the Internet (correcting white balance, adjusting contrast, cropping for better composition, etc.).

          I was given a used Canon DSLR, but there’s dirt in it somewhere. After following the instructions for cleaning the sensor, I detected no improvement. So there it sits all sad in my closet.

          I miss being able to manually focus (I used to have a film-based SLR – yes, I’m that old). And I wish I could control DOF to achieve bokeh affects. Oh, well.

    1. Thank you, marviiilous! I just stopped by your site to see if I could learn your name. I didn’t catch your name, but the photo of you by the staircase bannister was so cute. 🙂

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