Yes, it's a story about photography (again!). Please bear with me! I will eventually write a post about something else. :)
About a year ago I was contacted by Getty Images, which is a stock photography company that is affiliated with flickr. They saw my photos on flickr and picked about a dozen or so that they wanted to make available for license. I was very excited to have my photography acknowledged in this way, but, honestly, I never thought anything would come of it. If anyone did want to license one of my images, I figured I'd make mere pennies out of the deal at most. Also, there are literally millions of images available on Getty and what was the likelihood of someone finding one of mine and then actually paying money to use it? In fact, I only finished the paperwork (model releases, etc) on two of the twelve images and the remainder languished in my inbox waiting to be completed.
Now fast forward to about a month ago. Eric fowarded me an email with a subject of "Royalties". I had no clue what the email was about (but I'm sure you know where this is headed). It was an email from PayPal showing that a nice little bit of money was deposited in our account from Getty Images. My jaw absolutely dropped!
It turns out that someone in Canada was making some kind of pamphlet and paid a chunk of money to license this picture to use in it. It's not even a picture that I like very much! And, I took it shortly after first getting my camera when I really didn't even know what I was doing!
So, how much were my royalties? While not an amazing amount of money, it was the first money I've earned since becoming a stay-at-home mom 8 years ago and it was (almost) enough for me to buy my newest toy...
It's an 85mm f/1.8 lens. It's fantastic for portraits and is great for low light photography and creates beautiful bokeh (the pretty blur in the background). I've only been able to play with it a little bit so far, but I think I'm really going to love it!
I may never get another one of my pictures licensed again, but at least now I can say that I'm a professional photographer (ha ha!). And, you can better believe that I'm finally getting the rest of the paperwork done on the remainder of the images that Getty requested just in case lightning does strike in the same place twice!