National Geographic Calling?

It’s really happening … ???

Motorcycle sound (who uses that for a ring tone?!?)

Me: Hello? (slightly annoyed after having my nap disturbed)

Unidentified caller: Hello. May I speak to Mr. Craunpixel please?

Me: No one here by that name. You must have the wrong number. (I lift my finger to disconnect phone)

Unidentified caller: Wait! I’m sorry but I may have mispronounced the name. I’m looking for the person who posts on the blog that’s spelled K*r*a*h*n*p*i*x. It is a rather um … unusual name. (just a little tone)

_B5A0232Me: Oh yes that could be me. (brain begins to function better) Yes, yes … that’s definitely me.

Unidentified caller: This is Condy from National Geographic calling.

Me: Really? (Sounding less than convinced)

Condy: Yes. I was calling to …

Me: Is this some kind of a sales call? I haven’t subscribed in decades so  …

Condy: Actually the folks here at National Geographic are quite impressed with your photos and would like to purchase one for the cover of our upcoming issue.

Me: Wait a minute is this real. Who asked you to call? Was it Phil?

Condy: It was my boss (sounding confused) but …. look if you don’t want to sell your photos that’s fine I’ll …

Me: No sorry. I just wasn’t sure this was a legit call. I’m a great fan of National Geographic! Great supporter.

Condy: I assure you we’re serious Mr. ah … sorry I’m not sure how to pronounce your name. We found your blog and think you are an amazingly talented photographer. We would like to purchase the rights to a photo of your choice for $5,000.

(dead air)

Me: Um well I’m not sure …

Condy: You drive a hard bargain Mr. Craunenpix

Me: It’s Krahnpix but whatever. I’m just not sure my photos are good enough … (tailing off into a whisper)

Condy: How about $7,000?

_T6C7932Me: Well if you put it that way, why not? You are very persuasive.

Just to be clear, I’m not dreaming this, right?

Condy: Are you sure you’re OK?

Me: I’m never entirely sure …

***

This call is really happening … never! And I’m good with that. Really! Of course if they were desperate, I might take the call and generously spend their money!

National Geographic recognition used to be on my secret bucket list – after all, they are often idolized as the photography gold standard. However, I checked my bucket list the other day and was surprised to discover that entry was gone.

I think it might have disappeared after I was challenged by another blogger to think carefully why I take photos. My first thot was visualizing the euphoria of making it to National Geographic. Then I thot of how I would feel about photography two weeks later. I decided it would be pretty much the same as now. I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I’ve never sent my photos to any magazines. There’s something satisfying about thoroughly enjoying my photos and sharing a few without having to chase sales, awards or recognition.

I’m regularly amused by how many professional photographers describe themselves as an “award winning photographer.” Is there a secret club?

Somehow I find it oddly satisfying to proudly proclaim I’ve won no awards.

Wait a minute, I think I hear that motorcycle ring tone … gotta go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Latest Comments

  1. Jocelyne says:

    I hope they call you someday, your photos are so wonderful !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dalo 2013 says:

    Ha, ha ~ that is very, very good! You are so correct in that Nat Geo is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to quality photos and I dream of such a moment as well, but you say it well it does not change who we are as photographers. We always will chase that elusive shot, and the most important thing is to enjoy the process of that chase ~ and it is clear you enjoy it well (and capture more than your share too!).

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      If you agree, then it’s settled! Yes the chase for the elusive shot continues – the next good one really will be my best one! Though today it didn’t happen. It’s an interesting journey we find ourselves on sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. vanbraman says:

    It is interesting to get requests to use pictures. I had a professional wedding photographer ask if she could use a fireworks picture that I took, and a small town newspaper asked to use another picture. I also had a picture featured in a Buzz Feed – 26 Nando’s Problems We All Know To Be True. Incredibly, they actually linked to the post on my site and I had a few visits.

    Like

  4. Honie Briggs says:

    Nat Geo be damned. You are in a club all your own, Lyle.

    Like

  5. Scott Marshall says:

    Right – you “Torag” – I re-tweeted your success and gushed the amazing and deserved recognition to Mandy – who was equally impressed – when 20 mins later she rang me back (she was working in London) and said very politely that I had read it wrong I was spitting feathers (only LK) – the moral of the story is don’t read blog posts on your small iPhone screen wait until you get home to the laptop. I have thought long and hard about my response but I lack your wit and repartee – so it would only end up with me blaspheming on blog which is entirely inappropriate – so I wont. Recognition is not something you seek – it is something that finds you – and I have every confidence in NG – one day 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      There are days when I truly wonder if I’ve gone too far and will have everyone spitting out feathers and my blog with it! It truly is a tribute to loyal readers that they put up with me and keep coming back. It is entirely likely I’ll cure that one day but at least I’ll be true to myself:)

      But you, and your good humour, keep coming back along with some insight on recognition that I will remember. As for wit – I’m still trying to keep up!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Earth Under my Feet says:

    Hilarious and the pics are brilliant. As always 🙂

    Like

  7. Birder's Journey says:

    I LOVE this post!! Really, you had me 100% convinced, and if I worked for National Geographic, I would highly recommend they make you this offer!

    Like

  8. Jeff | Planet Bell says:

    For a second I was very excited for you. I thought you really got the call. Your work is professional quality.

    You make an interesting point though. Being a photographer or writer in today’s market is a lot of work for little money. I got a degree in journalism many years ago and worked two days as the sports editor of a newspaper before my career ended. I wanted to be able to feed myself and not work crazy hours. Thanks to the modern world of blogs, I can have a real job and do this for fun, and get paid about the same amount of money. 🙂

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Two days? Well that certainly didn’t take long! Many people have spent a lot longer before coming to the same conclusion.

      Excellent point about blogging. In another era we wouldn’t have been able to do this without some great expenditure – now everyone can do it and the audience is all over the place. Still we have the opportunity for great fun and connections.

      Like

  9. caleephotography says:

    You really had me going there, because it most definitely COULD happen! Your pictures are amazing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Phil Lanoue says:

    Oh, forgot to mention… I’m DLing that motorcycle ringtone now!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Phil Lanoue says:

    Well I believed it was really a thing that happened. Your photos are as good or better then most anything I see out there including NG.
    But of course now you have ruined my prank call plans. So since that is now off the table,perhaps you would be interested in owning one of my exclusive line of “Award Winning Photographer” coffee mugs?! I get them made up for myself and thought you might like one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      A unique to you and me coffee mug – now that is thotful! It would almost be like a secret club until you gave away some more. Now I’m going to have to change my profile and about section but it’s all worth it!

      No better way to ruin a prank call than to anticipate it – I knew what you were thinking!

      I appreciate your comments on my photos. Now if only I could get birds in flight like you … must need a newer camera:)

      Like

  12. alba10 says:

    Dang – would have been great though…. but I’m sure I can photoshop a National Geographic cover for you then you can tick it off your bucket list 🙂

    Like

  13. MJF Images says:

    I know that bighorn sheep image could easily be on the cover. Thoughtful & funny post as usual Lyle!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      That bighorn sheep sure surprised me by running right up beside me so I ended up with a completely different image than I planned (like that’s never happened before!). It has grown on me over time. Glad you enjoyed my thots and found the funny.

      Like

  14. Steve Gingold says:

    I recently posted about quitting the endeavor to chase sales. I have always photographed for myself first and foremost. But right behind that was the idea that it would be nice to receive the occasional check from and editor at a magazine as the ultimate compliment to the quality of my photographic endeavors. After all, what higher praise than a signature at the bottom of a check? Well, the highest praise is the self-satisfaction that comes with the creation of a piece of art which brings one total satisfaction. That in itself is quite a difficult task. Ansel Adams said that if one could make 6 significant images a year then one has done well. It’s a tough job, but how can we not keep doing it whether there is a cash reward or not?
    I have settled in to showing my prints at local venues or an occasional competition and being pleasantly surprised if some nice neighbor person decides to hang one of my images on his or her wall. I’ll sell through my website or Fine Art America to an individual if interest is there. But every day that I make an image is me doing it for myself. The rest is gravy.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I have pondered Ansel Adams’ perspective a few times when I get frustrated by not getting good images when I go out. It helps to keep a good perspective on the long term and look back with satisfaction rather than the present difficulties. It turns out he was able to get a few good photos:)

      I remember that post well and identified with the general sentiment. It’s not easy settling on a different course but I hope it works for you (and me). Your comments about self satisfaction ring so true. I know that I haven’t given that the value it deserves in the past but I’m planning to the right that ship. From reading the comments on your post, you have had some nice gravy in the past as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. whichwaynow101 says:

    It must be me Lyle. I can’t seem to comment on my phone. I can write it but can’t see how to post it. I wrote a stunningly funny comment last night on my phone but it’s lost to the ether now. Hey ho and hello from my laptop. Great post. You really had me going there! 😉

    Like

  16. FeyGirl says:

    Excellent! One never knows, though, when an unexpected call like that may happen. I like the thought of $7k too, haaaaaa! You bring beauty and education to the world through your amazing images… That’s more than any NG call. 😄

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      It would be fun to hear about someone like you getting the call! Stand by! And I’m sure you’d share the $$:)

      I completely agree that money is only one measure of success and there are far more important ones. Beauty and education sound pretty good to me – thanks for that.

      Like

  17. kevinjhurt says:

    Well for awhile there I was pretty excited for you. But you’ve found the reason for your photography and that’s all that matters when one gets right down to it. Congrats.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Well said on both counts. It’s been an interesting journey to get to this point but I’m prone to take the scenic route! It certainly is generous of you to be excited for my success.

      Like

  18. krikitarts says:

    My heart was pounding for you–no, really!–as I started to read, and was looking forward to seeing that incredible portrait of the ram on a future cover, but I salute your senses of humor and creativity. More, please!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I am honoured that you would care that much about my success! I really like that shot and pleased to hear you do too.

      Humour and creativity are interesting compatriots – as long as the ideas keep coming, I will keep sharing.

      Like

  19. Stefano says:

    Your post cracked me up! Not only are you an… award-winning photographer 😉 Lyle, but you are also funny as hell when you write! 😀 Keep it up.
    Love the bighorn sheep shot, by the way! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I just can’t get away from this whole award thing! Funny. My quest for humour is only strengthened knowing it landed with you. I appreciate that.

      That bighorn had his own sense of humour. He was high up on cliff and I was shooting away when he surprised me by running right toward me and passed by too close for my long lens. It’s almost like he knew I couldn’t get the shot I planned from there but I still caught his eye on the way by.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Garden Walk Garden Talk says:

    Great post. Of anyone, you deserve a cover at Nat Geo. If they don’t find you, you should apply for one of their site photo shoots. Location shooting would be very cool. I do think that doing it for a magazine would take the fun out of it though since what I have read, they have very specific requests for images on a shoot. That would be too much pressure since photographing wildlife is not like other genres of photography that can be planned to the smallest detail. I follow Moose Peterson, a Nat Geo photographer, and he often says how hard it is to get wildlife shots off their list.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      That’s a great sentiment and I appreciate it. I have some sense of the difficulties those photographers endure to get their shots and it would put a lot of pressure on the fun quotient! Enjoying the moments is a key part of why I do photography so I’ve come to peace with sticking with that. It’s a wonderful hobby that brings joy.

      Like

  21. Mandy says:

    Well you had me fooled as well, though now you have me concerned to go with it. Does this mean that when I come to Canada to write a whole series of articles that you would not be interested in being the paid photographer?

    Like

  22. Ingrid says:

    Well, you had me going! You’re photos are so stunning, they could definitely be featured in any number of publications, including National Geographic. I’m a sucker for reflective shots. Add in some ducklings….. stunning. Thanks for the humorous tale and stunning photos.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I was so excited when I found those ducklings and realized conditions were right to get those reflections. It was a rare opportunity for me. I’m glad you share the beauty and think I’m good enough to get you going on my crazy story! My attraction to humour is insatiable – the trick is finding people who share it!

      Like

  23. anotherday2paradise says:

    Lyle…if you can dream it, it can happen. 🙂 You had me fooled for a while, and I wasn’t at all surprised that NG should call you up. It’s like my sister with her paintings. She never imagined selling any, but now they’re almost beating her door down. Your nature photos are world class, so put them out there. No-one can make you describe yourself as an award-winning photographer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I love the idea of dreams coming true and so happy to hear of your sister. I truly appreciate your vote of confidence … and sense of humour. Your last line had me chuckling. I can be a bit of outlier!

      Glad I’m not the only one with finger trouble – I fixed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Mary says:

    So at first I was like, oh my goodness, this is so awesome! My smile plastered across my face and oh so happy for you and your fabulous photography. Ha! And, then read your comments about “never . . . ,” what a teaser! But you know Lyle more than NG should be running to your door step – your portfolio is second to none. I love your work, for pleasure or pay, doesn’t matter – it works in so many ways.

    The opening shot of the duck and ducklings is beautiful. Can’t believe how blue the water was and reflections perfect.

    Great post! Enjoy your anonymity while you still have it!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      After a few years of waiting for my duckling shots, I was so excited to catch them on a gorgeous, calm summer evening when reflections and everything came together. I guess that’s the way it works. As you know, finally getting photos like these are special to me and keeps me going. The pleasure is great pay in itself. And then there’s the bonus of hearing about you smiling for my potential success – that is really quite something. Thank you.

      Your anonymity comment had me smiling!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. toughlittlebirds says:

    Could’ve fooled me! I would not be one bit surprised to see one of your photos on National Geographic. But you’re right, the photos don’t get any better just by where they’re published – they’re that good already, magazine or no. (I’ve met a National Geographic photographer, incidentally, and he was super excited about animals and landscapes and how to get an interestingly novel image – just like you.)

    And man, that is the most adorable duck family I’ve ever seen. Which is saying something, since all duckling are inherently adorable.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I tried for years to get a good duckling shot and never pulled it off till late summer this past year. It was a late batch so I’m hoping they survived. Inherently adorable sounds like a great description of those little gaffers. And they have it!

      Great to hear that I have things in common with a National Geographic photographer! That is rarefied air.

      Like

  26. Cornel A. says:

    I like very much those ducklings and their mother. They look perfect on that calm water. In the second photo, is it you that black point from the right side of the eye? I think there are some mountains reflected. In the third photo I like all shades of green, especially those from background.
    About that call, nice try. But I wonder how it would be if one day you will really receive a call from them.
    About your name… I must confess, when I’m writing the address of your website, almost all the time I write khranpix photography…and there are no results…so, I have to search your blog in my WordPress Reader..

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I tried for many years to get a duckling shot so it was exciting and surprising when this opportunity suddenly happened. Photography is like that. The Rocky Mountain Sheep was taken in the mountains so that’s possible. I think if I really got that call, I would suspect that someone was playing games with me!

      Sorry about the spelling of my name. I knew when I started that would be an issue (so not the best name!) but I liked the sound of it and for some reason couldn’t resist. Now here it is in all its confusion. At least I can have fun mocking it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Scott Marshall says:

        Cornels comment about search engines is very interesting – you may be unaware that my blog has been renamed 3 times as I have grown in ambition. At each point my search engine rating was quite good – I accepted loosing out to a film star surfer and Director. Then I started Twitter and Instagram and discovered TAGS or keywords and of course Google Adwords. Everything I post has the TAG skm1963. Nobody would consider searching such a term – would they. Actually that doesn’t matter as it is associated with Scott Marshall ( more recently Scott K Marshall) so Google see the phrase and the name as the same thing. My Twitter account – my IG and my blog all work together endorsing my product. It has taken 3 evolutions and it has been clumsy but that is how search engines work – so your unique name should be a blessing you need to continue to build and market – The film ‘Field of Dreams’ starring Kevin Costner (James Horner soundtrack) has this line – if you build it they will come 🙂

        Like

        • Lyle Krahn says:

          I remembered the one name change you did but not the other. I appreciate all that information – I wasn’t aware of all that. I must confess that I have taken a few runs at that whole SEO thing but it’s a lot less interesting to me than taking photos or writing blogs so it tends to get neglected. However, I am pleased to learn what I thot was a liability could still work me!

          I am much more comfortable in the world of blogging than Twitter, FaceBook or Tumblr (I was going to delete my Tumblr account and just today discovered a good wildlife photographer just started up there – sheesh). What’s next?

          Costner’s line is one of my favourites … and no one else could deliver it better.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Scott Marshall says:

            One final comment – then I’ll get off your blog, the name changes came land-sea-sky..uk became landseaskyimagebank became Scott Marshall Photography became Scott K Marshall Photography ( to get rid of the Surfer 😎) – SEO is a science in itself and I can’t begin to claim to understand it – but I picked up one one key thing which may be worth reading about ‘Hummingbird’ this when smartphones arrived on the scene – prior to that is was keyword searches – when smartphones started people used search terms differently – of course voice recognition introduced key phrases and the spoken search phrase was born. I have tried most mediums but I am happiest here – WP is where people engage as far as I can see – my current decision is based around wordpress dot org or dot com ( check that YouTube out) but that’s a story for another day. I only create here Twitter takes it somewhere else and IG is just some regurgitated images pushed out on my phone – G+ I don’t invest time in to but it is a fantastic resource – best decision I made was leaving Facebook – lots of input for not too much back – although my future wife did Poke me 🙂

            Like

  27. Girl Gone Expat says:

    Congrats! Very amusing post by the way, smiled my way through it:)

    Like

  28. foresterartist says:

    Never know, it could happen. Their loss anyway, you pics are too good for them. Hey, I once got a ribbon at the county fair for a photo that I entered! Does that make me “Award Winning!” I want to join the club too. 😉

    Like

  29. Carol and Noel says:

    You are an amazing person, photographer and writer, we’ve known that all along. Please keep taking the pictures and thanks for sharing your talent with us.

    Like

  30. Lavinia Ross says:

    Congratulations, Lyle! Well deserved call from NG! Your photos are outstanding!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. debbie gillespie says:

    That FANTASTIC!!! And most deserving. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Seenorway says:

    Like winning in a lottery! 🙂 That would have paid for my new camera, but – I’m not living in such surroundings!
    But you really deserved this!!! Your pictures ar – like he said – quite outstanding!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Suze says:

    Well, ‘award-winning’ makes you better than the zillion self-acclaimed professional photographers out there 😉 After all it’s a competitive business. I think your pictures should be in National Geographic magazines, seriously! I really hope you make it one day.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      You’re absolutely right about the competitive nature of the business and so many people are struggling to find a foothold. Self-described ‘professionals’ are another one of the ways people are trying. The important thing for me is that people like you enjoy my photos – thanks for that and the best wishes.

      Liked by 2 people

  34. Michelle at The Green Study says:

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with any creative endeavor – how will I feel about it after I’ve achieved something with it? While I’ve matured in my attitudes about writing, I remember years ago when I went through a homemade card hobby. Coworkers saw my work and asked to buy some. I started creating them for money and not only did I not enjoy doing it, the end product was decidedly not something I liked. It completely took the joy out of it. Some things have more worth than their market value.
    Still, I’d like to see your photos in a glossy magazine, if only to brag that “I knew you when”. Although, I’m not sure anybody really brags about knowing a photographer, do they?

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Your comments reminded me of a quote I saved and actually found, “… nothing I did, where the only reason I was doing it was for the money, was ever worth it except as bitter experience. Usually I didn’t get the money either.” Neil Gaiman

      I don’t think anyone brags about knowing a photographer but writers – that’s a whole different story. Just remember this conversation in your future famous years!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. doug keech says:

    Excellent post. I’m sure this rings true to so many…

    Liked by 1 person

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