with Courtney Slazinik
Letter to a Photographer’s Family

Letter to photographer's family

If you recently received a new camera or found your passion for photography, feel free to share this letter with your loved ones. They need time to let it all sink in.

Dear Husband/Wife, Mother/Father, Son/Daughter, or Friend of someone who loves photography,

Someone you love has recently either received a new camera or has found their passion for photography. This is wonderful. We all search for something to be passionate about and it is so exciting they have found theirs.

Their obsession for photography may have started once they had children. Many times, a child will spark a need in us to document every.single.moment of their lives.

Here are a few things to know as they dive deeper into photography.

  • No.
    They love it.

    Although, they may cry and even shout sometimes when trying to capture the “perfect” shot, they really do love photography. They have found something that stirs their soul and helps them feel more like themselves. If they are a parent, it is wonderful to have something that is just for them to feel like an individual. Yes, looking at it from the outside may have you questioning their love for as they curse at their camera when something goes wrong but this is all part of the learning process. We all go through it. As time goes on, they will not be so hard on themselves and their subjects and photography will become a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Be patient.

  • No.
    You may not see their face for months.

    Every time you look at your loved one, you are greeted with a big DSLR in your face. Where did your loved one go? They are still there. Just learning and capturing everything around them. Just like anything else, photography is something that needs to be practiced daily if possible. That means when you go to the park, zoo, mall or grocery store they may have their camera in front of their face the whole time. Don’t act embarrassed or annoyed. I’m sure your loved one has put up with some crazy stuff you have done as well. Be patient.

  • No.
    Photography is expensive.

    Your loved one may start to ask for gift cards to camera stores for birthdays and Christmas. Photography is an expensive hobby between gear and education. It may take several birthdays and holidays for them to save up enough to buy a single lens. Please try to keep your cool the first time they approach you with wanting to buy a lens that costs over a $1,000. Lenses may become their new item to collect. We really like lenses. As my husband says “Start saving now, Christmas just got a lot more expensive.” Be patient.

  • No.
    They may forget to live in the moment.

    I’m going to be honest, when they start down this amazing journey of photography they are going to forget to live in the moment. They will be too busy photographing every minute of someone’s birthday party, they forget to put the camera down and sing along. They forget to soak in the laughter and good times. Help them to remember to be present in the moment and not to live life through the view finder. It will take time for them to come around but I promise if you are kind about this, they will appreciate the reminder. Be patient.

  • No.
    Keep encouraging.

    There will be days they want to quit. Please don’t let them. When learning something new it is easy to become frustrated especially if you don’t see a massive improvement over night. It will take time…years for many (myself included) to see the progress they want in their image. Encourage them to print their photos if they hit a lull. When a photographer holds one of their images in their hands it is extremely fulfilling and can help them keep going. Be patient.

    Be patient.

  • Linda Artley
    October 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Thank You so much for so eloquently explaining all my photography quirks to my family. I could never have said it all nor covered it all quite like you have. You made my day!

  • October 22, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    I just turned 60 and have had my website for 4 years. I always had a camera in my hand but it was under different conditions and I didn’t have clients. Now that I serve clients the rules have changed and what you said in your letter was absolutely, unequivocally 100% true! It’s a learning curve at any age and a passion for sure. I laughed at how well you said it all. Great job Courtney.

  • Margie
    October 22, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Where ever we go my husband takes Selfie of himself on his iPhone with me in the background taking a picture. He so many he’s going to make a book.

    • October 22, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      Margie, that is so funny. I love it. It’s great that your husband thought to do that!

  • Nina
    October 22, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    What a great letter….I love that. Rings so true to me at the moment.

  • Pat G
    October 22, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    I’m 64 and got my first camera at age 62 after a heart attack when we both realised there might not be enough time for “someday” to come around. I enjoyed your letter but think you forgot to include a couple things; your loved one will bring back to you and your family a more passionate person and infuse your relationship with a new zest for living and a new focus on finding and sharing with you and your family the beauty, the wonder and the promise of life and all its moments, thereby enriching your life by proxy.

    • John Bouton
      July 25, 2017 at 1:01 PM

      I’m 75 & switching from auto to manual mode . Thanks to everyones’ messages, especially Courtney .

  • Tina
    October 22, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    well said Coutney and all the added remarks from your followers. I’m 58 and just got my camera and just started this journey. I get inspired and inspiration by following your website and reading your posts.

  • Vanessa
    October 23, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    I enjoyed reading this from the family member perspective! My husband is the photographer & I have felt frustrated in the past with the amount of time spent capturing ‘THE’ shot! I do what another reader mentioned & that is selfies with him in the background – I have loads! Photography is the best.

  • October 23, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    I enjoyed reading the letter and it does capture a lot of what has been happening. I wish I had had the letter about four or five years ago when my love of photography grew into an actual hobby after the birth of my daughter. I’ve always loved photography and dabbled with it here and there while in school, but I didn’t get serious about it until after 2008. My husband calls me the paparazzi because of the amount of pictures I take of him and the kids (they’re my only subjects most of the time). I just recently decided to turn my hobby into a business venture and the response has been immense. I’ve been busy each weekend with shoots since starting the business in the middle of September. I still work full-time so I can only do photography outside of that; needless to say I’ve been overwhelmed with trying to keep up with everything. Patience is key and I just keep reminding myself that most good things take time. I enjoy following you and reading your posts. Thank you!!!

  • October 24, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Thank you so much! This made my day. I was feeling upset today, but when I read your email it got a smile out of me.

  • Katherine Canon
    October 24, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    A big MAHALO (thank you Hawaiian style) for a wonderful letter. I have always been interested in photography but until I acquired my first DSLR I never knew how much I really loved it. I am 60 yrs old and go out at least 4 days a week to short either a sunrise or sunset or sometimes both! I have paid my dues to raising a family. Now my family hardly sees me but its okay…they just have to look closely behind that lens and know that I’m there! I love this journey…me and my camera! Thank you for posting such a great letter….I plan on leaving it “annonomously” on the kitchen counter!

  • October 24, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Thanks so much for the insights! We are doing a shoot this week with a toddler and have already done one: http://peachteaphotography.com/portraits/parker/

    These tips will definitely help us improve!

  • October 27, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    This letter brought tears to my eyes! Thank you. It was like you read my mind and put it down on paper! I started my company a year ago and its been a whirl wind ever since! I ALWAYS have my camera with me. The other day my husband (of 1 month) and I took our nephew to pick pumpkins. I was so obsessed with getting perfect pictures of him in the pumpkin patch, I probably had my camera in his face the entire time. It wasn’t until an hour went by that I thought “Ok Trina, put the camera in the car!” I really wanted to live in the moment and enjoy my nephews smiles and laughter. Its just hard to put it away sometimes! Thank you for letting us share this with our loves ones <3

  • November 2, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Thank you for sharing this. I particularly like #5 — and I need to print some of the photos I’ve taken of my family, not just for others! :)

  • Tammy
    November 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    My hubby needs this letter, I will be emailing him this link.

    I then will remind him of the time he first got a computer some 20 years ago. I did not see him for many days, I knew he was alive by the sound of him walking around on the second floor. I ate and pretty much slept alone till he finally ventured out of his in-house office with eyes all glazed over, pale complexion and the starting of a beard. Thank the Lord, this all passed and he became a member of society.

    As for myself, Its been 4 years with my camera obsession and with each update camera body or new lens, I still get that glazed look and I run off to the local part to shoot. Then I lock myself in my “woman-cave” for hours with the computer. I do remember to cook dinner and take care of the normal daily duties but then its right back to shooting.

    Great post!!! This letter can save a marriage.

  • December 3, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    I love this Courtney! Thank you.

  • nancy moody
    December 14, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    Omg…loved it so much. Ill send this to my husband and mom. Such a cute letter.

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