A Letter To You

I'm taking a break from editing pictures and studying, which quite frankly, I gave up on studying hours ago, to write you all a letter from every inch of my heart. 

Dear YOU, 

I want to get straight to the point.... Thank you.

Thank you for believing in me. When I was just beginning and embarrassed to publish my work, it was you that pushed me to go ahead and post. When I felt like I wasn't good enough to be paid for my work, you gave me money anyway because you believed I was worth it. You pushed me to become better and never let me quit even when I wanted to. 

Thank you for being my inspiration. Every time we talk about photos or talk about your families, relationships, or life in general, you breathe new life into my work. When you share your excitement for a shot, I get more excited and it keeps me from becoming burnt out. When you show me ideas from past sessions or Pinterest, you keep me on my toes and fuel and never let me get too boring. 

Thank you for staying with me. The photography world is almost too saturated and thank you for choosing me. When you ask me to be there and capture your wedding day, your family memories, or just "updated pictures" - you're letting me in on something so special and I am always humbled. You could have picked anyone, but you chose me. Most of you have chose me more than once! I love watching your families grow. From engagement to wedding to baby to family, all of it, thank you. By letting me join you and help you create these memories, I feel apart of your family for just a short amount of time and it's such an incredible feeling... which leads me to my next point.

Thank you for being a friend. If we've had a shoot together, we've somehow shared stories, laughed, listened, and bonded. I've gotten to know each and every one of you more so than I would if I didn't have a camera attached to my face. Sharing your love stories, family stories, and silly stories through my lens is something I just cannot put into words. You have been such a great support system. Your feedback and comments are always appreciated and never go unnoticed. When we hang out at a shoot, I feel like you are now a friend, not a client. When I share your photos on my website or Facebook, I feel so proud because I feel like I am posting photos of longtime friends.

Thank you for the feedback. Every time I finish a shoot, I immediately begin to think what I could do better. I'm just one of those people who constantly compare themselves to others and that's especially awful for photographers. Sometimes I'll edit a photo and think "Well, so & so could have taken this shot better." But no, not you. You are always there to encourage me and keep my chin up. You are supportive and the backbone of this business. My entire life, I struggled with the fact that I have always been "mediocre" at things. Never the star athlete and never the highest scoring student, I finally feel as if I have found my calling... thanks to you.

Thank you for letting me be a part of something bigger than myself. When you are the only other person in the room while the bride gets her wedding dress on with her mother, when I am the one person to see the bride and groom see each other for the first time, when I am the first person to meet the newest baby of the family, when I am the first person to know about a wedding date or engagement, it can be super emotional.. and for that, I thank you. It means the world to me that you have trusted me to be there and capture those memories for you. 

 
I am sitting here writing this letter to you because I feel it extremely overdue. With an extremely busy 2014 wedding season and exhausting finish to 2013, I am beat. However, I am happy and feeling more accomplished than ever. It's such an honor to constantly be surrounded by such loving and beautiful people. I hope you continue to watch me grow because there is no one else I would want by my side as I continue my journey to becoming the best photographer I can. 

Thank You,

Ashley

Posted by Ashley Lester.