Search
  • acall27

An Eye Opening Letter - The Importance of Portraits



I happened to come across a letter that moved me in a big way. Not usually one to reach out to people and ask for anything, this was unusual. This letter moved me in a way that I HAD to contact the recipient of the letter, photographer Jeanine Thurston, and ask for permission to reprint. She graciously allowed me to share this letter with you...

A letter on my door step. Portraits are more than paper.

JANUARY 2, 2012 / JEANINETHURSTON

There will be no portrait photos in this post. This letter wasn’t mailed – it was at my doorstep when I got home a couple months ago. I read it, I cried, and read it again – probably a hundred times by now. It wasn’t easy to read – and honestly, as much as it validates what I do for a living – I wasn’t sure I was going to share it either. If you choose to read through the letter, you will know why I’ve finally chosen to share it.

July 2nd, 2011

Jeanine –

Today I am writing for a couple of reasons. I have some quiet time at the moment and need to get a couple of things off my mind. I will leave this for my husband to deliver to you when he is ready.

You photographed my wedding, you photographed my first pregnancy and my first baby. I contacted you awhile back to photograph my 2nd child and family. After getting prices and realizing I would want all of the pictures as we love your work – I decided against spending $500+ – which is what I normally spend for portraits and prints with you.. Please know it is not because I don’t value your amazing eye, or how much we love the experience. That week that I decided to NOT do a session with you, this is how I spent some money.

On Sunday I called and cancelled our session. Monday I went out and got my hair cut ($39+tip), and colored ($65), Thursday I had my nails done ($24), my family went out to dinner at a somewhat expensive restaurant for no particular reason costing us $79 + tip. This was just 4 days since canceling our session, already totaling over $200 for unnecessary things. My nails only lasted about 2 weeks, my hair is gone, and seven weeks passed when I got the phone call from our doctor. It was not something I expected and the cancer has spread very quickly. I will be leaving my husband, my 6 year old girl and my now 2 year old – not by choice. It is very hard for me to talk about it which is why I need to write you.

I watch your Facebook page and your posts about the value of a photo and if I could give back all of those things that I purchased this few weeks after I cancelled my session with you, knowing what I know now, and have that session, well… I would do it in a heartbeat.

Now my time is done and there are no more chances for me. The next time someone cancels a session – my wish is that you forward this letter to them. Time is fragile, it is gone before you know you had it. If you charged $200 for one print it wouldn’t be enough for what it is actually worth. I cringe to think that my priorities were a manicure over a memory to pass onto my babies and husband.

My love and thanks for what you have given us from past photos. I am so sorry that I did not see it as more than paper until now.

Karen L.


15 views
  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • w-flickr

Serving the Fort Smith, Van Buren & Alma, Arkansas Area     *      annettesentell@gmail.com      *      Tel: (479) 522-1558