I owe a debt of gratitude to Nubble Light. It was here that I took the photo that propelled my photography career forward. I remember it well: it was a Monday evening in December and fresh snow had fallen along the coast of Maine. The forecast called for partly cloudy skies and a near-full moon. And Christmas lights adorned the lighthouse structures, as they do every year between Thanksgiving and New Year.
I had photographed the lighthouse with its Christmas decorations several times in prior years with varying degrees of success. But after seeing the fresh snow, I decided to risk the one-hour drive from my home for a better photo. It was a bitter cold evening, so I dressed in full winter garb, complete with snow pants and a balaclava. My eyes were the only body parts exposed to the elements.
Nubble Light is a famous American icon, so plenty of visitors come here at dusk to admire the Christmas lights. But the majority of folks are usually gone within 30 minutes after sunset. So, there were only a few of us diehards left when I shifted over to the far end of the shore rocks for a better angle of the moon.
I took the last photo an hour after sunset. I set up the camera and waited for the moon to reach a good height as it passed behind backlit clouds. The next morning, I posted that photo from the prior evening on Facebook, Within a few hours, it had been shared thousands of times: it was a game changer for my photography.
Within days of posting the photo, the Town of York arranged to purchase my photos in bulk for their expanded Nubble Light Gift Shop. I’ve since sold hundreds of prints of that December photo through various channels, and have even licensed the image to National Geographic for the cover of a greeting card. In 2014, it was also declared “most popular photo of the year” on social media site, 500px. In addition, the photo is included in a new history book on American lighthouses by best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin, entitled “Brilliant Beacons”. And Tim Janis, the American composer and producer with 10 Billboard charting CDs, has recently licensed that same image (along with many others) to appear in an upcoming music video.
Over the years, I’ve photographed Nubble Light at various times of day and night. But that photo taken in December 2013 remains my most popular. So, thank you for the big favor, Nubble Light!