Last week was a total blur. My life became swept up into a monster whirlwind. And it was fun.
The week before, I wrote a story about West Deptford police Cpl. Mike Franks and his K-9, Judge, a German Shepherd dog.
Judge had Cushing’s Disease and, well, he was dying. His liver had gotten so big it was crowding out his stomach and Judge wasn’t eating. His vet and Franks made the decision to euthanize Judge.
There was a huge turnout for Judge. Fifty-some cops, some with their K-9s, came out to pay final tribute to Judge as he walked — yes, at the last minute, he was able to walk under his own steam — into the Swedeboro
Animal Hospital in Woolwich Township.
So I took a bunch of photos and posted five of them with my story on gloucestercountyonline.com.
The story spread like wildfire. Sunday night I got a request from a British newspaper website asking for permission to use my photos.
By the next morning, there were four requests waiting in my email. Thank goodness, one was from an agency, Mercury Press, that handles photo syndication.
Soon the photos were on SKY TV in London, ITV UK, four or five daily newspapers in Britain, an Australian website, a Brazilian website, a couple of Polish newspapers, a U.S. pet magazine’s website, a couple of
German publications, a major U.S. mag called In Touch, Ashton Kutcher’s Aplus.com website, Huffington Post UK, and Japanese Fuji TV’s morning show.
Inside Edition called, but they wanted video. I didn’t take any, but I learned a lesson. Next time, video, too, old chap.
All of this has tickled the heck out of me. Imagine, a guy who has spent his whole life wrangling words into readable shape getting international exposure for his photographs.
It was great exposure, too. Many of the finished products carried the credit “Jim Six/gloucestercountyonline.com.” Some stories linked back to my website. One even interviewed me and used my stuff and my comments.
I though I was hard to impress, but this! Good gosh! This was well beyond anything I could have imagined. I’ll make a few bucks from my photos, but the whole world is talking about Judge and Mike Franks. (He was on Inside Edition on Monday. I don’t know when he’ll be on the Japanese morning show.)
But one of the coolest mentions? Muse Watson, who plays Gibbs’ old partner Mike Franks on NCIS, posted a link to a UK website’s version of the story with my pictures on his Facebook page, citing “a ‘real’ Mike Franks” and his dog, Judge, as heroes.
For most of my adult life, I’ve always thought how cool it was that some journalists and photographers have agencies or syndicates to sell their work. Now, even if this is a flash in the pan as far as international
attention is concerned, I am one of those people.