June 24, 2009

it wouldn't have killed him...

a few weeks ago
our little town hosted an all day play day
there were bands
face painting
dunking tanks
fire engine rides
horse drawn carriage rides
fireworks at dusk
I had no intentions of going or being any part of it
they got me with
"the giant used book sale"
after filling a bag full of books
I couldn't help but notice that I was swimming in a pool of beautiful children
they were everywhere
waiting patiently in line to have a stranger paint a picture on their tender cheeks
I felt this energy wash over me
I grabbed my camera out of the car
started shooting like a maniac
one mother asked what the pictures were for
I told her that I'd be giving them to the editor of the local newspaper
another dad
{the one above}
asked if he could give me his email address and could I possibly send him a copy of the photos I had taken of him and his daughter
"why yes, of course and here's my business card"
I said with a big smile on my face
while my insides jumped up and down in a happy dance
later after he received 6 photos from me
he called me and thanked me and told me how I had made his day
could I send him my prices for a future photo shoot
after I got home
I burned 84 pictures onto a cd
monday morning after talking with the editor of the newspaper
I dropped my cd off to him
he told me he had worked the event himself
had over 200 pictures he needed to go through that he had taken
that he would take a look at mine
when the newspaper's thursday edition came out
the two page spread for the event was filled with photos
none of them were mine
they all belonged to him
the editor
now I'm just wondering
would it have killed him to use EVEN one of my photos
I think not
so it begins
my first rejection
I'm not one to be brought down easily
because I'm just not that way
I'm a tender hearted girl who cries easily because life is so beautiful
I also have the kind of spirit
that can be put in a ring with rocky for a good knock down drag out fight
so excuse me
time to put the boxing gloves on
my dukes up
start again back in my corner


  1. Let me tell you why your pictures didn't show up, Rocky...and you know I'm not one to say things just to make someone feel better or less raw.

    So, Rocky, I promise you the reason you didn't see even one of your photos is because they were better than the editors...and that threat is just more than most can handle.

    True story.

    How do I know? Because I've played in publications, and graphic design way too many years...and I know when I see good work...am experiencing an artist eye.

    SO. You. Are that.

    I'm sure his/her work was good for a local newspaper...but yours is way better and that's just simply not going to fly so long as that one occupies the chair.

    Send the guy the pictures...give him your rates. And, tell him that if he recommends you to someone, you'll give him a discount on any work you do for him.

    Trust me. I'm in marketing. I know these things.

    Now, get back in the ring for round TWO!

  2. I am positive that your pictures were way better....he might have been too lazy to look through them. But your experience sounds like it was wonderful and I am glad you are not defeated.....keep on, keepin on (as they used to say in the 70's)

  3. Wow - these capture so much of the essence of children ... I especially love the first one with the blue ribbon. But, they are all wonderful.

  4. Clearly ego and turf protection at work and no reflection on your wonderful photos.

  5. wanker -- you scared him, Darlin ... all of us who see your photos, here, know their power -- yep, you scared him SHITLESS (it must be said) ...

    i want someone to paint MY face, and today I want a face to go with onion rings and a chocolate malt -- wonder what THAT might be?

  6. I agree with the others, some people are just threatened by others. I worked in Management and I had one manager tell me she would never higher anyone smarter than she....I told her that she was only as strong as her best person. I don't know why people are scared of others sucesses....obviously he was an idiot too....oh that just slipped out....cinner

  7. what a wuss he was....sorry honey bunny, just keep swinging because you know you can't hit a homerun without getting out of the dugout. (I should follow my own advice)

    so far my published have been freebies - work those angles too. you never know what will lead to what.

  8. yay for the dad who said you made his day...we like them and that is good word of mouth friend.

    boo to the editor ...it is the business and a not so pretty side of it either...

    never give up

  9. I would have printed every single one of them:) They are beautiful. I do so admire your talent.

  10. what a fun event to photograph!

    there must be something in the air because i'm dealing with a similar kind of rejection this week. it's a little crushing but i'm trying to take it as a learning experience.

    you should pat yourself on the back for even trying!

  11. Your photos are very nice (as is your other works).

    I agree with the others commenting. Yours were better (or at the very least comparable) but you're probably dealing with a person who believes they have all of the talent available - period.

    Sad thing is - people like that do have some taste....it's all in their mouth.

    Chin up!!!!

  12. You know what? It doesn't matter that they weren't published. What matters is that YOU DID IT! Took that blind leap and....DID...IT!

    I am uber proud of you!

    Your candid shots are fantastic! Keep at it :o)

  13. okay..so yes my hormones are in a waning moon turmoil BUT...goddess, but your pictures made me cry - they are SO beautiful and they are SO capturing the SHINE of these children...seriously....I'm not just saying that. This is too much talent for some poxy newspaper (oh! who said that?!)

    And I can tell you, as a mom of two kidlets about the same age as your subjects...you have given a HUGE gift to that man whose daughter you captured so beautifully...seriously -- you gotta start pimpin' yourself, girl!!! I would spare no expense to get pics like that of my Shinies....

    Go for the jugular, girlfriend...rip it out...*sniffle*


  14. It doesn't matter that some douchebag didn't print any of your photos in his paper and it doesn't even matter that he didn't tell you... though both sting. The salve is that some random dad that may never get a chance to see beautiful photos of himself with his children got just that and not only thanked you but asked for more. I bet he has your photos displayed on the front page of his home and heart.

  15. I am with the others, those photos are fantastic and beyond newspaper quality, that guy was threatened.
    The good news is you have a potential client out of it! Holly has some great marketing advice, thanks holly!
    And thanks for sharing your story Beth, you inspire me! ;)

  16. i'm not sure what to say. but i will say that your first two pictures are gorgeous! and the rest of them most certainly belonged in a newspaper spread. these were too good to keep out. and i'm sorry that he did that to you.
    keep shooting! and putting yourself out there!

  17. Ah ha! -- methinks he did not like the competition my dear:)

    beautiful, stunning photography as always.

  18. I agree with Holly. These photos are SO fabulous! So striking and beautiful!

  19. AnonymousJune 25, 2009

    you need my little blue kangaroo with the shiny red boxing gloves. but truth be told, competition is such a real threat and you brought the game on ~ he was "served".
    yet, I ask, who's happier? you! (i don't even need to see his photos to know that!)
    {and katie kendrick posted recently on rejection too...it was a good post}

  20. Out of curiosity, were his photos also of children? Either way, his loss... but your win! These are way too good for a local newspaper anyway. They need color... and gloss. I'd try submitting them to a magazine... try Wisconsin Woman Magazine or Dane County Parent Magazine. It may have to be for next summer but it's worth a shot. And even if they don't use these particular photos, maybe the more familiar become with your work, the more likely they will be to use them in the future. Good luck!

  21. Hi Beth,

    Did the newspaper guy have a sort of green tinge around the edges?! The important thing is that you and the kids had a great day!

  22. Just found you through Shutter Sisters and wanted to add my comment...reading your post I did not so much see the rejection of the editor but the wonderful exuberance of the dad who requested the photos...How brave to go out there and shoot and have fun...you will be able to do anything you chose!

  23. i haven't seen his shots, but he was clearly threatened by the fabulousness of yours, and did not want the competition. yours are wonderful. he was crazy not to use them. you probably got more appreciation here than you would have from people in the paper, because you could post several, and we are all your biggest fans. so there! {i'm cheering for you in your corner.} :)

    phooey on him!

  24. each and every photo is brilliant! you are an amazing photographer and the connections you have made and will make are all such wonderful parts of the process... i hate that there are bad parts, too... but such is life? now go out there and get'em! We are all rooting for you!

  25. I think sometimes rejection can help us grow to "own" our own power and strength ... from what I have learned of you in these short few months through your blog, I think you know them and this will only empower you on! So, I will just tell you what you already know ... you have a unique eye for subjects, the talent to work with the camera and the artistic skills in developing your work that very few can match.

  26. Not rejection...

    It was all about ego, I guarantee that. I just got that feeling as I read through.

    Keeping sending your images out. I feel like I should have to pay a subscription to see your site, your work is so poetic and beautiful...

    Glad for me that I don't, so don't get any ideas on me here...lol!

    Love ya, Beth!

  27. We all still have so much to learn about really being there for one another don't we ?

    What an amazing daythough, and the link you made with that happy dad was deeper and richer than mr.editor could ever have been, really !

    You go, talented, wonderful, tender girl !

  28. And even then, you got another gig. So, take that, icky editor!


**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth