With apologies to Mom

Wildflowers of the Carolinas

Two years ago when my first published photo hit the market, I had already prattled ad nauseam about the subject due in no small part to the ebullient enthusiasm I felt at being contacted about, let alone paid for a picture that would be included in a book.  And when I received my complimentary copy of Adventure Publications’s Wildflowers of the Carolinas, I spent the first week permanently creasing the pages by flipping through it and looking at the image that carried my name and copyright.

Um, page 96 if you’re curious.

Since then my photography has been licensed several times for several uses, and by organizations as diverse as Cornell University and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  And in one case, the pictures and corresponding blog post were licensed together.  But did I mention those things?  Did I jump up and down and post about the good news?  Did I even send an e-mail to Mom to let her know?

Um, nope.

I don’t know why I stopped doing those things.  Part of it I can blame on the convenience of Facebook and Twitter.  Tidbits like these events became easy fodder for social networks, small soundbites that could be tossed out with nary a consideration.  But what of those who don’t use social networks?

Um, oops.

So when I recently changed by blog’s theme and added my Twitter feed to the sidebar, this error came back to get my attention.  Mom noticed a little something about one of my photos being on the cover of a book.  In response, she sent an e-mail that included this:

You never mentioned one of your photos was on a book cover. Anything else I would be interested in?

She meant it with all the pride a doting mother could bestow on her beloved child, yet her phrasing was eerily biting in directness.  I laughed at myself because it smelled of the oft sarcastic tone I employ when ribbing someone, a skill that earned me kudos many years ago by my employees and bosses who spoke in terms of my ability to insult someone in a way that left them thanking me for it afterward.

Yet childish giggling aside, Mom’s missive did remind me that I’d grown all too comfortable with throwing such news into the social network queue with the idea that everyone would see it.

Um, not so much.

Heck, I even started putting together a new gallery on Facebook where I could show which photos were licensed and for what, a project in direct response to many people there who congratulated me each time while asking to see the photos in question.  It seemed like an appropriate blog chapter as well, but did I even think about doing that here?

Um, uh-uh.

So with apologies to Mom for my slacker tendencies in this area, I’m now acting to correct this error.

First, I’ve created a new category called Photo News that will include all relevant material, including old posts (once I move them over there) and all future posts (as I create them).

Second, I’m beginning a new series of posts to cover all licensed photos.  I intend to show the whole original picture along with the previously posted image that brought someone to my table with their photographic cup held out with hope.

And third, I will use the new series as the basis for my new Facebook album that will show to those folks which images I’ve licensed and to whom those images were licensed.

Um, yippee!

Oh, and I promise to do a better job in the future of sharing that information here as well as on social networks.  I owe it to the innumerable fans who throng outside my home waiting for yet another visual crumb from my vast yet elusive photographic table.

Um, whatev!

8 thoughts on “With apologies to Mom”

  1. I respect your dilemma, but fortunately in my case both parents are on Facebook, which is still the main place where I share such news. I’ve also started asking for a contributor’s copy of each book so I can give it to my Mom!

    1. I suggested to Mom that she consider signing up on Facebook (What was I thinking?!). Like you, that’s where I tend to throw these kinds of updates. And on Twitter.

      In cases where my photos were licensed for a book, I’ve asked for a contributor’s copy as well. But that doesn’t work the same way when they’re used on interpretive signs!

  2. Well, Jason, how DARE you forget to share your joy with Mom? I understand your position. I don’t share my good news, either. I keep it filed away in a little inbox folder labeled “special”.

    1. I felt bad, Mary, but I didn’t do it intentionally. I just fell into the habit and didn’t think about it. Once she asked I realized how many times I hadn’t told her or posted about it here. Oops!

  3. Ummm, I know whereof you speak. I too have been recently castigated by those who complain that now they have to go to the blog to find out things that once would have come to them in private e-mails. It’s true of course, and there is something in the complaint that makes me uneasy about the nature of life lived publicly. A conundrum.

    1. I hear you, Clive. In my case I’ve been blogging for eight years and good friends and my family know this really is the place to look if they want to keep up with me. Facebook and Twitter come in as the places for minutiae while the blog remains my story and photographic platform.

      I also know about that feeling of unease because I went through that in the first few years of blogging: weighing what goes here and what goes in personal messages or phone calls, and how often do I duplicate it in both places.

    1. No worries, Mom. We’ll get caught up. I sent you the highlights already I think, but I’ll do a bit more in-depth coverage as I post about them.

      The US Army Corps of Engineers surprised me more than Cornell, but that’s mostly because I didn’t know they worked in the wildlife area (though it makes sense if they’re responsible for building or maintaining waterways and the like).

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