Local pic goes viral and may end up in the Smithsonian
The Great American Eclipse was definitely a moment that will stick with Wyomingites for years to come. As hundreds of photos flooded social media in the moments and hours following totality, one photograph gained a spectacular amount of attention. The photograph, taken by Fremont County local, Michael Chingman, quickly went viral.
“I knew, when we put the teepees up, I just knew that this was going to be a one-of-a-kind picture,” said Chingman. “I was telling my friends and coworkers that someone’s going to get a picture from the Wind River Reservation and it’s going to go viral. I just never thought it was going to be me.”
Chingman says that after he shared the picture on social media, other people began sharing the photo “left and right.” A woman working for the National Indian Gaming Association got a hold of him in the days after posting and asked him if he would be willing to sell them a digital print of the photo to use for the cover of their national magazine.
Eventually, someone from the Nation’s Attic (nickname for the Smithsonian) in Washington D.C. contacted Chingman about commissioning the photo into the Smithsonian Institute. He responded to the request and set the process of board approval into motion, which is still underway at the time of this writing.
Chingman says that since going viral, being included in the magazine, and being contacted by the Smithsonian Institute, he has sold and shipped prints of the photograph all around the United States.