Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why I Pay.....A Truly Incredible Letter

Happy New Year!  Yes, I know that it is already the 3rd of January but for those of you that have followed my blog progress you know that is my MO...lol.  I will say that if it is something important, I eventually get it out.

This is not the blog post that I intended for today, but I stumbled across this on FB a few minutes ago and I am truly in awe.  As I am sure that you know (especially since I have a page titled "Photographers that Rock") I am obsessed with pictures.  I have not been so good in the past about taking my own, but I am all about finding great photographers to take them for me.  Perhaps, this is where my love of scrapbooking has come from (the two kind of go hand in hand), you can't really have one without the other.  Uh, oh - I digress.  For the last few years when my tax return comes in, I immediately put away enough money for Zachary's birthday pictures.  As a single mom, in my mind it is an investment.  I have bills to pay and should probably use that money for other things but it is a small price to pay for memories - times in life that you can't ever get back.  People have said to me time and time again....why don't you just run down to Target - you can get a million poses for next to nothing.  My answer is simple....Target doesn't take the time to get to know you and your son.  Target does not take the time to capture expressions like these.

Both photos courtesy of Jesse Leos www.jesseleosphoto.com

Please don't think that I am hating on Target, JCPenny's, Olan Mills or any of those other places.  I have used them and I still treasure those pics as well, but honestly people, it just isn't the same.  The photographers that get to know you and truly care about you and your family and what you are gaining by making the investment in their talent are worth EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR that they charge over Target, JCPenny etc. Here is where the FB post comes in.  I am certainly not a professional photographer but my FB friend that reposted this letter is one of my "Photographers that Rock".  I know first hand that she is worth every dollar that she charges. 

Photo courtesy of Christine Tremoulet www.hotmamaboudoir.com
I guess this letter hit me so hard because sometimes I feel like I have to defend the money that I spend on photos when I am on a tight budget.  Not to mention, although I saw pretty early on in the letter where it was going, I was still sobbing at the end.  Read, enjoy.....and never underestimate the the value of a truly great photographer.  You never know the impact that their talent may have on your life somewhere down the road....when you least expect it!  Not to mention the joy they bring when you are expecting it.  To Jesse Leos www.jesseleosphoto.com and Christine Tremoulet www.hotmamaboudoir.com - I am forever grateful.  You guys truly do rock!


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.

Pretty powerful stuff in my book.  As I start out this new year...I will strive to not take things for granted and keep socking away that tax return money for the next birthday!


  1. That letter makes me misty-eyed every time I read it. Or maybe it was the fabulous kudos from you? *grin* It was such an honor working with you - and I hope we get to do it again someday!

    Happy New Year to you too!

  2. I shared this letter yesterday on FB, it was so touching. And, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment! It is appreciated :)

  3. WOW!! That has left me speechless. Tearjerker!


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