An Open Letter
I know, silly me... I am the one who left my wallet and camera gear in my car, but you are the one who took advantage of trusting neighbor. Whatever your situation, whatever your reasoning, I feel sorry for you. While you made my life impossibly hard the last month. I still want to thank you.
You taught me invaluable lessons and made me even stronger. Thank you for validating my investment in my Renter's Insurance and my Supplemental Camera policy. If all goes well, I will be able to rebuild my business. Thank you for validating my decision to keep all the original boxes of my lenses and bodies. This served as my proof of purchase for many of the things you walked off with. Thank you for validating my choice to take pictures of all of my credit cards and set really low limits them. Because of this your spending spree was up within 2 hours. My credit card companies alerted me of the fraud immediately and worked with me to remove the charges. Thank you for validating my decision to backup my images. My paranoia prevented any of my clients from suffering this loss. Had I not, I would have lost 2000+ plus of undelivered images.
However, I made some mistakes. I didn't photograph every single item I use for my business. I didn't even have a detailed inventory of all the equipment I owned. A handful of memory cards, batteries, charging cables and lens caps seem like nothing worthy of tracking but they surely add up when you have to replace them all. I should have never had all of my credit cards in my wallet. I don't use them regularly and now it seems silly that I did.
I was exhausted from a 12 hour photo-shoot. My defenses were down and I thought that leaving my lenses and lighting equipment in my locked car, in my gated community would be fine. My biggest mistake was taking my hard work for granted. It has taken me years to acquire everything I had. I worked multiple jobs to turn my photography passion into a business. I should have never been so careless.
Again I am sorry for whatever it is your going through, but thank you for teaching me how to value and protect what matters to me. To my fellow photographers please learn from my mistakes. Protect what you love. If you find yourself with a stolen wallet or stolen camera gear here is somehow links I found throughout this lesson.