The Story Behind My Iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry Photo

Spoonbridge and Cherry Winter - Minneapolis Art Prints | William Drew Photography

This photo is now 10-years old. And despite the thousands of photos I have taken since, it is still my most iconic photo. I would actually like to re-do this photo, and I will tell you why below.

First off, a little background to this photo. We had just received a wet snow in early December of 2007. I was out shoveling my driveway, muttering a few choice words as the wet snow was sticking to my shovel, and then out of nowhere a vision popped into my head. It was a scene with the snow stuck to the top of the cherry on the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture at the Walker Art Center's Sculpture Garden. As soon as I finished shoveling my driveway, I made the 10-minute drive from my house to the Sculpture Garden.

At this point in my photography, I had just purchased my first ever DSLR in August of 2007. So I was a complete newbie to this photography world and was still doing a lot of guessing on what settings to use. As I approached the sculpture, I went to a different spot than nearly 100% of the other photographers still go to this day. I went to the end of the handle of the spoon, instead of getting the Minneapolis Skyline in the background. And as you can see, that decision worked out beautifully. 

Since taking this photo, it has appeared on the cover of a magazine and is the only photo of mine to be accepted to the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Building. While at the State Fair, the photo sold before the fair even opened. Which tells me I could have sold it for a lot more than the price I had put on it. But it was my first time even entering a photo for the State Fair, so I was completely unaware of what pricing some photographers used on their accepted work. While this photo was in the Fine Arts building, I went there three different times and stood near the photo. I did not talk to anyone like I would now, but I did listen. The photo was in a little alcove. There were a few photos on each of the three walls in the alcove. My photo was on the 3rd wall. I would watch as people would walk into the alcove, walk by the photos on the first and second wall, and then stop at mine. And they would talk about my photo. It was a wonderfully humbling experience and I still cherish that memory today.  

One reason I am posting this photo today is Explore Minnesota has been posting this photo on their social media accounts recently. I saw it on both Instagram and Facebook. On Instagram, the received over 11,600 likes on my photo and it became their most liked photo of the year! How cool is that! A photo I took 10-years ago is the most liked photo on a page that has over 120,000 followers! One issue though. They did not tag me in the post. They did not tag my photography page in the post. So, despite having a photo garner over 11,600 likes, I gained zero from it outside of my slightly inflated pride. If they had tagged my photography page, maybe I could have gained some new followers. Maybe I could have sold some prints. Maybe I'd still be sitting here today with the same amount of followers and sales. We will never know. But it sure would have been nice to find out. Over the entire 2017, my Instagram page received just over 9,000 likes. Total. Which is actually twice as many as I had received in 2016, so that's a great number for me. And then one of my photos garnered 11,600 likes and Explore Minnesota gained 100% of that benefit off of my work.

Anyway, I mentioned above that I would love to re-create this photo. I also mentioned above that I took this photo 4-months into my photography journey. I look at this photo now and I see mistakes. Now, don't get me wrong, I still love it. But here we are, 10-years later. I am a much better photographer. My photo editing skills have improved more than my photography skills have since then. And I have a much better camera. I can totally re-do this and get a better image out of it. Could it match the iconic level that this photo has reached? There is only one way to find out. And hey, if Prince can re-create his iconic 1999 song (which he did in 1999), then I can redo this photo. Hopefully with better results than Prince had.