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Monday, September 21, 2009

The Real Rewards

That I am paid to do something I love is a reward in itself. This is especially so with regard to my work in running photography workshops. However, when you receive an email that contains words such as these, you understand that the real rewards of your work are much more personal and longer lasting...

"Hello,
I guess I am sending this note to you because I want you to know what a difference you make to people's lives when you do what you do. I suspect when you photograph a wedding the bride feels like the most beautiful of all brides, all because of you.
Your ability to give individual attention and make people feel like they really are important for that moment in time, is a gift that you give so generously. You taught us so much last weekend, with laughter, lots and lots of laughter, discussion, demonstrations and by introducing us to other aspects of photography that we knew nothing about, and encouraging relationships between everybody there, no matter where they were on the ladder of photographic success. The fact that (name withheld) and I were the least knowledgeable out of the entire group was never obvious and your praise and encouragement had us believing we were finally starting to 'get it'.........even when we weren't.
Although it we knew it was a business experience for you, we never felt like that (except when you waited to be last to have breakfast because we were your clients). It felt like we were amongst friends who were all after the same thing, to be better at photography and we had the feeling that it was definitely achievable.......and it was you and that gave us that gift.
So Mr. Muller thank you for making us smile, thank you, thank you, for giving us confidence and for sharing your wealth of knowledge.........Every time and I mean every time, I think of that weekend, I smile.
Thank you for all that you gave me..."

Recently I know that my son, Nathan (pictured above with me) also came to understand this feeling when he helped us with the tutelage of others at the recent Echuca workshops. Its a feeling that few other experiences can provide. He also received a similar email from the same lovely person.

The money that you may earn is spent paying for the phone, the car, the gas or the electricity. But the kindness of words such as those above are not soon forgotten, if they ever are. I am deeply grateful for this honour. I hope I always remain this grateful for the privileges granted my in my work. May it never fade...

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The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

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