Getting an image licensed for a mural at the Skydeck Chicago

Getting an image licensed for a mural at the Skydeck Chicago

Earlier this year, I was contacted by Skydeck Chicago because they were interested in one of my images for a mural. It’s an image I photographed from the Skydeck (the observatory at the top of the Willis Tower) back in 2014, during my second visit to the city.

They agreed to pay a licensing fee for the use. which was specific to the mural, the location and the size. They wanted the image enlarged to fit 20×8 feet at 150dpi. While the image’s original resolution was nowhere near that size, I ended up enlarging it through Photoshop and they were fine with the file.

Last month, after my workshop in Chicago, I stopped by the Skydeck to have a look at the mural. It’s in a public space, greeting you when you get to the observatory, before you have to pay. It was quite the sight to see my image printed that large!


It looks great from a distance, but as I expected, the quality doesn’t hold up when you get closer. The original resolution was just too low. Now, most people will stay further away, so it’s not a big deal. I saw a few people snapping a selfie in front of the mural while I was there, which is a good sign!

Here’s a photo of me in front of the mural, to give you some idea of the scale.

It was great to see the final result. Licensing images like this isn’t my main source of income, but I’ve managed to have a few of these every year lately, which provides a nice side business.

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