In 2009, an advertising agency representing Coleman camping products found one of my photos from 1966 on the website.

Here’s the message I received, which I at-first thought was a scam:

“I am an Art Producer for (name withheld) Ad Agency in Detroit. Recently we designed and sold a print campaign idea for our newest client Coleman. We are interested in possibly using your family photo in this campaign. I have attached the photo and how it will be used in upcoming magazine ads. I am responsible for securing the image and securing the release to use it. I would like to talk with the family about compensation for Coleman to use your shot.
Please email me or call me at your earliest convenience or direct me to the appropriate person.”

Here’s part of my response: “All the people in the photo are financially sound, in their 50s, and like Coleman products, so we’ll consider Coleman products in lieu of cash if that is of interest to your client.”

They accepted. Here’s the original photo:

And here’s what they did with it, adding a tent, lantern, fire, and missing marshmallows. It was a full page ad in Men’s Journal Magazine, a page-wide ad on the weather page of USA Today, it was on billboards,other ads, and covered a wall in a Midwest airport.

I shared the wealth with those in the photo, having Coleman send me (the photographer) -and those in the photo- matching sets of Coleman products. Here’s Ken with his pile: