Post Mortem ProfitFriday, August 26, 2011
I was never able to figure out why it was these women called me for this.
I have a better explanation for a trend that is beginning to show a pattern in which as more people get older (a most frequent occurrence) money will be piling up (in small quantities) in my bank.
When Greg Moore died in 1999 and Daryl Duke in 2006 the folks related ordered huge prints of my portraits of them and were displayed at the funerals in church. I felt terrible in charging but these big prints (colour) were expensive.
It was in 2007 where it got a bit unusual. It was July and Rosemary, Rebecca and I were enjoying a holiday in Mérida, Yucatán. One day I went to an internet café and noticed that I had an email marked urgent. It seems that Vancouver architect and patron of the arts Ian Davidson had died and I was being asked for the use of one of my pictures for his obituary. Not only that, they wanted several large prints, one for display at a memorial service and the others to be purchased by friends. I made very good money!
This trend has not stopped. I have recently sold a photograph of author Jane Rule (she is dead) that is being used as the front piece in her memoirs published by Talon books at the end of August.
Now that Jack Layton is better known his book published some years ago (with my portrait on the cover) is being re-issued and I am happy to point out that McClelland and Stewart offered me good money for the new rights for my photograph.
My friend, writer Mark Budgen, not keen in ever showering anybody with compliments told me (instead of saying, “You are a fine portrait photographer.”), “The reason they are using your photographs is that these people are dead and nobody can be assigned to photograph them." Not quite look here.
But I am not going to protest. Just today I sent an invoice to Cologne for the use of one of my pictures of mystery writer Michael Dibdin (he is dead) for some internal project in a company there. This trend is not going to stop as there are more people in my files who will inevitably go where we all go. As long as I am around I can reap the rewards.