I have to share one of the most professionally fulfilling compliments I've gotten as a photographer, received today:
"Everyone loves the portraits, and I've realized that they've done more for my self-image than a couple of years of therapy."
This came from a client that admitted, upon arrival, she'd literally rather get a root canal than be photographed.
Some days, I wonder why I put the years and resources into graduate school to study counseling psychology when I started (at twelve) and ended up as a portrait photographer. But every single day that training makes it possible for people I photograph to feel comfortable, supported, and their best selves by the time they leave my studio. When those moments of art and ethos combine in just the right way, well, I live for that, really.
Thank you, dear client, for the very kind words. You made my day.