You might recall a post where I spoofed my reaction to one of Pete’s daredevil photography techniques: he had stepped out in front of a speeding truck to get a photo.  Yesterday, he received a tear sheet of the ad from the client.  Here’s Pete’s version of the story behind the spoof:

I keep my eye on Craigslist for photography opportunities almost daily. While in Alaska last year, out of habit more than anything I checked the Minneapolis Craig’s and found an ad in which a guy was looking for a semi in a wilderness setting and it had to have a Thermo King unit behind the cab.

Being in the ultimate wilderness setting, Betsy and I were studying every truck on the way to Fairbanks. No luck. So we moved on to other photographic opportunities as we got outside of Fairbanks.

We stopped to take a photograph at a scenic overlook atop a mountain just above Fairbanks. As I got out of the car, I discovered “our” truck parked behind us at the overlook that we just happened to stop at. He was getting ready to pull out so we jumped in the car and raced down the mountain not far ahead of the trucker. Pulled to the side of the road and I ran across the street with my camera seconds in front of the truck going 50 mph down the mountain road.

I had time to snap two photographs.

That evening, I Photoshopped the image and sent a low res version to see if he was interested.

When we returned home, I met with the guy, gave him the digital file and he gave me $350 cash. Not bad for a few minutes work. The ad my photograph was used in recently ran and is below (The tear page was folded).




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  1. says

    That’s awesome. And he got a great picture for only having time to get two.

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  2. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Mary – Yeah, I’m glad it wasn’t slippery on the road! 🙂

    Hi Mike – Thanks, we’ll continue to check but I wonder when another similar opportunity will come around?

    Hi Davina – Remember that post? It seemed like one commenter didn’t get my sense of humor if I remember correctly.

    Hi Vered – Thank you – you just never know! It works out to something like $2100/hour! LOL

    Hi Robin – Thanks! It wouldn’t be the strangest place he’s found himself, but generally he’s after a critter, not a hunk of steel hurtling towards him.

  3. Bolaji says

    Wow – great story!

    You know – folks could read this and say: $350 for taking two photographs? I could do that!

    Those people tend to look at the “cost” of the product. And not the value to the buyer. The buyer wanted something VERY specific. You and Pete put yourselves in a situation to take that photograph. Well done! Who knew… 🙂

    Now – how can you get repeat business from that same client?

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  4. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Bolaji – Welcome – nice to see you here! You’re right – the situation was more about being aware than anything. Or maybe it was the Law of Attraction. 🙂 In any event, it paid for our rental car in Alaska – not bad! Thank you for stopping by.

  5. says

    Hi Betsy – That’s a brilliant story. I remember thinking he was rather daring taking that shot. I didn’t realised he’d photoshopped two pics.

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  7. says

    I wonder what Evil Kneivel’s hourly rate figured out to be?

    I’m sure that in the moment, Pete was enthralled with the “thrill of the hunt” but I think in the future perhaps you should put one of those tether units they put on toddlers on him. That way, you can pull him out of traffic when he is pursuing the perfect shot- which if I remember has put him in harm’s way MORE than once or twice!

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  8. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Goldensparks – Welcome, and thank you.

    Hi Kathy – LOL we just had a laugh at your idea! Or I could use one of those vaudeville hooks LMAO! You’re right, though, Pete doesn’t think about being in potential harm’s way if a great shot presents itself. He got painfully close to a mama moose and her calf in Alaska, and stepped in front of 500 bikers barreling down the street at the Duluth Harley-fest a couple of years ago. There was a cop who was pretty testy about that. 🙂 Great shots, though!

  9. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Barbara – I’m glad you remember the original story – it has been a while since I posted it. Thanks!

    Hi Cath – Yeah, he can push the shutter and get a lot of shots in a split second on his camera. We were surprised because the guy wanted a white truck. Thanks.

    Hi Dot – Yes, he forgot to mention the trick driving to get to a pull-off on the mountain side ahead of it. There was definitely flying gravel! Thank you.

    Hi Jannie – I know! Wish we could make that rate daily 8 to 5, eh? Thank you.

  10. says

    Hello Betsy

    My husband is thinking of becoming a photographer (on the side), so we have been doing research into how much photographers charge, and it’s a lot! We were lucky because our wedding photographer shot our wedding as a wedding gift (what a friend!) but we definitely didn’t have money for our engagement shoot and so we decided to shoot it ourselves! We really enjoyed the time we spent arranging the photos and ended up framing some (the compilation is now hanging in our living room). At any rate, with some basic equipment, an eye for some composition, and time, you should be set. The result? Instead of spending hundreds to thousands of dollars to have your family portrait, new baby shoot, or graduation photos, you’ll get your shots for free and have fun doing it!

    Best wishes.
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