I have a very definite niche. Many of the things that I do, not a lot of people do. And, I document most of what I do – with lots of pictures, which I post online. So, when people are searching the web for something related to my unusual interests, they often find my pictures. Then, if I’m lucky and they’re polite, they write me and ask for permission to use the pictures. I usually say yes, although it’s case by case; sometimes there’s even a little money involved, or a contributor’s copy of a cool book or magazine. I’m particularly likely to say yes if it’s for a museum supporting science, or for educational materials for schools – the only exception is if it’s for a religious organization promoting pseudo-science. I think that teaching creationism to kids is an insidious and very damaging form of child abuse. Sorry about the soap-box, but it’s something I’ve run into hard a couple of times. If you want to tell children that God made silkworms for the express use of mankind, I respect your Constitutional freedom to say so – but I also have a right to sue if you use my copyrighted pictures without permission.
This time, it was a writer with Scientific American’s website; he was looking for some images to support an article on metamorphosis. So, now, I’ve got a photo on their website, with links back to mine – and it’s a very cool article!