I like taking pictures.
I’ve been taking the kids’ school pictures for years, and I’m always looking for interesting things to catch and keep digitally, either with my phone (which, of course, is much easier to carry around), or with my simple digital camera.
I’ve also taken pictures in the last couple of years for friends, and their kids, for senior pictures and invitation/announcements for graduations.
I never planned on “going pro”, or having any kind of business built around it.
For me, it’s an enjoyable hobby.
But last week, I was stunned – when I received an email from an Assistant Editor at Oxford University Press… asking if they could get permission to publish a picture that I took and posted on this blog!
The gentleman asked me what I thought it would cost them to get the permission and the high resolution photo original for a book that they’re going to be putting together by an author that publishes books on architecture.
That night, I came home, looked up the Oxford University Press, did my research on the author and the books that he creates.
I was dumbfounded.
I was flummoxed.
I was a little sick to my stomach.
What if this was just a hoax?
And why did they want my picture, and how did they find this simple little picture I took to test the light quality while I was taking pictures of my kids???
Well, after checking out everything I could….
I decided to take a chance.
After all, it’s not like they were asking to use a picture that was really personal.
This was a simple “one-off” picture, that I happened to like because of the way the light fell.
So I wrote back to him, telling him that “honestly, I was stunned”.
That he could have my permission to use the photo, and did he want anymore of that particular location, as it’s right here, in my city? And as far as payment was concerned… put my name as the contributor of the photo, and… send me a copy of the published book?
Well, today, I got an email back from the same gentleman.
They’re going to publish my photo, and they’d be happy to send me a copy of the book!
I think that he was surprised that I didn’t actually ask for any money.
Others that I told about this opportunity, asked me the same thing.
And I told them – I’m not concerned about any money I might get from one little picture.
This is my hobby, not my profession, and if I start telling people they can’t use my pictures unless they pay me? It won’t be fun for me anymore. It’ll be work.
And I like this hobby. I don’t want it to not be fun anymore.
So, I’ll not be asking for anything more than the recognition that I took the picture, and a copy of the book, so I can show my friends and family.
And I’ll be happy. Because of a picture I took for the light…..