Growing up I was taught to give back and do good things for those around you. It taught me to love my neighbors, forgive people quickly and always stay positive as you don't understand everyone's personal life or what they're going through.
This year, I wanted to give back to my clients and thank them for trusting me with such personal parts of their lives. It means so much when I have people come to sessions, laugh and have fun and then show them just how beautiful they are. It's no secret we all have confidence issues and sometimes seeing an image of yourself is tough. But I love learning more about their families, I love when their kiddos trust me enough to giggle and act silly. I like learning about my seniors, their future dreams and accomplishments in school activities. I like watching my newborns grow into toddling little one year olds and eventually toddlers with giant personalities. You guys, I love all of my clients and appreciate them for opening their arms and inviting me into their lives.
So, the only way I could think of giving back to them, was to gift them an ornament. Nothing super elaborate but something to remind them of 2016 and their session, and me. I want them to hang it up and be reminded of what their family looked like. To reminse the feelings of how much fun they had. And as the years pass to remind them that there may be several changes in their lives but that moment in time is forever captured to look back on. My favorite time of year is Christmas and I knew this would be perfect.
But the magical thing wasn't giving back to my clients, the magical part of this whole process has been my heart growing through it. As I was boxing these I looked back and could vividly see how each and every session went. From the spring when we were picking fresh flowers, to the summer swatting mosquitoes or the fall months where I ran on zero sleep but played peek-a-boo with lots of kiddos. I boxed each one up and as I closed the lids to tape them shut I couldn't help but pray for them.
I don't talk about religion often, but I felt I wanted to share this experience. I sealed each box and prayed over every single family and each member by name as I did so. I prayed for a safe 2017, for the health of my families. For posterity and happiness and new things that can help them excel.
There are so many negative things surrounding this world right now and they're terrifying but I feel if I can do just one tiny thing and share a glimpse of happiness in others lives, I'll do it. No matter the costs.
So, thank you to my 2016 Dirt Road Photography clients. Thanks for giving me a reason to enjoy life, to love your families and inviting me in. You all mean so much more than you realize.
(Enjoy our Christmas card!)