The next time someone asks Maine photographer Kari Grosser Herer where they can see her work, she can direct them to New York, Toronto or Mumbai, India.
The tech company Apple is using one of her photos in an international billboard campaign promoting the quality of the camera function on its latest iPhone. Since late June, a photograph of her daughter enjoying a splash in the pool has been part of the ad campaign, with billboards and huge banners in more than a dozen cities across the globe.
“All of a sudden it’s all over the world. It’s pretty cool,” said Herer, 40, who lives in Yarmouth. “It has been really fun. The most fun part has been playing the ‘Where’s Waldo’ game to find them all.”
Friends are filling Herer’s Facebook page with photographs of the billboards. The latest was spotted in Mumbai, India. Her photograph appears in 13 cities, including three in India and one each in Canada and Mexico. The rest are in the United States, from New York to Los Angeles. Some extend more than a dozen stories top to bottom.
Herer took the iPhone photo of her now 5-year-old daughter, Thea, in 2014, as she was being tossed in the air and about to splash down in a pool. Apple selected it, along with images from about two dozen other photographers, to promote its phone. In addition to her work as a fine-art and commercial photographer, Herer teaches a class about iPhone photography at Maine Media Workshops and College in Rockport.
This is the third year of Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign, which celebrates the “warmth and joy of summer,” according to AdWeek. The campaign is called “Sunshine Everywhere.”
Herer said she was contacted by an agency representing Apple. The agency saw Herer’s photos on her Instagram feed and sent Apple six images. Apple selected the pool shot of her daughter. Apple paid her for the use of the image, but Herer declined to say how much money she received.
Representatives of Apple did not return calls seeking comment for this story.
Herer said it’s too soon to say how the campaign will boost her career. The billboard image credits her, but only with her first name and the first letter of her last name. “It’s brought some excitement to my Facebook page, but I do not expect people to reach out to me because of the billboards. If they find me, it will be by coincidence,” she said.
Herer has lived in Maine for 12 years. She grew up in Wisconsin and came east for an artist residency in Massachusetts. She made her way to Maine, fell in love with the state and decided to stay. As do many artists in Maine, she supports her family by engaging in work related to her artistic ambitions.
In addition to teaching and taking fine-art photographs for exhibitions and sales, she also works as a commercial photographer, taking pictures at weddings and for a range of clients.
She uses her iPhone for work and pleasure. She especially likes the iPhone for family photos, because it’s convenient and less intrusive than a larger camera. “The kids don’t pay attention to it as much, and the quality just keeps getting better and better,” she said.
As for the billboards, Herer hasn’t seen any of them in person – yet. She is planning a trip to Wisconsin this summer and may take a driving route that takes her through New York, so she can see the billboard there at Astor Place and Cooper Square, and perhaps other cities where the billboard is hanging, including Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Other U.S. cities with the billboard include Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, Minneapolis and Columbus, Ohio.
Her daughter, she said, is pretty excited about seeing an image of her reproduced so large.
“I wish I could take my kids to India, too, but that’s not happening this summer,” she said.
Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at: