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Why we do what we do

Why we do what we do

I received an email a few days ago from Kate….you remember her… wedding dress Her email made my day, and even made me tear up. I asked her if she minded if I posted it. This e-mail is really what being a photographer is all about.


Dear Kelly,

I have a big family, big, and still growing all the time. As the years have passed and our family has grown, our Christmases have become more fun than ever, but also louder, busier, and a little less intimate. The task of trying to get everyone together in one room for opening presents is, by itself, a huge job. And the present exchange, what used to be my favorite part of the day, has, over the years, lost something. I’ve begun to feel empty each year, watching everyone tearing through presents, only to smile briefly, mutter thanks, and proceed to the next package. We were all getting what we asked for, but somehow, none of us were getting our needs met.

I’m writing because this year, I decided to try to spend a little less money on presents, and maybe spend more time thinking about what each member of my family really needed. I bought my father a print, one of the pictures you took at my wedding reception. I am dancing with my father, our backs to the camera, my head leaned against his, a bright light shining behind us.

I’m writing because this year, while everyone was ripping open packages and piling presents one on top of the other, I looked over at my father, a framed picture in his shaking hands. He was crying quietly. I walked over to where he sat and hugged him and cried with him for a long time. After this, everyone else slowed down, put the presents aside for a minute, and we all remembered why we were there together in the first place.

Thank you for making our Christmas so special.

Much love,

Kate Bickham-Hanson

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