"The $1,000.+ baby photograph…" April•2005

VALHALLA, NY. Three-day old newborn premature baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Westchester Medical Center University Hospital in Valhalla, NY on Wednesday, April 13, 2005. © CHET GORDON / THE IMAGE WORKS

I’ve been meaning to write about this image for a quite a while now. This image has sold numerous times and continues to sell to this day. It was made during a simple assignment when I was a freelancer for the NY Daily News back in 2005. Real simple. If memory serves, this child was born to a Westchester County, NY woman who at 21 years old or so, already had two or three children at home. Be escorted into the hospital’s Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with the PR rep, meet mom and make a few frames of mom and then the baby. I think we even had mom holding her new baby for the “Tee-Vee” cameras too. I could only make a few frames with bounce flash in the ward, as the lights were kept dim for the other preemies in their incubators and such. That’s what I remember about the assignment 5 years ago…

Cut to today: When I’d received another royalty check a few weeks ago from my editorial agency, The Image Works, I got to thinking about exactly how much money this image has earned in editorial resales. After corresponding with one of the research editors at the agency, I was quite pleased to learn that the image has sold 8 times so far to clients such as Houghton & Miflin (textbook publishers) and Allyn & Bacon (textbook and professional book publishers)

More like a grand total of $1,563.00

*Another proven reason why I know it’s imperative to maintain good working relationships with editors who handle my image files down the line, particularly my editorial stock imagery. As I’ve written in previous posts here on the blog, good captioning is mandatory as well; as an image with a good caption increases the percentages that it’ll not only be retrieved in an agency’s archive (or mine for that matter) which translates into potential sales. Do the math. “Cheers…!” ~cg.

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