Because frankly, this wouldn't happen if my random photographic images weren't residing in a highly indexed funky folksonomized searchable database that is accessed by hundreds of thousands of people:
Hi, I am working with Malcolm Holzman at Holzman Moss Architecture on his upcoming book on building materials. In one chapter he addresses load bearing walls. He is interested in using an image of the Monadnock building. I have located your excellent photograph on [Flickr] and assume that you are the copyright holder.
Would it be at all possible to discuss what might be involved to use such an image for our publication? The use of such an image would be greatly appreciated and we would use your guidelines for credit, etc.
And, yes, by now she knows that all you have to say is "your excellent photograph" and you can have anything you want from me...