Day 267 – Swift and Shallow, Dark Night

Swift and Shallow, Dark Night

Day 267

The Lady’s Reward by Dorothy Parker

Lady, lady, never start
Conversation toward your heart;
Keep your pretty words serene;
Never murmur what you mean.
Show yourself, by word and look,
Swift and shallow as a brook.
Be as cool and quick to go
As a drop of April snow;
Be as delicate and gay
As a cherry flower in May.
Lady, lady, never speak
Of the tears that burn your cheek-
She will never win him, whose
Words had shown she feared to lose.
Be you wise and never sad,
You will get your lovely lad.
Never serious be, nor true,
And your wish will come to you-
And if that makes you happy, kid,
You’ll be the first it ever did.

Last night I posted some of my frustration about my photographic services and those who think that my time is pretty much worthless to me (and obviously to them).  I have always been very generous with sharing my gifts, probably too much so, and as a result the hours that people want me to give them are taken for granted. A few months ago, I got angry about it.  It took one wedding too many with a bride who wanted everything for nothing, who wanted more time than I should have given and is still harassing me about her wedding photos.  What she did not realize is that once you make me angry, I put on the brakes and I come to a dead stop.  And as wrong as it probably is, she will not be getting the photos from me other than the complete set of web ready photos I emailed her in 6 different emails.

But I can thank that bride for opening my eyes to what I was doing to myself.  I was devaluing the work I do, my time and my talent.  So, while I am frustrated by those who want my price to be *free*, I am satisfied that I am doing the right thing.  And that makes me happy, kid.

Swift and Shallow, Dark Night



15 thoughts on “Day 267 – Swift and Shallow, Dark Night

  1. Cyndi…of course I love the photo…you get me every time with them. But I want to comment on what you had to say. Those of us with generous hearts want so much to love that way, freely offering, freely giving. It’s about as natural as breathing. And yet we learn, sadly necessary that we do, to refine that instinct. You’re exactly right…we give from a place of generosity, but it’s accepted with a sense of entitlement and almost-greediness that diminishes the gift, breeds resentment, and … ultimately teaches us. We don’t need to “curb” or curtail the generous heart, just point her in the right direction. Really appreciated your honesty here, and it feels like you came to a very right conclusion. xo spree

    • I don’t think any amount of pointing is going to put that bride in the right direction! And the experience with her ruined a long term friendship – I think that she may have shown some true colors that ended up forcing my hand. I have found that as I have gotten older, my patience with bad behavior is thin indeed and I can let people go with no regrets. Am I a “Hard-hearted Hannah” or what?!

      • Hardly hard-hearted! When I spoke of pointing “her” in the right direction I was referring to your own generous heart though, not the bride! (as to your other point, the older we get the more aware we are that time is not for “wasting”.)

  2. Wow – the lighting is fantastic!!

    I can understand how frustrating that is. I’ve read about similar situations on a forum I’m on, and the consensus is always to not give stuff away. (Free photo shoots, free prints, etc.) You and your art are worth something. 🙂 Because people never truly value what’s free.

  3. Halle-freakin’-lujah, Sweetie! I am so proud of you. So proud. Far more than that people should never cheapen what you *do*, I am thrilled you know not to let them cheapen who you *are*. Friendship is not a one way street. It is simply not a relationship if it’s one-sided. Those who take without giving shouldn’t be allowed to take up the time and space better spent with true friends. It’s not that the needy should be abandoned, but that our life’s resources are finite and sometimes we just plain have to choose. Love should be planted in fertile ground. 🙂

    PS! Gorgeous photo!!!

    • It is sad that many DO think it is a one-way street. “Let ME tell you about ME, ME, ME! And I don’t want you saying anything because it is about ME and what interests ME and what you can do for ME!” As a society, we are terribly self-absorbed and self-serving. I catch myself at it quite often, if I am to be honest. Other people are just so much more interesting. But I digress – I like the choice I have made in this situation, and if the only place I share my work freely is right here, that is okay, because we ALL share with each other.

  4. it’s amazing how photography is so devalued. there are so many cowboys in the industry willing to give it all away for free…or “Aunt Jane with her new DSLR can take them for free cause I don’t want to pay you, but she has a good camera so it’s the same thing”….ummm no! Just because you have a camera doesn’t mean you are a photographer! And usually people find this out the hard way. I’ve had some recent lessons in doing favours as well. Where does it end? Friends of friends of friends want discounts, but isn’t there only 6 degrees of separation between us all? So should I be doing it all for free all the time. Sorry, this topic always strikes a nerve with me and I’m sure people wouldn’t go to their regular day jobs without getting paid, so why should we? Thanks for that…needed that rant 😉 Don’t devalue yourself again…you produce consistent high quality work and deserve to be paid for it. Great photo by the way 🙂

    • It was time for my own rant as well, Jennifer. It just really gets on my nerves, the way everyone thinks it is all *just so easy*. I am not a purist, so every single photo I shoot has been meticulously looked over and anything I keep is ‘worked on’ and it is NOT a fast process when someone like me, who takes hundreds of photos at an event, has to go through the files.
      Oh, and Aunt Jane with her new camera really gets on my nerves as well! Ack!

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