Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year | new priorities

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Pin It Here we are moving into a new year. Do you wonder where the last one went? Twelve months... or 365 days... or 8760 hours.... or 525600 minutes. Doesn't it seem like it goes by in a flash?

Have you set goals for the new year? Priorities? Have you reassessed what things are important?
For some reason this new year, I feel like getting rid of a bunch of stuff around the house. Streamlining, and cleaning up. Getting rid of things I no longer use. It's way past time. Now I'm not saying I will declutter completely, but I'm going to start. One room at a time, one box of stuff at a time.

There's one thing that will NEVER get the heave ho though, and that's my pictures! My photos are the single most important thing to me in my house. Everything else can be replaced (oh except for other family treasures). I'd bet that most of you feel the same way.

Which is why I'm writing this post. If you haven't already placed a top priority on photos, whether they are for a newborn, your children, a family session, an engagement, or a wedding.....please read on.
This blog post I'm going to share with you was shared on Facebook. That's where I first read it. It's very meaningful and moving, and will make you think about your priorities.
The author has given permission to share it, and I am posting it in the body of my post, but you can follow the link to the original post below so you can read the other comments.

From 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.

If I had gotten a letter like that from a previous client, I think I would have cried. 
This year....2012....review your priorities.....please.
This Momma didn't plan on getting in any photos at her daughter's session, I talked her into it. I'll bet she's glad she did.


Chantal7424@aol.com said...

Wow I talk about this all the time and just wish people would realize and value what an image can do and provide for someone.  This letter is touching and I thank you for sharing it!  

Deborah Chetwood said...

I just posted a link to this letter earlier today. Brought tears to my eyes but is so true. When we look back on our loved ones lost what we really long for is a beautiful representation of them. Portraits are worth so much more than simple monetary value.  

Peggie B. Hensley said...

Very touching. We all need to be reminded that how we choose to use our resources, both time and money, speaks volumes to those who watch us.  Do our children, parents, grandchildren know we value them above all else?  Do the material treasures we accumulate make us richer, or rob us of real value?  And how long has it been since a priceless portrait been made of our loved ones?

Anephotog said...

I read that last night and cried then smiled because I love that I am able to capture so many memories, not only for myself but for anyone else that lets me.

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