How my photo got to appear in The New York Times

See also: How I came to announce the winners of the NYFCC Awards 2012

Screenshot of The New York Times' website, photo credit by Sebastian Nebel (that's me!)

Screenshot of The New York Times’ website, photo credit by Sebastian Nebel (that’s me!)

Yes, that actually is my photograph (and name) in an article about feral cats (“That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think“) from today’s nytimes.com.

And it’s in the print version, too! “A version of this article appeared in print on January 30, 2013, on page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: From Cuddly Critter to Killing Machine: Cats Are Much Deadlier Than Once Thought.” Here’s photographic proof, courtesy of Dana Stevens:

Page A19 of the January 30, 2013, edition of The New York Times.

Page A19 of the January 30, 2013, edition of The New York Times.

So how did this happen?

You may remember the photo from my long-running (and now long-dormant, for the most part) project Trier Daily Photo, where I posted a series of pictures showing the same feral cat with its bunny prey. The entry sparked a whole lot of comments from cat lovers and haters everywhere.

The photo that ended up being used by the Times even got its own lolcat treatment a few years ago, when someone posted it in a Gizmodo Caturday thread:

Then, last November, I got an e-mail from Scott Loss, a researcher with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo in Washington DC. He had found the images on Flickr and was asking if he could use one or more of them for a journal article to be published in “Nature Communications.”

Of course I was thrilled by the opportunity and sent Scott the original files immediately. In the end, he didn’t use my images in his article, but when he was interviewed for the New York Times story he remembered them and so last week I got a message from Soo-Jeong Kang, Picture Editor (Science/Health) for the Times.

And today I find myself as a small part of the “MOST E-MAILED” and, for a short time, anyway, the “MOST VIEWED” article on their site. And my name’s actually printed in the friggin’ New York Times! What!

Thank you Scott Loss, thank you Soo-Jeong Kang, thank you The New York Times!

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