As many of you know, Andrea recently accepted a new role at AT&T where she has been employed for the last sixteen years. As a result, the Raneys and Raney Images will be moving to Dallas, Texas, where AT&T is headquartered. This is a great opportunity for us to focus on our family’s future. It’s also one of the most difficult decisions that we’ve had to make. We love Chicago. We’ve spent our entire adult lives here. We met here, married here, and had two beautiful daughters here. Chicago is our home. So during this time of change and before we head out on our next great adventure, I want to take a moment to reflect, to say goodbye and most of all, to say thank you.
Over the last ten years we have had an amazing time photographing your weddings, engagements, headshots, family portraits, and your important events. Professional photographers have a unique and interesting perspective on things. On a wedding day, we’re the only ones that are with the couple from morning to night, from hair and makeup to drunken dancing. At an event we have the back stage pass, we’re privy to the drama, the highs and the lows. We are there for the best and we are there for the worst and it’s our job to quietly record it all. We use technical skill to tell the story—to remember. What an enormous privilege. What a great honor to have people put that kind of faith in what we do.
It’s hard to leave. Sad to say goodbye. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been making the rounds. Letting the people who have made such a huge difference in our lives know how important they are to us, and that distance could never effect the way we feel about them. We’ve been taking long drives. Cruising past the eleven (!) apartments and condos that we’ve called home over the last eighteen years. We’ve been looking up at the skyline like we’re tourists trying to memorize every detail. We’ve been eating way too much Lou Malnati’s. We’ve gone to the art institute, the aquarium. And of course, we’ve been taking pictures. We will always take pictures. It’s what we do, and it’s how we’ve carved out our place in this city.
Thank you. That’s the point of all this. Thank you. Thank you to every one who gave us a chance before we had the portfolio to justify the expense. Thank you to every one who ever hired us and recommended us. Thank you to every one who has one of our photographs on your wall right now. Thank you to every client and partner that Raney Images has had here in this city. We’ll be back from time to time—we still have weddings booked through next year! So don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions or need our help with anything.
One last thing before I go: this is a great city. Use it. Go to a street festival (and pay the suggested donation…that’s why there are street festivals—donations), go to the museum, the zoo, the aquarium. Go to a play (a broadway play or a student workshop, it doesn’t matter, go to both). Go to the library, it’s amazing, there are people there that can help. Donate to your local public broadcasting station. Subscribe and become a member. Go to a local community meeting. Just sit there and listen, or use your voice. You’ll make the world a better place. You’re paying the big city premium, and sometimes it seems like everyone is against you (especially if you drive a car in the city), but it’s worth it. Experience something new, see something new, and forget the idea that you know Chicago, you don’t…look again, there’s something you’re not seeing. This city changes quickly. Buildings rise and fall, businesses open and close, people come and go. It’s a living thing. It needs your attention and your love. That’s it.