Over the holidays, I got an email from a man whose family I photographed back in 2010. I remembered the session well: he and his wife were hosting their children and their children's families for Thanksgiving, so they wanted a big group portrait as well as some more casual images. The weather was great, the family was gorgeous, and the photos came out beautifully, but I really remember this particular session because of what happened when I met with them again to show them their photos. As we went through the set, they were thrilled - went on and on about how beautiful they were, how they'd never had anything like this done before - but as soon as we started discussing the order, the husband became visibly agitated. As it turned out, his wife (who had hired me last-minute), hadn't had the chance to fully discuss the investment involved with him beforehand, and the price was apparently not what he was expecting. It was a horribly awkward situation  - one I learned a lot of valuable lessons from - but thankfully, we were able to work it out and place their order. It's the only time in my career as a photographer that I've ever felt bad when delivering an order, but in the end there was nothing to do but to chalk it up to experience and move on.

And that was it, until last month's email, which was short and to the point:

The pictures you did of my five grandkids a few Thanksgivings ago gives me more pleasure then any of the other art that I own.

I hope that you are doing well.

*Insert little dancing/smiling/bursting heart emoji here*

These days, people take more pictures than ever before, and with hard drives and Facebook feeds overflowing with snapshots, plenty of them have a difficult time justifying the time and expense of a professional session. I frequently hear from women who are struggling to convince their spouses (and sometimes themselves) that portraits will be a worthwhile investment, and though I understand their hesitation, I've never yet had a client regret their decision to have them made. Every time I get a huge hug at the end of a session, watch a parent choke up when they see their images, or get invited back to make more photographs for a family that wasn't too sure about hiring me in the first place, I believe more strongly in the importance of what I do for a living.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be writing two more posts dedicated to addressing peoples hang-ups around portrait photography. Be sure to check back if you or someone you know needs convincing, and if you've already worked with me or if you have a relevant story to tell, please be in touch... I'd love to feature you!