Recently, I received the honor of having one of my images published, and thought I’d share how the image came to be, how it became published, and what that series of events taught me.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Allen-Lambe house fits right into Wichita’s College Hill neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas, my hometown. Handsome and solid, the house claims attention on a reasonably busy street. After passing by many times over the decades my family wanted to go see it. The house is open to the public for tours by appointment and managed by a volunteer organization. On my trip home in 2010, I found a window of time for us to go inside. We had a great time exploring this treasure.
Fast-forward two and a half years to 2013. In February, Cynthia Mines, publisher and editor of the Wichita Times Online Travel Kansas contacted me over e-mail to ask to use a photo that I had taken of the exterior of the house. I was up to my elbows in a conference in NYC, attending a show that included my work, and shooting NYC like mad. But I answered promptly.
Cynthia found my work in my photostream on Flickr. I’ve been a member since 2006 and periodically get requests to use images. I was elated! She was specifically interested in the photo of the Allen Lambe house because it met her needs for the article she was writing about historic homes in Kansas.
I asked for photo credit and for a copy of the magazine to be sent to my parents because I thought it would give them good memories and that they would be proud of the place, having been to the place, and of me. I had asked a different publisher for photo credit in the prior months and when denied chose to walk away. Cynthia agreed with fantastic good cheer.
As a result, my photo is in the March issues of Travel Kansas on page 18 along with appropriate photo credit! And we’re working on getting a print copy of the online magazine to my parents. Thank you, Cynthia! Here it is as published.
The benefit doesn’t stop there. The context of the photo taught me much more. It is nested along with beautiful photographs by Harland Schuster from Morrill, Kansas of 14 additional noteworthy homes in the state including The Dalton Gang Hideout, Carrie Nation Home, Eisenhower Home, Amelia Earhart’s birthplace, and more. Cynthia’s article provides tantalizing information about each home that gives you good reason to explore. And she achieves her intended purpose. I can’t wait to check out more of Kansas! And I want to look at more of Harland’s work.
This unfolding was a fantastic opportunity for me to connect with where I grew up and with my family and to find out new and interesting places to see with them on my next visit.
In summary, here’s what I learned:
- Being published doesn’t always happen right after you make the image.
- Share your work online so others can find it.
- Answer inquiries promptly even if you are up to your elbows in something else.
- It’s all about the publisher’s audience’s needs and how your work fits that.
- Editors and publishers are up to some pretty interesting thinking. It’s fun to be a part of that.
- Ask for what you need and be willing to walk away if it’s not a fit. Be delighted when you get it.
- You learn as much from the context your photo is published in as you did in creating it.
- If you can find a way to honor the people you made the image with, so much the better.
- Alum Commemorates Remarkable Kansas Women in Special Exhibition (academyart.edu)
- Photos: Frank Lloyd Wright Homes For Sale (abcnews.go.com)