I am so grateful to be living in Tampa.
Putting down roots here with Jason has been rewarding in so many ways. Having both our families here, friends, making connections with work. All good things. If you stay in one place long enough and try to do right by people, you reap what you sow.
I’m not just talking about financially or socially, either. I’m talking about making an positive impact in peoples’ lives, and getting to know them enough that I’m able to do so. That takes time.
One of my former co-workers put me in touch with his sister for some family photos. It was a small gig, but I ended up staying there and chatting with them about photography, cameras, and all sorts of things. The photo work was great, but more important for me is that everyone feels comfortable with one another and walks away from the session feeling excellent and at ease.
I was so grateful and humbled when, a few months later, they called me again. This time it was because their Grandmother’s health was failing. We did a photo session in their yard and everyone was so relaxed and patient. It was hard for everyone though, I could feel it.
About a week later, my client wrote me, “Just wanted you to know, our granny passed away on Thursday evening. Our photo session was the last time she was able to go outside. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (and thought) “I’m so glad we took those pictures!” She thought the pics came out really beautifully and that’s saying a lot because she hated photos of herself. Thank you for helping us to celebrate her life. Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s a great thing.”
I was so full of emotions reading her message. Happy because we got the photos (schedules worked out, etc.), happy because they were able to spend time with her, and happy knowing she liked them. At the same time, I was overwhelmed with sadness for their family’s loss.
“Our photo session was the last time she was able to go outside.”
I’m glad I got to meet her.
I’m glad I got to meet all of my clients in 2014, and though I never blog often, I want you to know that I care about you all very much and wish you well always. Spend as much time as you can financially afford with your loved ones. There are no do-overs. This is it. Love as much as you can.