big black rain cloud

I wish I had a picture of a big black rain cloud. 
I wish I had a picture of a big black rain cloud hovering over me.

I think that my personality lends itself to the happier moments of life.  I like to live there – in my happy place.  I have a friend who sometimes reminds me that it isn’t real – this happy place of mine – but I spend most of my days choosing to believe that love and beauty and kisses and laughter and long days of smiles are what matter – they are my reality.

Today though, I can’t seem to see past the big black rain cloud hovering over me.

Sometimes, well most times, I believe that I am invincible – that every problem has a solution.  There aren’t a whole lot of things that get to me – bother me – get me down.  There aren’t too many situations where I can’t still see the light.  Today, though, there is a sadness that I don’t think I will be able to shake very easily.

Today, the big black rain cloud remains.

Recently, I had a hard drive fail me.  That may not sound like much, but to a photographer, it is a lot.  Immediately, after taking someone’s pictures, I back them up to an external hard drive.  . . . and then I do it again, just to be safe. 

Somehow, though, in the chaos of life, something went wrong.  I failed. 

When my hard drive failed, I lost several folders of images that did not have a back up somewhere.  I don’t know how it happened.  I just know that I fell short in my job to protect and preserve memories.  I have spoken to these families directly, and it was very, very hard.  It was very hard, because it meant that I failed.  It meant that I didn’t do what I promised them I would do – freeze and save time. 

In one instance, I was able to redo the shoot, and we got some new and incredible images.  But in the case of a couple other families, those moments are gone, and the big black rain cloud remains.

I must tell you, that this entry is very difficult for me to write because it tells everyone that I have failed.  It tells everyone to be wary of putting their trust in me.  It tells everyone of my error – and that is hard to do.  I think I decided that I wanted to share of my big black rain cloud, for a couple of reasons.  One is that I believe in vulnerability and grace.  I want my clients to trust me, because when they do, they can be themselves in front of the camera, and that is when I am able to capture some really special images and moments.  I think honesty builds trust.  (and believe me, I have learned a hard lesson, and DARE NOT REPEAT IT AGAIN.  I have hopefully become a master backer-upper.  Hopefully, someone will trust that.)

The other reason I felt like I wanted to share was because I feel like I have had a change of mind or heart about my “business model/practices.”  You see, I have never really given opportunity for individuals or families to buy the digital negatives of their sessions.  There were many reasons why I chose to do this, but the main one was because I wanted to be in control.  I have spent so much time researching good labs, quality paper types, etc., and I want my clients to have the best.  I spend a considerable amount of my life behind the computer perfecting the images’ color, exposure, sharpness, etc., because I believe in quality.  I want the money that my clients spend on their memories to be worth something.  I want them to have quality hanging in their homes – so I have wanted to stay control.

It is a lot though.  It is a lot of time, money, and stress, though, to stay in control.  So, I think some things will change in my structure of “business.”

IF YOU WERE A CLIENT OF MINE IN 2008 OR 2009 AND WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE YOU DIGITAL NEGATIVES BEFORE I STOP STORING THEM PERMANTELY, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.  I WILL HAVE THEM AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE UNTIL MARCH 21ST.    I will be sending out a note talking about this change and about how I will be letting go of STORING THESE IMAGES FROM 2008 and 2009, so if you would like to purchase them, please let me know before MARCH 21st. 

To those of you whom are considering me as your photographer, please know and trust that I have indeed learned something – something about storage, about time, about trust.  I want you to trust that I have your memories stored safe.  I want you to trust that I will always be honest with you.  I want you to trust me.  I will work for your trust.

I wish I had a picture of a big black rain cloud.
  1. Phil

    March 5th, 2010 at 11:09 am

    http://www.ucar.edu/communications/staffnotes/0510/images/silverlining.jpg

    I think you’re being to hard on yourself… there’s always a silver lining… I hope your weekend goes better.

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