In 1990 I was in grad school with a young family living on beans and rice. We had two small children, then three-four-five. I was hoping to write the Great American Novel but words are cheap, and even harder to eat. With bills to pay, and some background in my father's school pictures biz we started.
I remember taking a portrait of our children down at the beach. None of the kids were smiling. I stared at the proof (this was back in the film days) and rejected it. In frustration, I told them that we would have to re-shoot. My wife, who is often much calmer than I, urged me to look at the proof again, to see it for what it was. How had I missed it? The image had a timelessness, a serenity, a subtle joy. It was beautiful, like a painting. We had a large portrait made and hung it on our dining room wall. It has never come down. Since then we have served thousands of great families and individuals, each unique and beautiful.