The $1,000,000 potato!


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Oct 29, 2013
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I'm on a couple of photography newsletter mailing lists, and I got this one today from the Karl Taylor newsletter. Here's an excerpt of the story of the million dollar spud.

What if I told you someone purchased a photo of a potato (yes, a potato) for $1,000,000?

Yes, I'm completely serious. Here's the million-dollar spud:

Some of you might look at this photo, tilt your head, and ask "Am I missing something?"

Now, you know I never hold back about what I'm really thinking, and this time will be no different.

And mate, don't you worry. You're not missing a thing. Because although that potato might taste exquisite, there is absolutely nothing special about this print.

Ordinary light, uninteresting compostion…

and it's a vegetable!

The bottom line: This photo looks like something from a university student's portfolio.

Yet, a man bought it for one million dollars in hard cash.

So the question is…why?

We can't know for sure, but I am certain that if this shot was captured by me, or you, or basically anyone else in the world, it wouldn't sell for more than spare pocket change.

But in this case, the shot was taken by celebrity photographer Kevin Abosch. He shoots portraits of stars like Johnny Depp and Yoko Ono for $100k a pop.

(Hell, I can't blame the guy. If someone offered me $1M for a potato shot, you can bet I would take it!

And who knows, maybe if I had entered that lofty world I'd be making millions from potato shots too. But I made a decision a long time ago to skip the big city for the humble little island where I make my home, and my family and I are much happier for it.)

Does this story get under your skin a little? Me too. But unfortunately, we live in a world where ignorance thrives. And people will buy objects based on what's "in" or trendy or who created it, instead of the art's intrinsic value.

So what's the lesson here?

Creating great images takes hard work. It takes getting your hands dirty. It takes years of practice and plenty of failures.

No, that's maybe not as 'sexy' as schmoozing with the elite at cocktail parties, but when you succeed, it is much more rewarding.

So have a good laugh at this story (I know did), but then get out there and hone your craft."
You do miss the big picture ;)

I know nothing of this story and nothing of the photographer but what you've explained.

Here's my take: He's already made it to the TOP of his field. Celebrities wait in line for his portraits, yes? Well then his potatoe is worth $1M because he took it. Reminds my of Warhol and people asking why a soup can is worth so much. ;)

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