I wanted to take a break today from sharing one of our weddings or engagement shoots and reflect a bit on 2013. “Reflect already?!” you say? Yes. Here’s why:
Over the years I’ve grown to love winter. After an always crazy Fall season, it’s our time to stop working 7 days a week, 15 hours a day. It’s time to review our last year, evaluate if we need to make any changes in our branding or marketing. Time to work on on those little pet projects that don’t get to see the light of day once August hits. It’s about planning, being methodical, and progress. So when something out of the ordinary happens and throws your world upside down, it’s hard to feel positive. Liike say, when your home is broken in to and nearly all of your camera gear being stolen.
Yup. You heard me. Stolen.
We don’t know exactly when it happend…and frankly HOW it happened. We don’t live in an easily accessible area. We have an alarm system. We have two dogs. No one is ever unsupervised in our home. Ever. Even the windows are always locked. Somehow it just vanished.
A few weeks ago I attended an awesome photography conference in Mystic, CT where I spent the week being inspired and humbled by leaders in the wedding photography industry. Canon Professional Services was there doing free clean & checks and tune ups on gear so I had packed up a bunch of gear and got it all spiffy again. I came home from the conference and put the bag in our studio without unpacking it. I wasn’t going to need any gear for a few days until we were leaving for vacation anyway. Well, just before we had to leave for the airport we went to grab the gear we needed and the bag was gone! Tore the whole house apart (which…frankly, there are no hiding places for a large bag full of gear). Tore the garage apart. Checked the cars (just in case). Nothing.
About a month or so ago there was another photographer in the D.C. area who had a similar story. All her gear was stolen without anything else in her house being touched. I don’t know what to make of it other than there must be someone out there targeting photographers, who KNOWS who the photographers are. It’s not a happy, warm fuzzy type of thing that I want to think, but I can’t come to any other conclusion. It’s left me unnerved, sad, embarassed, and angry, but it’s also left me thankful.
I’m thankful I have insurance for one. As much as I loved my gear, they’re just tools. I’m thankful it’s wintertime and I don’t have a ton of shoots to do! I’m thankful that nothing else was stolen. I’m thankful even prior to this that I already have business practices in place to safe guard against this kind of thing, so it didn’t affect our clients. (Even if they had stolen all of the computers and hard drives, we still have off-site backups of everything.) I’m thankful I have photographer friends all over that have offered me gear to borrow should I need it.
Ultimately, in a long-winded & round about way, it has also made me thankful for our clients & for what we do. Without them I wouldn’t be having this equipment, and this awesome job where I get to hang out at a big party every week and take photos. I wouldn’t get to have “slow” winter seasons to rejuvinate & grow. I wouldn’t get to meet amazing new people all the time, who turn into awesome clients, who turn into even better friends.
A few weeks ago this letter came across my desk from one of our clients and it just made my day, my week, my month even! Erica and Lincoln have been so fun to work with. They’re spunky and sweet, and the kind of people that brighten your whole day even if you’ve seen them for 5 minutes. This is why I do what I do. They sent us their adorable Save The Date (a crossword puzzle!) that used one of the engagement photos we took for them, and then wrote us a sweet and funny note (I think Erica may have been a tad delirous when she wrote it) that made me laugh at nearly every line. The best part was the bottom:
“PPS: It’s late and I just wanted to say please do not confuse this pink sheet of paper with a pink slip…we could never get rid of you guys!!!! (We brag about you ALL THE TIME!)”
Moments like these remind me that I am making an impact on people’s lives and providing something that they value and cherish. It makes all the other BS of paper shuffling, contracts, insurance paperwork, bookeeping, accouting, marketing, and managing worth it. Nothing, not even cowardly theives, can stop me from continuing my passion for photography and making impacts on my clients’ lives.