I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. The many ways it enters our lives. The ways I can give as much as I receive. And — perhaps — even redefining what I think of as a gift.
Any time a bride invites me to document her wedding day, she’s giving me a gift. She’s giving me her trust & vulnerability on the most important day of her life. And often, by the end of her wedding, she offers her friendship.
When I first started shooting weddings, I thought of this as a business venture: I offer a service that some one needs. And that’s about it — it’s as basic as any business transaction.
But I quickly learned that this just isn’t the case for us. First of all, I love people and stories and weddings too much for me not to get emotionally involved. And I love it anytime a bride emails me and asks what color of shoe would be best for her bridesmaids. Or if she should pick tapers instead of votives. Or what color her centerpieces should be.
My original ideas of what it would be like to be a wedding photographer quickly faded and transitioned into something much more real, something much more meaningful. I realized that, if I opened myself up to it, I could partner with brides. I could become their advocate. And I could be more than another vendor to them: I could be the photographer who genuinely cares. The photographer who knows how important it is to document her father because he’s ill; the photographer who knows that she’s a little shy behind the camera; and the photographer who knows how to keep things relaxed and simple the day of the wedding.
And so I return to the idea of gratitude. I am incredibly grateful for all of my clients. Because of them, I earn a living doing what I love. I observe their lives and give them family heirlooms and art. But more than that, my brides give me their trust. Their vulnerability. And these are priceless.
It’s a small gesture, I know. But this year for Christmas, I’m sending all my brides a little gift. A way to show my gratitude. A way to say “Thank you so much,” and “You’re more than a client. You’re a friend.”
Happy Holidays to all of our beloved clients.
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Client Gifts | Camille Stallings Photography