Evolution of the Ball – My Website Posting Led to Finding the Artist, a Sale, and an Ethics Lesson
I am so excited that I have just sold this art documentation photograph of “Evolution of the Ball – Gateway to Coors Field Created by Artist Lonnie Hanzon.” This huge bridge-like gateway sculpture is a unique iconic Denver landmark at Coors Field, home of the Rockies baseball team.
The most cool part is that the artist, Lonnie, whom I don’t know at all and I had no idea how to contact about the existence of this photograph, somehow found it and bought a print from my www.asseenbyjanine.com website!
My previous sales in the past were to people who knew me and knew of my photography and my website. This sale, on the other hand, was to someone I didn’t know and has encouraged me that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts to properly keyword photos, include specific identifying information in file names, titles and captions, and promotion of new photos using social media networking all really do work.
I hadn’t even caught the name of the artwork or the artist on the day this was taken. I was there shooting with a friend from New York; we were moving at an “east coaster” pace all around the 16th Street Mall area, trying to show him as many of Denver’s views as possible in a few short hours. Thus, we didn’t spend much time here or get close enough to see the credit plaque.
But I’d been truly intrigued by this amazing gateway sculpture, adorned with many mosaic baseballs, each with a different theme. I really wanted to include it on my website as one of Colorado’s iconic views. However, I didn’t want to post my photo of it without crediting the artist. I Google searched “sculpture at entrance to Coors Field” and I found a couple of snapshots someone had posted on Flickr, naming the sculpture and the artist, but giving no contact information. Still I was happy to have found the information I needed to credit Lonnie as the creator. I made a point to include that identifying information in all my SEO boosters (title, caption, image filename, keywords, and categories).
As a result, I found the artist, or rather, he found me! Somehow Lonnie Hanzon came across the photo on the Internet, found my website and bought my photograph of his artwork. I’m happy that he’ll have such a beautiful image to promote his great artistic talent and accomplishments.
I did learn an important ethics lesson from this sale. I’m very honored that Lonnie, whose artwork is copyrighted, bought the print to thank me for crediting him on my website as the artist and also granted me commercial rights to use the photo of his artwork, rather than challenging my use of the image. What a great and honorable person he must be…
Lonnie’s contacting me has given me an insight that just because a work of art is an iconic public landmark does not mean someone doesn’t hold a copyright to it – a fact important for all photographers to remember. I’m touched that Lonnie responded to my photo in the positive and generous way that he did. That is an privilege I intend to repay by providing him not just with the print he ordered, but also with a high resolution file of my photo of his artwork, so he can also use it to promote his work. That is just good Karma!
Since art documentation is such a great area of photographic interest to me, I really hope to meet and get to know Lonnie, to learn more about the story behind his creation of “Evolution of the Ball” ~ according to his Facebook post today, there is a great story to be told! I’ve always intended to return and try to photograph each of the individual mosaic balls in Lonnie’s sculpture and his hints at the mysteries contained therein magnify this desire. It truly is an amazingly unique artistic creation and it seems, every mosaic baseball contains a story! Hmmmm, just what secrets lie in the untold stories?!?!? I hope I get the chance to meet Lonnie and find out.
I also hope perhaps I get a chance to photograph some of Lonnie’s other artwork. He is quite talented. Lonnie has an art studio, Hanzon Studios, Inc. in Lakewood, CO and a you can learn more about him on his website:
All the best to you Lonnie and a huge THANK YOU! I hope to meet you someday very soon…
As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images