My fiancée giggled when I showed her the portrait and shared the story behind it with her.
To be fair, I giggled too.
The story begins with a Christmas gift.
My parents gave me a Canon Rebel DSLR camera a few years ago.
The camera came with two lenses, a bag, tripod and instruction manual.
In order to learn how better use the camera, I decided to take and post a photograph a day to a now defunct blog starting New Year’s Day 2012.
I made it to about mid-April with my New Year’s Resolution.
In February 2014, something unexpected happened involving the above self-portrait that I had posted in that time period.
Andy, the creative director for a design and marketing firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, contacted me through my old blog’s email address.
Andy stated his firm potentially wanted to use the portrait as part of a client’s website design. He also wrote that he was willing to pay me for the photo, whether his agency used it or not.
I was skeptical, but after doing some homework that included asking Andy about the client’s website, getting a copy of the agency’s usage contract and then conferring with a national design and marketing firm in Cincinnati, I agreed.
The photo was to be used on the landing page of the site for a U.S.-based, non-profit Christian organization assisting people in Third World countries.
Andy also sent me a PDF mockup of how my portrait might appear on his client’s website.
After setting the terms of usage and price for the photo, the agency mailed me a check.
In the end, the photo was never used, but I still got paid.