I've been trying to do the majority of my work at coffee shops lately, partially because it may give me an opportunity to network with someone I normally wouldn't come in contact with, but also because it's a better environment than home. Far less distractions and toys to play with and my mind can just focus on the work.
Today I went to Starbucks to edit pictures from this week's Places & Spaces Shoot. I sat here for about an hour then randomly a group of kids came up to me and handed me a card that said "Open Me", they then went to everyone else in Starbucks and handed them one as well. I'll admit I was thrown off a bit early on, it was so random, yet intriguing. I figured they wanted money though so I brushed it off to the side and continued to focus on edits. A few moments later the couple to the right of me began to share laughs, then the couple in front of me did the same.
I felt left out, so I proceeded to open mine. And in the inside was the simplest message... "Never Give Up". It was crazy how this made me feel, I honestly got emotional. It was like receiving a fortune cookie, but it was good fortune, real fortune, not just an inspirational quote given to you in thanks that you purchased chinese food, but one given to you because these individuals simply wanted to uplift your day. And that's exactly what they did. The greatest thing about this random act of kindness was that it got everyone in the coffee shop to converse, we all started talking, which was nice, and honestly RARE. Everyone laughed and talked about their reluctance to open the card, and how happy they were that they did, it was a beautiful moment, one that I was happy to be apart of.
I guess I write this because as photographer I know I have the ability to literally changed the outlook of someone's day, rather it be by offering a portrait session, or giving a random person a polaroid of themselves, and showing them in a light that they didn't think existed. My camera is my business, it's how I put food on the table, but it's also a tool that can make people feel warm, and I thank these kids for reminding me of that!