the value of a picture | racine childrens photographer

Ok, this isn’t like any other post I have done.  I actually debated whether to post or not because I didn’t want people to take this post the wrong way, but instead of thinking about the minority I am sharing for how I feel the majority will take this.  I’m sharing this for two reasons.  One reason is because it captures and solidifies why I love what I do and how I feel after I capture your children and families.  It strengthens the overwhelming perception of a picture being that of a piece of paper or more these days as a digital file that never sees a printer, frame, wall or photobook, but rather an image posted on Facebook or other social media outlet and then just archived on a computer.  Or in some cases an image that was never taken, such as the situation I am about to share with you.  The other reason was simply because the author of this letter wanted it shared.

I happily stumbled across this post form a blogger through another blogger and so forth.  It captured my attention, it solidified why I love doing what I do and why I do it.  Also, why I try to keep my prices affordable for most.  Anyways, I will just get you to the letter, but first let me say...this was a photographer sharing this. 

The letter you are about to read was not mailed but rather hand written and laying on her door step and it read

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.

photo by Jeanine Thurston

If you were moved by this or had what Oprah (yes I’ve seen an episode or 10) likes to call an “ah ha” moment, please share with others.  Also, use this as a reminder to take pictures and/or have pictures done of you and your family and friends.  If not for you do it for them.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow so capture the moments you have so that the ones that are left behind can look back and remember the happy times, the goofy times, the sad times, the little moments that may not mean much now but years from now will be cherished.  Ok, sorry to get all sappy on ya, and trust me its hard as a male to lay it down like this but us males have feelings too :) 

Don’t forget to share this with others and get your camera out or book your photo session with whomever photographer you choose.


thank you to Jeanine Thurston for sharing in her original post