Chris and I often discuss the value of our services. How our clients might hear value and think of a “deal.” Our goal is to instead influence their perspective to be more on the terms of something that is valuable and something to be withheld and of great worth. Many times before a bride and groom are married they have a hard time seeing what value they will place in the photographs to come. Yes, everyone wants gorgeous images that tell a story, but many times they don’t know how a single image can bring them to tears and bring a flood of memories back. Memories that are tempted to be stolen by the laps of time.
Two nights Chris and I were at Lenox to run in for a quick pair of shoes. We ran into our bride and groom from last week and we were both stunned to see them there. We were both excited and confused to see them in town since they should have been on their honeymoon. They proceeded to tell us why they were in town.
On the wedding day I went with the bride, groom, brides’ father and his siblings to the hospital. The father of the brides’ father was in the hospital and his dying wish was to be at her wedding. He was unable to attend, so immediately following the ceremony we all traveled to the hospital for them to see him. It was an emotional time and we were only there for a few minutes, but enough for them to invest in this man who they held so dear. The man that had given his granddaughter such a legacy.
The bride and groom were to leave Monday on their honeymoon, but with his health deteriorating they decided to stay a little longer. He passed away on Tuesday. This is why the couple was still in town and never did make it on their honeymoon. It was a joy to see them and to hear the story of the celebration that they gave him and to show their joy in his life well lived.
The image below is one of the moments I was able to document when they were seeing him on their wedding day. This is the value we want our clients to understand in our images. It’s something to behold and treasure. Truly valuable.
I shared this story with a few close friends and family. As I knew they could appreciate it. Here are a few of the meaningful responses we received from them. We are so fortunate to have them surrounding us and also appreciating and valuing family. If any other emails come in I’ll post them on here too. I love to show people how we see life and here their responses and their views. So please respond to this post. I’d love to hear your perspective too.
From our friend Perry Ervin in Germany:
“Oh Katie (and Chris),
It worked…I am sitting here looking at this picture after reading your notes…I have chillbumps on my skin and tears in my eyes. The value they place on this man and his life, his life’s contribution/importance to theirs…The value he placed on seeing his granddaughter’s marriage…the union of these values in this picture is evident in his and in her eyes, as well as the focus of those around them.
My imagination runs on as I try imagine what they are thinking and feeling in this moment of such joy, but also aware of what is to come. It is a moment of beginnings and endings, one filled with joy and the other marked in part by sorrow and in part by the celebration of a life that once was in this world.
Thanks for sharing this message with me. It enriched my thoughts, my life in this moment. If its true that this life is influenced by or measured by the value of the experienced moments, by the choices we have made, then this moment has influenced me AND added value to my life, just as it has yours.”
“It seems like I get one or two of these each year- the grandparent is at the wedding and then shortly after I hear of their death. It pulls at my heat every time and really reinforces the gravity of the responsibility we have to our clients. 😉 It also reinforces my responsibility to appreciate my family while they’re still here.”
From our dear friend Rachel LaCour Niesen here in Atlanta:
“Katie and Chris,
As I showed my family this powerful photo this morning, it was especially poignant because we were saying goodbye after a wonderful family vacation. Our time together is always marked by laughter and joy; our hugs & farewells today were tearful by contrast. Departures are the flip-side of togetherness; at some point, saying goodbye is inevitable. But without the contrast of “goodbye,” the idea of “togetherness” would have less significance.
My Mom shared this quote with us as we passed on our love and goodbyes in the same breath:
“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, because you do not just live in a world, but a world lives in you.” – Frederick Buechner
Your photo was another reminder today of the value of human relationships, as they feed our souls for eternity.
Love you guys. Thank you for sharing your gifts with so many!”
From my encouraging Mother here in Atlanta:
“Katie and Chris, that is beautiful. The value and need of relationships is foundational. Like the picture on your blog of the new daddy with a tear dripping from his nose. God created us for relationships! Capturing relationships from birth through death has no value that can be defined. I love your passion to give people a documentation of the most valued relationships in their lives!”
From my sister-in-law, Maggie Bergen, in North Carolina:
“Awesome and so touching! what a blessing to be a part of a “final” wish… What a heart for family!”
From our other good friend Buddy Rodgers in Germany:
“I discuss value and worth with Carrie a lot. In American society, we have been programmed by 6 decades of programming to equate low-cost with value. What has happened is we have traded the American made, quality furniture that would be passed on to future generations for a house full of particle board that was made in a developing nation. We are a nation of Esaus, selling our inheritance for immediate gratification. I think this is a lovely photo and I am glad you shared that story.”
“So powerful. Thanks for the reminder and i couldn’t think of a better person to be with the bride than you. I hope this image forever brings up happiness, joy, and the power of this legacy.”
From my sister, Elizabeth Flowers, here in Atlanta:
“How neat Katie – and what an opportunity you both have to bless others through your talent!”
From my sister-in-law, Anna Bergen, in North Carolina:
“How special that photo will be to that family forever. That photo itself holds tons of meaning, but more notable is the extra effort you and Chris took to document that for the family.”