How It Happened
“I am not sure how they found my page but look guys!”
The text message buzzed while driving back from a photo shoot. It was raining hard on a late Sunday afternoon. The kind of rain that makes it hard to see the road. Even with the car lights on. We were both tired from the day’s activities and looking forward to snuggling on the couch. Leidy was already preparing the sneak peek for the shoot we did.
Josh checked his phone first to find one of our sweetest clients, Erika, had texted us. A few days ago we shot Erika and her fiancé Jame’s engagement session at Long Lake Park, Sparta Michigan. Now we have only met James a few times, but we can see why Erika likes in him. He’s genuine and humble, he loves his occupation as a Michigan law enforcement officer. He even wore his traditional Michigan police officer uniform for their photo shoot.
James looked dashing next to Erika at Long Lake Park, Sparta Michigan. We don’t often have the opportunity to photograph a police officer. So we took as many pictures of him in uniform as possible. They turned out great. So good, in fact, we shared one of the uniform photos with Erika and James as their sneak peek after their session. We shared their photo on Facebook and Instagram with our little photography community. Erika later shared it on her own Instagram feed and we thought that was the end of it. But it wasn’t.
They Didn’t Give Credit
Turns out, we weren’t the only ones who liked the photo. Another Instagram feed not related to Erika or us shared the photo we took of Erika and James. They shared it. And they didn’t give us credit.
Now as a photographer, we knew that someday this would happen. Someday, someone would share a photo we took with no mention of Leidy and Josh Photography anywhere. We knew it, but we didn’t know it would happen so soon…and we were not ready for it.
When we shared that photo on our own Instagram feed. It garnered about 56 likes which we were very happy about! But when shared by another Instagram poster, it received OVER 800 likes! WOW!
Two things struck us about this. On the one hand, this flattered us. A photo we took so much attention! But on the other hand, we realized that a photo we took got THAT much attention and nobody has any idea about us!
Our initial reaction was to message that Instagram poster and ask for credit! And if they don’t respond, report them to Instagram for removal because they didn’t give us credit.
But we stopped and thought about it, it occurred to us, what would that mean for Erika? Her photo gets removed from the Instagram feed and our ego satisfied. (Yeah, take that mean old Instagram non-credit giving poster!) But is that what Leidy and Josh Photography is about? Is our goal to take photographs of clients we care about so we can share the pictures on the internet and get credit? Of course not. That isn’t our “why”.
We became wedding photographers because we believe love and marriage is something that should be cherished. Marriage is something we celebrate. We believe that the world doesn’t need more love. The world needs to see the love that is right in front of us this whole time. Erika and James are a real-life example that true love does exist. It is their relationship that makes our world a better place. And for that, we want nothing more than to sing their praises and share their love story with the world.
The One’s Who Serve
Their journey in life has led them to this very moment. The last few months before their wedding. And these days can be stressful. A lot of planning goes into a wedding and it is easy to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle. So when a complete stranger recognized the beauty of their relationship we should acknowledge it. When we think about that photo, it should have nothing to do with who gets credit for taking it. Who cares? That photo represents the love between Erika and James. And the Instagram poster is about community. A community of law enforcement officers supporting each other. A community of several hundred people celebrating their commitment to stay together. Because while being a police officer is incredibly noble, it can be hard. Law enforcement officers have to work nights, weekends, and even holidays. And those shifts are a sacrifice by not only the officer but the families. All this so us civilians can live our lives in comfort. Knowing that if there was ever trouble, we always have someone to call.
What Is Most Important
That single Instagram share represents all this. Something far greater and more meaningful than our little photography company.
So we never followed up with that Instagram group. We didn’t report them. We didn’t ask for credit again. And we never will. Because it is the same reason why we don’t watermark our photos. It isn’t about us or our photographer egos. That is not why we started Leidy and Josh Photography. It’s about our couples. It’s about sharing their love stories. Not because we need to or even have to. It’s because we want to and it is why we started shooting wedding photography in the first place. Our perspective of the thing changed when we took a step back and viewed it from the lens of our “why”.
Now we are glad that this all happened. In fact, we hope it happens again. And again. And again. Because our couples deserve the acknowledgment. They are choosing each other. They are choosing love. And they choose us as photographers because they understand how much we value their wedding photography.
So we will continue to serve them with our whole hearts. We will count ourselves as very lucky to be a small part of this momentous time in their lives.
Erika and James, thank you so much for choosing us as your wedding day photographer. We are so honored to work with joying and loving couples like you. Following you both on social media, we see all the caring things Erika does for her family and the late nights James pulls to protect our city. You both are amazing people and we count ourselves as blessed that you both chose us. We are genuinely excited about your wedding day. The more we learn about you two the more excited we get.
As Josh’s mom (also an amazing person) always says, “The best is yet to come!”