My Photography Sales in 2012

Not so many photography sales in 2012

I can’t really say that 2011 was a successful year for sales.  As you read last Wednesday, I made 46 sales during the year, but 43 of those were all a single sale of various court house photos.  That said, 2011 was a banner year for sales compared to 2012.   This post is all about my photography sales in 2012.  It won’t be hard to do.  Truth be told, I sold four images in 2012.  FOUR!   And three of those all went to the same buyer in Utah.  You’ll probably see a connection looking at the first three images.

The Westfall Bridge, Lozeau Montana

The image at the head of this page is one I took on October 20th, 2010.  The river is the Clark Fork, and the Westfall Bridge crosses it.  To get to Lozeau, you take Exit 55 from Interstate 90, and head north toward the river.  You’ll pass a building  on your left just off the Interstate.  This used to be the Lozeau Retreat.  I have a t-shirt from that establishment–let’s face it, a bar.  The image on the t-shirt is a crow, or maybe a raven, perched on a cue stick.  It’s one of my favorite t-shirts.  

The Lozeau Retreat is no more, but the building still stands.  I’m not sure if it’s even being used these days.  But since we can’t go in for a beer, let’s continue down the road (literally–you drop quite a ways to reach the river) and we’ll find the Westfall Bridge.  Now for a bit of bragging.  If you do a google search for “Westfall Bridge, Lozeau Montana” numbers 1 and 2 are me!  (Giving myself a pat on the back.)  If you look at the Images, the first nine are, once again, me!  But that’s not saying much.  I could find no other information about the Westfall Bridge.  

The Bridge Itself

Now I could tell you about Bridget Westfall–she came up in my search.  All I know is that this has to be one of the oldest bridges across the Clark Fork still in use.  It’s a single lane bridge, with wooden planks for the driving surface.  I always get nervous crossing it, wondering if my tires will fall off the planks.  What’s next if that happens?  Still, it makes for a nice image, and on January 8th, 2012, someone in Utah bought it as a photographic print.  (It makes a nifty mask, too–a bridge over your mouth, instead of inside it.)  And it was the first of my photography sales in 2012.

Calm Day on the Missouri

Taken July 30th, 2011, this photograph shows the 9th Street North bridge, in Great Falls, Montana.  The river in question is the mighty Missouri, and I’ve rarely seen it so calm.  I’ve spent more time on the Missouri than on any other river.  What makes this all the more remarkable is that I’ve never lived anywhere near that river.  But in the mid-1990s, I spent a total of fourteen days canoeing the Missouri. Camping along the Missouri.  Hiking up into some of the rock formations along the Missouri.  And I had a great time doing it.

When I was growing up, Great Falls was one of Montana’s largest cities.  It still is, but other cities have grown and Great Falls has not.  The U.S. Census shows that as of 2019, Great Falls had 3,000 more residents than in 1960.  And actually fewer than in 1970.  It’s no longer the number 2 city in Montana–even though the Cascade County plates are numbered “2.”

What caught my eye on that July day was the perfect reflection of the bridge in the river.  Apparently it also caught the eye of that certain someone in Utah who bought it as a photographic print.  The second of my photography sales in 2012.

The Missouri River at Fort Benton

Fort Benton was as far upriver as steamboats could travel on the Missouri.  As such, it became the jumping off place for folks heading north to the gold fields of Montana.  It claims to be the “birthplace of Montana.”  As someone whose own beginning was in Stevensville, I have to dispute that claim.  Fort Benton dates from 1846.  Stevensville from 1841.  But to give Fort Benton its due, in 1841, Stevensville was just a Jesuit mission to the Bitterroot Salish people.  It didn’t become a town until 1864.

Another older bridge, the Fort Benton Bridge dates from 1888.  It was the first steel bridge to cross the Missouri in Montana.  Pedestrians had to pay 25 cents to walk across it. A horse and buggy would pay a quarter.  Vehicles used the bridge up until 1962.  Today, no road connects to the bridge on its eastern side.  On the National Register of Historic Places since 1980, it’s known as “the bridge to nowhere.”  But it is a popular sight, and again, on January 8th, 2012, someone in Utah bought it as a photographic print.

The Absolut Last of my photography sales in 2012

For twenty-five years, Absolut vodka ran the same themed ads.  The ads compared the vodka with something iconic.  For instance, a pop-art version of the Absolut bottle was captioned “Absolut Warhol.”  There was an “Absolut Marilyn” with a picture of Marilyn Monroe.   Even “Absolut Bastille” existed–showing a bottle with its top cut off, presumably by the guillotine.  That campaign ended in January, 2006.  In November, 2007, my cousin Ron, his partner Derwin and I traveled together to Nashville.  In a gay bar there (I no longer remember the name), I saw a row of Absolut bottles above a group of martini glasses.  I had to take the photo.  And in the spirit of the old ad campaign, I titled the photo “Absolut Nashville.”  On February 22nd, 2012, someone in Québec bought my image as a greeting card.  It was, pardon me, the absolut last of my photography sales in 2012.

Tune in next Wednesday, when we’ll look at 2013 sales.  And tomorrow, we’ll travel to Stevens County, Washington.




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