Let’s be honest, while we talk to plenty of ProPhoto users every day over e-mail, we can probably count on one hand the number of users we’ve actually met in person. Don’t get me wrong, we try to be personable in our e-mails and we’ve even gotten to know some of you quite well that way. As far as a company/customer relationship goes, it works.
But nothing compares to actually meeting a real person and talking to them face to face. A surprise encounter with a ProPhoto customer in an incredible place was a great reminder of this and the fact that you all are awesome! 🙂
The Encounter – Glacier National Park
If you’ve never been to Glacier National Park in Montana, you need to go. Seriously, you need to go now! My wife and I went for the very first time a week ago to celebrate her 40th birthday and fulfill a life long dream of visiting and hiking the park. On our second to the last day of the trip, we were wrapping up a full day of hiking and popped out of the trailhead to see a bride and groom heading to the shores of Two Medicine lake for some photos, followed by their photographer. Fortunately for me, my wife is extremely extroverted because I might have just walked on by.
A beautiful couple, in a beautiful place, on a beautiful day – she just had to say something. So she struck up a conversation with the couple and they explained their crazy wedding day. (The officiant had mistaken their 7:00 wedding for AM, instead of PM.) My wife then begins talking to the photographer about her website and asks if she’s ever heard of ProPhoto. “ProPhoto for WordPress?!” she replies.
The Photographer – Marianne Wiest
“Yes, that ProPhoto!” Turns out the photographer, Marianne Wiest, is a proud ProPhoto site owner. She admitted she needs to get updated to a newer version (don’t worry Marianne, we’re not mad at you 😉 ), but she explained how she has always greatly appreciated our support services and that she loves ProPhoto! At this point the married couple was probably wondering what was going on and who in the world were these two crazy people that just emerged from forest.
We chatted some more and then coaxed the groom into taking our picture together with the bride:
Put simply, it was a totally unexpected, epic encounter to a great day. Marianne was super awesome and we all hit it off right away. And if we ever move to northwest Montana, I suspect her and my wife could become best friends.
You should check out her ProPhoto website to see her amazing work and get jealous about where she lives and works.
The Takeaway – Lessons Learned
On the way back to the car, as my wife and I discussed how thankful we were to have met Marianne, I was reminded of several things. First of all, you photographers work hard! Marianne was out on a Monday night at 7pm taking photos a good distance from home. Being a photographer often means working when everyone else is relaxing and having fun. It can’t be easy.
Second, there is a whole network of ProPhoto users out there who love the product and love our company. I don’t say this to toot our own horn, but as a reminder to myself and all of you that we’re not alone! If you haven’t already joined, check out our Facebook support group page. You can chat with other ProPhoto users to get tips, advice and so much more. Let’s continue to build the ProPhoto community!
Third, as I said before, you all rock! For over 10 years now we’ve been fortunate enough to develop and provide our ProPhoto product to so many customers. You’ve been loyal, kind and encouraging, just like Marianne. And because of you, we get to keep doing what we love and provide you with a product and the support that you love!
In the coming months and years, we hope to make ourselves more visible at photography and creative expos. That way, we can meet more awesome folks in person and continue to build this great network of ProPhoto users. Thanks Marianne for reminding us just how great you all are!
The Bear – Random Aside
Here’s a photo of a momma bear that we saw out on a trail during our trip. Another hiker (and photographer) saw it and alerted us to it. (She had 3 cubs with her. We made sure to give her plenty of space 😉 ) I sent him my e-mail and asked if he could send me some of his pictures, which he kindly did. He’s not a ProPhoto user yet, but hopefully that will change soon 😉