U.S. Capitol at sunset

Uncle Sam Wants My Photo of the U.S. Capitol Building

U.S. Capitol Building at sunset

U.S. Capitol Building

The U.S Capitol Building is one of my favorite pieces of architecture. If you've ever been to Havana, you may know there's a duplicate of it there. It's blocked off with chain link fence and doesn't look as well maintained as the original in Washington D.C.

Some of you may remember seeing this photo here before.

Apparently, it caught the eye of some folks who work with the U.S. House of Representatives.  They've requested permission to use it as the theme photo for the New Member Orientation after the elections this year.

That means my photo will be on the cover of the new member pictorial directory, on signs and perhaps some flyers or other publications.

What Does Congress Pay for a Photo of the U.S. Capitol Building?

If you're wondering what I got paid for something like this, the answer is pretty simple.  Not a dime. A person working for the Committee on House Administration for the House of Representatives contacted me and I granted permission to use it under Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC.

I have to admit that the first question I asked was what I could get paid.  Like most things relating to photography, it seems there's a budget to print the photo, but no budget to pay the photographer.

Why I Sometimes Share Photos for Free

If this were for a commercial venture, I would have turned it down right away. In this case, I looked for other ways to leverage something from the opportunity. For example, having a backlink from a .GOV Internet address is a pretty useful resource for some Google juice.

We also discussed future visits to photograph the Capitol, which may yield some access beyond what I was already able to achieve.

Manage Your Expectations

I'm keeping my expectations low, but it seemed like a pretty positive experience. The photo won't be used until after the 2012 election results and they know who are going to be the new members in the House of Representatives.  Until then, we'll see how this turns out.

Visit the U.S. Capitol Building

If you'd like to visit the U.S. Capitol building, start with the Capitol Building Visitor Center.

I took a different route when planning my visit, starting with contacting my Congressional Representative. That worked out very well. All I expected was to get added to the regular tour. Instead, the Congressman's Chief of Staff met with me and I had a tour from his secretary.

When we got to the Library of Congress, the Chief of Staff joined us again and arranged for me to get access on the cupola, so I was able to get some rooftop photos of the Capitol building, also.

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