I’ve posted on my Blog before about not taking things for granted – our family, friends, health etc. and that applies our work as well. The other day I was reminded of a story I heard previously about one of the USA’s leading children’s photographers, a lady by the name of Lisa Jane:
Many years ago she took a portrait of her best friend and his little boy, but a day or two after the shoot, they were both killed in a car accident. Hers were the last photographs ever taken of this father and son.
She printed and framed an image and wanted to personally deliver it to her friend’s mother. On boarding the plane to fly to the funeral, the flight attendant wouldn’t allow Lisa to bring the print on board, as it was too big to fit into the overhead locker and violated FAA regulations. Lisa explained the position but the attendant wouldn’t compromise – however, the pilot overheard the story, took the print and said, “I thought I had an important job flying all these people around, but my job is nothing in comparison to the importance of yours”. He took the print and put it behind his own seat in the cockpit.
Photographers are in a privileged position of being able to capture some of life’s most memorable occasions, such as weddings and christenings. In today’s digital world we’re all looking to do things quicker, being encouraged to take shortcuts and make compromises by the “I want it now generation”.
The moral of this story is that as photographers we never know how important our images may become later on, and for that reason, we should never compromise on the quality and the effort that we put into every shoot. In Lisa’s own words – “In our business we can’t afford to compromise, you just never know when a portrait you take of someone may be all a mother has left to hold on to….”