Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Portraits are more than Paper~

Fototails Photography


A letter on my door step. portraits are more than paper.

There will be no portrait photos in this post.  This letter wasn’t mailed – it was at my doorstep when I got home a couple months ago.  I read it, I cried, and read it again – probably a hundred times by now.  It wasn’t easy to read – and honestly, as much as it validates what I do for a living – I wasn’t sure I was going to share it either – Until today, when a past client said that my print prices were too expensive.  If you choose to read through the letter, you will know why I’ve finally chosen to share it.
July 2nd, 2011
Jeanine - 
Today I am writing for a couple of reasons.  I have some quiet time at the moment and need to get a couple of things off my mind.  I will leave this for my husband to deliver to you when he is ready.
You photographed my wedding, you photographed my first pregnancy and my first baby.  I contacted you awhile back to photograph my 2nd child and family.  After getting prices and realizing I would want all of the pictures as we love your work – I decided against spending $500+ – which is what I normally spend for portraits and prints with you..  Please know it is not because I don’t value your amazing eye, or how much we love the experience.
That week that I decided to NOT do a session with you, this is how I spent some money.
On Sunday I called and cancelled our session.  Monday I went out and got my hair cut ($39+tip), and colored ($65), Thursday I had my nails done ($24), my family went out to dinner at a somewhat expensive restaurant for no particular reason costing us $79 + tip.  This was just 4 days since canceling our session, already totaling over $200 for un necessary things.  My nails only lasted about 2 weeks, my hair is gone, and seven weeks passed when I got the phone call from our doctor.  It was not something I expected and the cancer has spread very quickly.  I will be leaving my husband, my 6 year old girl and my now 2 year old – not by choice.  It is very hard for me to talk about it which is why I need to write you.
I watch your Facebook page and your posts about the value of a photo and if I could give back all of those things that I purchased this few weeks after I cancelled my session with you, knowing what I know now, and have that session, well… I would do it in a heartbeat. 
Now my time is done and there are no more chances for me.  The next time someone cancels a session – my wish is that you forward this letter to them.  Time is fragile, it is gone before you know you had it.  If you charged $200 for one print it wouldn’t be enough for what it is actually worth.  I cringe to think that my priorities were a manicure over a memory to pass onto my babies and husband.
My love and thanks for what you have given us from past photos.  I am so sorry that I did not see it as more than paper until now.
Karen L.
Jeanine~ The author of this entry, wanted her story to be shared.  So tonight I decided to share it with you.  None of us are promised tomorrow.  We need to learn to live in the moment and make the moments count.  This story is just one shining example of why.  Since this letter was written Karen has passed.  Her cancer was too advanced at the point, that it was discovered.  We send out our sincerest condolences to the family.  I have people that think I take way too many pictures, but when someone you love is no longer with you.  Pictures become priceless treasures.  You can look at them and they have the power to take you back to that moment in time.  This year I hope that you take many pictures with those that you love, they don't have to be perfect, just capture the moment.  One day someone may be forever thankful that you took that picture.  On a personal note:  I had a friend that was murdered almost a year ago.  Sadly, I do not have one picture of us together.  Since his untimely death, I have gotten to see so many pictures of him doing the things that he loved and with his other friends.  It is wonderful to see all of those pictures and I can tell you that no one thought that his life would be cut short at such a young age.  Every picture is a treasure with immeasurable worth.  

1 comment:

  1. A picture is worth a 1000 words! I avoided cameras when I was heavy, but now I realize that I missed so many opportunities to have pictures with JJ as he was growing up, or pictures with John during different parts of our journey together in this life. If I had it to do over, I would not avoid the camera, but it just is what it is. Luckily, I still have the opportunities to take pictures now. Thank you for the reminder. Love ya bunches, Lisa XOXO.....