At some point last spring I got into my pictures file on my laptop and searched for “tulips”. A lovely picture of a yellow tulip with a perfect red stripe down its middle came up amongst all my other tulip photos. I wondered how I could have missed this one before. I titled it “Tulip with Red Stripe”, worked with it a little bit to bring out the colors, and posted it on fineartamerica.com. Yeah. So… yesterday I was walking by a colleague’s desk and the red-striped tulip picture came up on her screen saver. How, I wondered, did my photo end up on her screen saver? I searched around on my computer and found a file of sample pictures provided by microsoft – and the tulip picture was in there! After a little investigating I discovered the photo was actually taken by a photographer named David Nadalin. I know – yikes, right? I immediately took the picture off my fineartamerica.com page, and then found David’s phone number and email address, and left him messages explaining what I’d done with his photo, and how I was trying to rectify my boo boo.
After I left my messages for David I went into my Facebook account – both the author/photographer page and my personal page – to see if I’d posted the photo there, too – and, sure enough, I had. Feeling the need to set things straight there I posted David’s tulip picture on both pages, along with an explanation of the mistake I’d made.
In the meantime, David had graciously replied to my email message, and I was relieved to discover that 1) he is a good sport and 2) he has a well-developed sense of humor. He wrote, in part, “That photo of mine is in every copy of Windows 7. So anyone running that would figure out pretty quickly where it came from. 750 million people have a copy of that one already…” SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION PEOPLE!!! That sort of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Yup. When I mess up, it is on a grand scale. No small little insignificant mess-ups for me. Nosiree, bub. I mess-up BIG.
So back to Facebook. I found David Nadalin’s page and sent out a friend request to him – after reading his email response it was obvious, to me, that he’d fit right in with my way cool and kind of eclectic community of FB friends – and he accepted my request! – and then his wife (whom I’ve discovered is a wonderful photographer in her own right) came onto my page, too, and – long story, short – David and his wife, Carol, are now both my Facebook friends!
Having the opportunity to laugh with my new friends, David and Carol, and my old friends, too (who, I’m pretty sure, are not at all surprised by anything I do at this point) about my 750-million-people-goof ended up being the highlight of my day. I love when stuff like that happens. :)