Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Out of the blue.

Back in September I mentioned that I was approached by a woman representing J. Jill about one of my photos.  It was a photo that I took in 2011.  She attached the picture at the bottom of her email and asked, "Did you take this picture?"

I wrote back right away.  I was delighted that someone cared to ask if it was mine.
She must have just seen it as she was looking for images on the Internet.

The woman, let's call her Brooke so I don't have to keep writing 'the woman', said they were considering the picture for their winter catalog.  Would I be interested in licensing the image to them?  They would be putting it in roughly 2.5 million catalogs (full page) and using it on their website.

She then asked what I would charge for that.

I wrote her back and said I had no idea, that I would look check into it and get back to her.

I appreciated her professionalism.  She gave me the stats and that would help me know what to charge.

But I still didn't want to charge as much as I was seeing.  But I gave her a number I was comfortable asking.
She wrote back and said, Okay.  It's a deal.
A day later she said, what would your fee be in they made 96x40 posters of the image and put them in 250 stores.  I said.  Double it.  She said that sounds fair.

I'm not going to tell you how much.
You will say it is too little.

But as you may know....I am a terrible business woman.
I am a girl, asking a boy...
wrong script...

I am pleased with the compensation.

So, I had to fill out forms and send an invoice.  Brooke told me it would take a month before I would receive the check.

A week later she wrote and asked if I had a larger file.  Tiff or Raw.
(I know they need to a big file to create a giant enlargement)

Yikes.  No.  I shoot in Jpeg.
So I found a website that would convert from jpeg to Tiff.

I sent it to her.
She said great.

But that was the last I heard.
And so I held my breath and hoped that I had not been 'catfished'.

(Catfished is when you are tricked into believing something or someone on the Internet)

On Monday the check from J. Jill came!! It was real.
I  made my first commercial sale.  I am so excited.

From what I understand they will be writing something on the picture and using it that way.
They have permission to use it from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

I can not wait to see it!

You will recognize the picture.  I even did a tutorial for The Pioneer Woman on how to take a picture like this.  Isn't that neat?

Here it is as I shot it out my back door.  
(If you ever go looking for your hearts desire....)

This is the edited picture I sent them.
It looks crooked because of the snow drift.  I will be interested to see what they do about that.

I just now saturated it...made it greener.  I think I like it this way.
Fake green.  ha.  

A few things that amuse me about this whole situation.

1. It's blurry.
2. I didn't have to leave the house.

I posted this on Pinterest in 2012 because at the time I was concerned with how easy Pinterest made it for people to steal images.  They have changed it.  I was yelled at by many young girls who disagreed with me.  They felt it was their right to take it.
I was mad at them.


So that's how the story goes...
Out of the blue
I sold a picture.
And it really happened.

It's been fun!
Donna Elsie 


  1. Anonymous12:42 PM

    This is the best news I have read in a very long time! So excited for you and proud of you. It is an outstanding photo and here at QL we have seen many more outstanding DB photos, too. You found your heart's desire right outside your door....wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! TBTG!!!
    love and prayers, jep

  2. Congratulations! It's a beautiful photograph and if I pass by a J. Jill you can bet I will keep my eyes peeled for it.

    I hope you're never embarrassed by compensation or how you approached it. You did some research and set a fair price - I wish everything worked that way and was that clear.

    Best wishes! xo

  3. I'm so excited for you! I remember the fiasco with the Pinterest theft way back when (I totally agree with you), and now it's the very photo that has been purchased. Way to tickle my funny bone!
    I miss those photo tutorials by you and PW. They were always easy to understand and beneficial.
    Yay for you... you're deserving. I'm going to get a J. Jill catalog just so I can see the pic in print and say I know (kinda) the photographer!! ;-)

    1. Can I just say I miss the tutorials too! Especially since I just got a DSLR this summer. Are they archived?

    2. Yes! They are archived!!

  4. Anonymous1:16 PM

    I LOVE that the photo you sold is blurry! It's so you. Exciting for you. I may have to find a j.jill store to go visit it.

    Kristi in LV

  5. So very happy for you! It will be such a thrill when the catalogs come out, won't it? Congrats, Miz Boo. You deserve it and more.

  6. Rockstar! Can't wait to see it in print and say " ya, I know that photographer! She taught me everything I know!"

  7. Amy J in WI1:31 PM

    I am so happy that I knew you before you were famous. Although, you were always famous to me :).

    1. Anonymous8:20 PM

      Me too!! :)

      sis' Cindy :) XOCO

  8. Congrats, Donna!
    very happy for you who bless so many ~

  9. I am so thrilled for you. And I am so fascinated at the coming use of it. We passed JJILL at old orchard today and we looked for it, but we know its too early. I knew DONNA when!!!!

  10. That is so wonderful! I'm happy for you. I will be looking for it.

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  12. Just as I always suspected, you are awesome! Congratulations, Donna. Now the whole world will know!

  13. This is just the best news! I am so proud of you, Miz Boo :-) proud like a mama. Thanks for sharing the story xxx

  14. Go you!! And the photo is awesome. I get the catalog so will be watching for it!!

  15. Mary M3:56 PM

    Congratulations, Donna! As soon as you mentioned the photo, I knew exactly which one it was. It's so lovely. Would you mind sharing the website that you can use to convert jpeg to tiff? I'd like to do that with some of my photos as well. Thanks and woohoo!

  16. I am so excited for you! I received a JJill catalog today and was hoping it would be in there already but it wasn't. The next one I will save forever! I feel like I can say I knew her when.....Way to go Donna!!!

  17. Anonymous7:39 PM

    Congratulations! I had a feeling that was the picture you were talking about. I loved it when I saw it in the tutorial years ago and bookmarked it so I can refer to it and have tried a few attempts myself.

  18. Again, Congratulations! You so deserve it. I hope you asked a little more than you wanted.
    I do remember the photo. I'm so happy for you!

  19. Congratulations! I think all of us hope that one day something we put on our blog will be noticed. So happy for you as I love your photographs.

  20. I've always really liked that photo. So glad for you. Looking forward to seeing the way they use it in their advertising. Excellent!

  21. Fun, fun, fun. A hearty congrats to you, Donna!!

  22. Congratulations, Donna!! How exciting!! I can't wait to see what they do with the photo.

  23. Congratulations, Donna!! How exciting!! I can't wait to see what they do with the photo.

  24. Anonymous10:00 PM

    Woo hoo, Donna!! I am so excited for you. I will eagerly anticipate the catalog. Love, love, love the photo. It makes me feel all Christmasey.

    Debbie Z.

  25. Congratulations! You've freely shared your heart and now a piece of it returns home to bless you. My sister says: sometimes you're the blessing and sometimes you're the blessed. Enjoy being blessed!

  26. HI! Congratulations!! Happy Winter, Merry Christmas, many good wishes for you. I am a newbie, and you are inspiring me!! You just expanded my awareness!! J. Jill has just opened a store in my city/neighborhood which I live and work - maybe I will see the picture at a bus stop! And I shall think of YOU! You often sign "encourage one another" never know who you are inspiring (although I just told you). :-)

  27. Thank you all for the kind and thoughtful comments.
    It's a wonderful thing to know that I can share this unexpected event with you all...and I know I will hear sweet congrats....
    I am the luckiest.

  28. This is just an awesome story all the way around! I don't know who or what J. Jill is but I hope you will share what they do with your picture so I can see it too!

  29. So happy for you!!!! I love J.Jill.....I have a little catalog sitting by me right now :-).

  30. Anonymous2:34 PM

    Congratulations!!! that's great and you deserve it and more

  31. Anonymous9:55 AM


  32. Good for you!!! Congratulations!!

  33. Anonymous1:18 PM

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITINGGGGGGG!! And Well Deserved, your photos are Awesome!! (especially those garage shots!!) Splurge a bit with that pot of gold and I can't wait to see it personally!!
    I followed the 'how to' post and must try again when the NE snow flies!!
    Cheers - and many more to come!!

  34. I am so incredibly happy for you, Miss Booshay! I thought that I had read about this on instagram or Facebook but then I couldn't find it so I thought maybe I had actually dreamed it! I am thrilled that it is real! What a great blessing! I hope more and more opportunities like this one come your way!


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