It was a rough morning. And while my head filled with doubt and insecurity, I was quickly reminded why I do what I do. I opened my mailbox today and instead of finding a pile of bills I was anticipating, I found the sweetest note and gifts cards from a client of mine. Her words of thanks were sent before I had even delivered her gallery. Her gesture of kindness was spread from a place of love. Not of what I give them in photographs, but in the experience that makes it.
I am going to have an honesty moment with you all. I obsess sometimes over my work. Am I sharing the right thing? Is my work living up to the bar I have set for myself? I can literally spend hours obsessing over which photo I should post in my instagram feed next just because I want it to flow from the colors to the pairings and crops like a seamless design. And truthfully when that happens, and I can’t decide what to post it can literally freeze me for days at a time. And during that time of frozen waiting, I always come back to the same thought. It’s just a photo.
It’s just a photo. I simplify down my life’s work by tossing it aside like it doesn’t matter. I have spent over a decade building this business from something that was fun to a full grown family supporting legacy. I have invested hours and tears and heart ache and loads of money developing my work into what it is today and in one thought I can tell you….”It’s just a photo!” I say this not because I don’t think my work is worth anything. I cherish photos more than anything. I know the gift of photos is an important one, but at the end of the day, it is really just a photo! The work that matters is not the product from click of my shutter. It is the hours I spend with clients chatting over timelines, wardrobes, locations, prep. It is the unseen hours i spend behind the scenes editing, creating bridal guides, sending vendors albums and galleries, working with people to keep all of this afloat. This instagram feed is a great highlight reel of my growth and talent in taking a photo, but it leaves out so much more of me. While I am so proud of the images I create, I know that isn’t why I am doing all this. I am not just continuing down this career path to capture a pretty photo. I know that my work means so much more.
I can tell you that I get to know you along this journey. I get to see and learn so much about the people I serve on a wedding day. I know about the fights between family members during the morning rush of a wedding day (and the hugs and apologies that follow at the end). I witness what your future spouse gifts you, the vows that you spent hours writing. I see how he reacts to seeing you for the first time and I hear the prayers you share together on your wedding day. I see the tears shed and the nerves exposed. I see the highs and lows of the entire experience. We fix dress and veils, help set-up sound systems, gather family, bustle dresses, and at times we even coordinate parts of the wedding day. I get to live in your real moments and capture them from beginning to end. And while I love every single minute of what I do, it leaves me at times feeling so connected to you and then after a wedding day, our time is done. It is an honor to serve this short time in your life. TO share in your highs, to shed tears along with you. To capture how you feel and what you cherish. It ISN’T ABOUT THE PHOTOS!!! It’s funny because I spent so many years perfecting my craft and learning so much about composition, lighting, exposure and all the elements of a perfect photo. I spent time nailing down our editing style and working towards taking the photos we wanted to create. And some of the images that I cherish the most of my own work aren’t even on my website. They aren’t in an instagram feed. But they are in a wedding gallery and cherished by our clients. I learned through the years of living this work that the perfect photos are gorgeous, but the service I provide people means so much more. And funny enough, the more I focused on serving my clients, the more my work grew too!
I share this today, because I needed to remember it. Maybe you needed to hear it too! And to my sweet clients that gifted me and reminded me why I do what I do, thank you! LOVE YOU BOTH! 🙂