I received an email the other day from a man I met on his wedding day. It was a gay wedding at San Francisco City Hall. It wasn’t a big wedding, just the man and his partner along with his brother - a simple union. I was taking photos for a story I was doing about gay couples rushing to get married before election day because the threat that Prop. 8 would overturn gay marriage in California. I asked the two men if I could photograph them getting married and they both agreed. At the time, I had no idea that this photo would mean the world to these newlyweds.
Here is the note I received from the couple…
My name is Wendell and I am one of the Chinese guys you took a wedding pic of at City Hall on October 15th, 2008. I don't expect you to remember me or Jon but I wanted to thank you for what you did.
You were this nice unassuming dude just waiting in the hall with the rest of us when you approached me and Jon and respectfully asked if you could snap our picture because of our Aloha shirts. I would pretty much guess this was just another news story for you to cover, however, the picture you took helped to immortalize the day for us and turn what we thought was not a big deal into a very meaningful day.
You have no idea how many family and friends were excited to see this "bonus" pic of our ceremony as we did not clue very many people in on the event and many reprimanded us for not letting them know about the ceremony in advance. Your picture helped them to feel like they didn't miss anything and after many of them saw your picture, they asked us if we had hired a professional photographer!
Now we have become huge fans of your work and expect you to be a Number 1, most sought after photographer in the next few years to come! We can't wait till you become even more famous than your web site so we can tell everyone, "Yeah, that's the dude that took our wedding picture way back when!" Till then, we wish you continued and ever growing success in your career endeavors and best wishes to you and your family in 2009! Thanks again for helping to make a difference in our lives.
Kindest regards, Wendell and Jon
It is a rare occasion that I get such a generous and thoughtful note. When I do, it reminds my why I love my job and how great it is to be able to bring happiness to someone through a captured moment.
Happy New Year.