It’s always cool when you randomly see photos you shot being used in advertisements out in the world. I’ve seen images I shot commercially for clients used in various places but I had not seen many of my NFL football photos being used in anything other than editorial publications. Last year during a preseason Packer game I was congratulated by a fellow photographer for a photo I shot of Clay Matthews that was being used in an ad campaign for Verizon. Truth be told I had not known that an image I shot was being used in a Verizon ad until that photographer told me. Shortly after that I started to see the ad being used in various locations. It was very cool and rewarding to see your images that you worked hard to get being used on such a big stage.
A similar surprise came to me this past fall as I was shopping with my family at our local grocery store. Just as I was grabbing a loaf of bread off the shelf I hear my wife say, “hey is that your photo?” Turing around to see what the heck she was talking about, I noticed a Gatorade ad on a display with a picture I had taken from a Packer game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Again it was a pleasant surprise to see.
Seeing your work being used definitely helps to motivate you especially when you question your existence as a photographer. It helps to reinforce that what you do is, at some level, appreciated and it pushes you to work harder and get better in hopes that down the road, seeing your work out in the world will be a more common occurrence.