San Angelo Visitors’ Center

Recently I uploaded this photograph to my Flickr page.  Afterword, Holly Stanley (her blog), commented on the image, and said that I should have sold it to the Chamber of Commerce.

San Angelo Visitors' Center

Well, here is the story behind the image.

The center was constructed about seven years ago.  That’s approximate as I don’t have the exact date on hand.  One morning after it opened Ann and I were strolling along the walkway on the opposite side of the river.  Along the river, a person can walk for a couple of miles and see egrets, herons and other birds. (See Wikipedia image below).  One of my favorites places to stroll with my camera.  As we walked we noticed that the Concho River was very calm, as smooth as glass, and was reflecting the building perfectly.  Across the river, in front of the center, the light was playing perfectly on the landscaped area.

I decided to try and get a perfect shot of it and the river reflection.  To get the perfect composition, to capture the complete width of the center, I had to find the right position.  I used the widest lens I had that would give the least distortion and searched for a spot.  Would you believe there was a tree at the exact point where I wanted to be.  I sat down on the ground, shoved my back up against the tree, and took this shot.  With a clear, blue west Texas sky with no clouds, I opted to use the tree branches to frame the image.

English: Park along the Concho River in San An...

Image via Wikipedia

At that time, I was working as a volunteer in the visitors’ center, greeting the tourists, and expounding on the virtures of staying in San Angelo.  I showed the image to the people that managed the Chamber of Commerce.  They immediately wanted to use it on their post cards that were sold there.  We negotiated and we reached an amicable agreement that was financially good for each party. 🙂

At a later time, they asked if they could put the image on a billboard on one of the highways entering the city.  We again negotiated and I sold them the rights to use the image on the billboard.  Here is a photo of the billboard.  They had to crop out the river so it would fit the approximate 50 ft by 10 ft area.   But of course, I didn’t complain.  Here is a photo of the billboard.

San Angelo Billboard

So the moral of the story is, keep your camera handy, as you never know when you are going to make that shot that is going to pay off for you.

36 thoughts on “San Angelo Visitors’ Center

  1. Ah-HA!! Didn’t I tell you that it should be published!! 😉 I knew there was more to the story, and I’m so glad that others saw the awesomeness in that shot, too!! But a billboard – WOW!! You deserve it!!

    …. finally catching up with my reading, I’ve fallen a little behind!!

  2. Congratulations on a perfect photo of the visitor’s center and getting some reimbursement for it. It truly takes more than having your camera with you and not missing an opportunity. It is an art. You have to have an eye for the composition etc of the photo plus good equipment that you know how to use. I’m not a photographer and will surely never sell a photo, but my son is, so I know how difficult it is to make a photo look natural and easy. Just like in painting with oils, you have to make it look like the paint just sort of placed itself in the perfect spots. If a painting looks like the artist labored at it, it’s a failure. Your photo is better than the billboard, of course, but like you say, you can’t complain…

  3. Mr Bob, sorry for the mistake I just made..I thought a friend and myself were signed in under my account when I made that last comment, but it appears we were signed in with his account, you can delete it if you want.

    Thanks and again I’m sorry for the mistake.


  4. Awesome story and photo.

    I gave away more photos than I have sold, LOL. There are several doctors offices in Asheville that sports photos I have taken.
    I’ve sold a few to a NC tourist place…don’t know what they have done with them but since I was paid I’m not complaining.

    Get shots Mr. Bob


  5. great story, Bob. When I hear what you have to say about your environment, i am attracted to that area as a travel destination, especially with the birding oportunities. no wonder that you worked for tourism at one point.

  6. What a tremendous photograph, Bob! You captured the center perfectly with the river and the tree branches. Merry Christmas to you and Ann.

  7. Bob that is SO awesome! How wonderful to see your shot on a billboard.

    Our convention center in downtown Grand Rapids, sits on the river and has a similarly wave-shaped roof. (:

    Very cool post hot shot!! xo

  8. I have to agree with the above is truly an art..I can say that with true feeling because I am an artist and brushes are my “camera”. Your photos here are wonderful, the water reflections are just fabulous. and ps everyone…his pricing is very fair…Great job!!

  9. Beautiful image as always, Bob. I realize that the more I read your blog the more I missed a lot of things when I lived in San Angelo. Must have been the myopia that comes with getting into a daily routine and really missing the big picture all around me. I really need to spend a few days up there sans distractions…

      • I too price my work with what is comfortable for me and the client. I have to say though, for me, most requests for enlargements are the 8×10 or 16×20 or somewhere there about. Never had one that was 50ft x10ft !!!

        • I have another one, an 8 ft x 20 ft. mural, on the wall of a local McDonald’s restaurant. It is a scenic with cattle and fields of bluebonnets. But other than that, I, like you, favor the 8x10s up to 16x20s. Occasionally, I will sell 20×30 or a 30×40. I also have a line of note cards that go pretty good, too.

  10. So glad you didn’t donate the photograph. Too many people don’t respect photography/writing as a viable profession, since “everybody” can do it. NOT! Not everybody can do it well. Glad it was good for both parties. Do you use ASMP guidelines for determining price? The market has changed so much since I used to sell stock photography.

    • Hi, Cindy,
      Thanks for writing. I agree with you about how people think about photography. Some unknowing people think I just go “take pictures” and print them out. They say, “you must have a great camera”, etc. Yeah, like Picasso must have had a great set of brushes. 🙂

      No, I don’t use any special guidelines for pricing. Just old-fashioned way, I estimate what people can afford, and what it is worth to me. I just negotiate on a case by case basis. Especially when it comes to inquiries from magazines or other print media.

      I used to do Art Shows about twice a month, setting up a booth, hanging framed and signed prints. I am sure that I probably have a print or two hanging in almost every state.

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