Another photographer posted this link on Facebook and I found such value in it that I decided to make a special blog post just for it. Sometimes we get so consumed with “things” in the world today that we forget what’s really important. Which of course, it not actual “things,” but rather: people, family, moments, memories. That’s what really matters. I think it’s almost comical that people rant about the idea of spending just $150 on pictures that last a lifetime, or at the least, certainly longer than those $150 pair of jeans you bought last week that will surely be out of style in the next 5 years if not less. I don’t want to get on a soap box about this, as I too struggle with this concept as well; however it serves as a good reminder to focus on the things that really matter. You can certainly waste all your money, and earn it back; but you only get one chance at life.
I like this quote: “Time is the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.” – John Randolph
Here is the actual letter written to this particular photographer:
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.
To view this post in it’s entirety, you can visit: http://fototails.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/a-letter-on-my-doorstep-portraits-are-more-than-paper/
Hope this helps you put things in perspective when you’re debating on whether or not to capture some of your life’s most precious moments. Life is truly precious; live that way. If you thought this post was truly about how to spend your money, or a plea to spend more money on photography, then you’ve missed the true concept.