Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Captured Moments = Priceless

Yesterday, I read a post (copied below with permission) and it touched my heart on a very personal level…

Maybe you know this about life – but just in case you have forgotten and are beginning to take it for granted – let me remind me you – it is precious!   Tomorrow is not promised.  Time doesn’t stop.   Children grow-up – FAST!   People we love grow old and pass on.   People in our lives leave us suddenly and too soon.   Life is full of treasured moments.    But if you miss capturing them – they are often hard to remember or forgotten (especially through generations).   We are but a moment in the grand scheme of eternity.  

I sometimes get picked on for having so many photos of our children – yet, I will never regret a single memory captured.   Having seven adopted children has given me a real understanding to the value of a photograph.   Every photo that I have captured of them since the moment we met is in a photo book (at the moment I am over a year behind – the post below has set a new fire inside of me to get all the books done and caught up).  They spend hours going through them all.   They love bringing me a book so I can retell the story of the day we met.   They love reminiscing about when they came home and all the firsts we shared together.   Not one photo do I regret.   Their value is priceless to them and me. 

I make sure during every holiday and special event to capture us as a family together.   The last two years I have made sure to capture our children with their grandfather so they never forget how much he loves them.   He battle with cancer is coming to an end.   When the hurt fades and we need to hold onto him – all of us will have photos to cherish of our family with him – laughing, loving and living together.   We are blessed to have had time to walk through our good-byes – many don’t get that.   In a moment everything can change – a car accident, or a sudden heart attack.  

What would you give to have a photo to share with your children and grandchildren of the loved one they will never see again?   What would you give to see their smile once more?   

What excuse have you made as to why you are not ensuring that you capture photos of yourself with your children or just you as a couple?  

Friends, I say this with all the understanding that hiring a professional photographer is a real investment – but not just for today – it is an investment for generations to come.   It is the only way to share those we love with the next generation – a single photo can tell a story worth a thousand words.   I fell in love with photography because it allowed me to never forget a moment in time that I wanted to stand still forever.    It is the reason why I do what I do today – capturing the extraordinary moments in life for others!


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

Posted by jeaninethurston on January 2, 2012

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.

It's funny, I've had people tell me all sorts of reasons for not wanting to have their photos done.  Or couples who haven’t had a photo together since their wedding or the birth of their first child – because they “see no need”.

Here are some excuses I've heard: "I'm waiting until I lose some weight", "I didn't get photos done for my other children, why start now", "I can't afford it now", "We have too much going on right now", "I have nothing to wear", "I plan on it this year".  Seriously.

Some put the value of a photograph at the cost of the "digital click" or the cost of the paper it's printed on.  What a shame.   I would give any thing to have more photos of me as a child to share with my children today.   I would give anything to have photos of my grandparents who I never got to meet, because they passed away the year I was born.   I'm sure there are quite a few of you who feel this way about someone special that you have lost.

If you have ever felt this way or have said any of those excuses, I urge you to think about all that was shared today. 

May this true story be that soft voice in the back of your head to be in front of the camera, often – no matter how hard it is – don’t wait for tomorrow – it is not promised!   

Don’t let the excuses stand in the way of you capturing memories that will be cherished by all those you love and love you!


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