Meet Emily….. isn’t she beautiful? She’s a senior at Stephenville High School. She is in front of my camera for the second time….
I actually took Emily’s senior portraits and a few of the family one afternoon about 4 weeks before this. After Thanksgiving I went to process/edit the shoot, and couldn’t find the files ANYWHERE. I frantically looked on all my hard drives & storage and couldn’t believe what was happening. My heart just sunk in sadness. In my six years of shooting digital, I have never had this happen.
But it did- and I can’t exactly pinpoint when or how, all I know is that during all the madness and rush of last minute holiday sessions, the files must have been erased or overwritten. And since I didn’t go to edit them until a few weeks after the shoot, I just don’t know when or how. So, I contacted Becky, Emily’s mom, and explained to her what had happened. And apologized through the nose over and over. The one thing I didn’t do was lie- I told her the truth as soon as I figured out that I didn’t have them. I figured honesty was the only thing I had left to give her. I have actually known Becky for a while now through a good client of mine, but this was the first time to actually do work for her personally. I was prepared for an upset, disgusted response and potential client loss. Which I totally understand.
But instead this is what I got….. “Allison, I can’t imagine what you are going through! We are available….. Just don’t worry and we will see you tomorrow.” Really? Is she really this forgiving? Now, I know she and Emily were upset/mad, they had to be. But instead of putting more guilt on me, she went out of her way to try to make ME feel better. Me, the one who messed up. The one who lost files of some really cool senior session shots that Emily ROCKED. Amazing.
So, we grabbed a couple family pics and a few of Emily to get what they needed for Christmas…
Now, as if her kindness wasn’t enough for this thoroughly embarrassed “photographer” you will never believe what happened next. I went by the office where she works for her sister-in-law to drop off a cd a few weeks later. Becky hands me this really cool little wooden box, all the time smiling. I looked at her puzzled, and she said it was for me. I opened it up to find this…
Becky made this beautiful pen. She made it out of wood she found, and created this keepsake that will forever mean much more to me than she will ever know.
The more I thought about it, I just couldn’t help but see the love of Christ. Now, I don’t know Becky well enough to speak of her faith, but she has always been a kind, wonderful person to work with, and I was so excited to actually work with her personally. All I can say is that during a time of year when the Spirit is so alive and we are celebrating our Savior’s birth, it was very timely to be forgiven in such a way. To be reminded that Christ was born, and died for us so that we could be forgiven of our sins. All we have to do is ask… ask for forgiveness and for Christ to be your personal Savior.
And at the end of the day, that is all that matters. All the “material things” that we think are necessary to survive here on Earth are worthless in our home in Heaven. I am only human and we all make mistakes, and that is why I am not ashamed to share this story with you. More importantly, I wanted to share how someone so graciously handled the situation with kindness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making light of this mistake, because I pray that it never happens again.
I don’t have a huge list of New Year’s resolutions- mainly because I am not going to set myself up for failure with unrealistic goals. But one thing we are going to do is continue to lead our children and teach them by running a Christ-like household and businesses that will hopefully teach them right from wrong. And I’ll probably look into a better back-up system for file storage!
It is amazing to me to still see the kindnes in people when we are living in a world of such sadness, hatred, and selfishness. Thank you Becky & Emily for renewing hope that we as individuals can make a difference in the daily lives of others. I can’t wait to show you the images we will create for Emily in her SECOND Senior Session! Stay tuned!