Yes, go ahead and picture Julie Andrews spinning in a meadow, arms open wide. Ok, now that we have the obvious reference to the title of this post out of the way…on to the real meat of this story.
My favorite thing about f/32 Photo oddly enough has nothing to do with photography. If you have ever seen the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, it actually relates more to the same reason that the Bailey Building and Loan was successful despite Mr. Potter’s best attempts to squash it like a bug beneath his shoe. (If you haven’t seen this movie, PLEASE take the time to watch it. It’s not just for Christmas, I promise:)). It’s about community, relationships, and support…being in something together with other people. Yes, photography and storytelling may be what brings us together, but the relationships formed from that start are where the magic lies. That is what makes me want to go in everyday and see what kind of difference we can make in someone’s life that day, no matter how small an impact it may seem at the time. Most of the time, the life that ends up being impacted is mine.
I think about this pretty frequently, but today it was particularly heavy on my heart as once again, we are faced with change. One of our long time, regular clients (and friend) is moving this week. I have known about it for awhile, but have just chosen not to think about it. He isn’t going that far and we will still get to see him occasionally as he will still be working in the area frequently (plus, we will still be printing for him, so we still get to see his work:)). However, it won’t be the weekly to bi-weekly visits to which we have grown accustomed and look forward to. I’m also really going to miss his kids. Two boys in elementary school, the youngest of whom was a regular fixture in the store with his Dad until he started kindergarten this year. It was hard enough not to see him on a regular basis once he started school. I met him when he was three and he would literally beat his Dad to the front door of the store, throw it open and yell “Helllloooooo” announcing his enormous presence and personality that were much larger than his little frame at the time. As I was watching the boys play some imaginary game under the tripods this afternoon, their Dad was relaying to Dayna (our newest f/32 team member) how she missed the stage the youngest went through when our tripod display was his “dress shop” and he would take custom orders for dresses and matching shoes from us, which he would then proceed to manufacture in his “shop” and deliver the product to us. Occasionally, we would get matching hair accessories as well. Once, I received custom designed Chacos (once I told him what Chacos were:)). I would also get special candy requests from the youngest for the candy jar, and if I let it sit empty for too long, he would leave me notes on post-its requesting more candy please in his cute little boy scribble. Today, right before they left, I told the youngest that his shoe was untied and he asked me to tie it for him. I’m sure he can do it himself, but as I bent down to tie it, I did think that it was these little things I would miss about this family. Next time I see him, he will probably be too old for me to tie his shoe for him.
It has been a joy to watch those boys grow, both in pictures and in visits, and hear stories of their antics from their Dad when he would come in to pick up orders. I am going to miss all of them, but am so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know them. Would not have missed that chance for anything, even though it makes it harder to say goodbye. What a blessing to have a client who, in addition to being a great Dad, is seriously one of THE MOST talented photographers I have ever known who I also get to count as a friend. Looking forward to continuing to see your amazing work come through the printer and am praying for fruitful growth of your business in your new location as well as your faithful clientele who will keep you in Knoxville on a regular basis. It has really been our privilege to work with you the past three years and we look forward to seeing the amazing things that are to come for you and your family on this next leg of your journey.
We may no longer be just a few miles down the road, but if there is ever anything we can do for you, don’t hesitate to ask:)