I am always surprised by people’s reaction to the photographs I share online. Only a few of my most popular photos on Flickr rank amongst my personal favorites but today I would like to talk about my most successful photograph thus far, a picture of Lake Tahoe in California:
I took this picture on a road trip with a friend of mine a few years ago in 2006, with the Canon ESO 350D camera I was using at the time. When going through the photos from this trip, I initially marked this one as a reject. However, for some unknown reason, I decided not to delete it and this was one of the best decisions I ever made. Almost four years later, in January 2010, I found this photo in my Lightroom library and decided that it wasn’t a bad shot after all, it only needed a bit of cropping and a few adjustments.
A few months after uploading it on Flickr, Google added a new feature for their search engine home page, background images. To accompany the launch, Google wanted a selection of photographs users could choose from if they did not want to upload their own and chose this photograph of Lake Tahoe (along with a few other pictures of mine.) In just a few months almost 8,000,000 visitors have clicked through the thumbnail on Google.com to the picture’s Picasa page.
This experience has taught me a very important lesson: do not delete photographs that are not obviously terrible and do not hesitate to go through old series of pictures in case you missed a good one or changed your mind. I only regret I was not able to better redirect visitors to some of my other Picasa wallpapers or to my Flickr account. Clicks conversion is a lot harder than it seems!
What about you? Have you ever taken a picture that you did not especially like but turned out to be a success?