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Schmaps Paris: one of my photos is chosen :)


I’ve liked the idea of Schmaps for a while – the combination of user-generated images and reviews and useful mapping made them entirely compelling (until Dopplr came on the scene) and now it lives alongside Dopplr for planning at home, and alongside GoogleMaps on the iPhone while ‘on the road’.

Actually, while “in reach of wireless broadband” – not many roaming iPhone users make the mistake of leaving data access on while wandering the streets of Paris more than once! £200 of data in a day is a painful lesson. That, and the 3 hour battery life when 3G, wireless and GPS are all lit. Like a little, shortlived, expensive handwarmer…

Anyway, back to the point. I was mightily pleased to get a lovely email via Flickr from the Schmaps people saying that they’d seen one of my photos and wanted to shortlist it.

The email was well-put:

While we offer no payment for publication, many
photographers are pleased to submit their photos, as Schmap
Guides give their work recognition and wide exposure, and
are free of charge to readers. Photos are published at a
maximum width of 150 pixels, are clearly attributed, and
link to high-resolution originals at Flickr.

That rather sums it up. I was pleased to submit my work and entirely chuffed at the thought of anyone seeing it. In such way doth amateurism undercut professional photographers’ fees…

So – the jury has spoken, and my image of the pigeons over Les Deux Magots now has its 15 seconds of fame. Or rather, 15 seconds competing with another 11 images in a revolving display (see below), but at least it’s 15/11 or 1.36 seconds of fame.

What have a learned from this?

  • asking nicely gets you things
  • people like to be valued and will give you things free
  • a good visual pun wins over a great image
  • good titling of photos on flickr gets photos found
  • writing about a moment of fame takes about 442 times as long as the fame itself
  • “recognition and wide exposure” currently means 2 page views 😉