During this littlest month, I’ve been thinking about the little things. Some of you saw my post about stepping off the Metro and seeing Girl Scouts selling cookies, remembering fondly my own Girl Scout days of camaraderie and camping. Selling cookies, but on long fold-out pieces of paper for pre-orders. Or a very special one about my dad – if you looked up “random acts of kindness” it would be his picture in the dictionary (more on that in a minute).
It got me thinking about all the little seeming coincidences, little things that spark connection. I’ve almost always had a camera at my hip in some form or another, learning and adapting as we shifted from film, to developing film but with extras on CDs to share digitally, to slow-but-cool new digitals, to DSLRs, to a camera in every phone. I remember as small digital cameras were taking off, I loved to use them to experiment but when I got the chance to travel to Italy, I asked to borrow my dad's Canon film camera: I knew the shot and composition when I had it, and digital cameras’ 3-second response time drove me nuts. But I digress ;)
I bought my first DSLR camera, my trusted Nikon D3300, because I planned a trip to Tanzania and Kenya and knew I’d want incredible images that I could print large versions – even canvas. A local photography class taught me the basics and then: I practiced. I was the friend with the camera when I did my first “people focused” shoot, and loved it so much that I wanted to do more, so I practiced more and took classes from wonderful educators, and upgraded to a D750, and here I am.
But everything ties together, these little things: I only wanted to go to Tanzania after seeing a nature documentary. It happened to be showing when my summer internship with the National Park Service and Student Conservation Association in Washington, DC took me to Westmoreland County (George Washington's Birthplace) for a week. It was that internship that made me want to move to DC after college. That summer I took so many pictures in one day I had to run back to our teeny apartment to copy the memory cards to my computer before clearing them and heading back out again.
The next summer I got another internship with the SCA, and my career path came very close to changing completely (not that I knew it at the time). And my non-photography career launched because I got a call about a company and industry I’d never heard of and took the very last interview slot they were offering. This is also the moment I forgot that taxis existed, because I’d had an interview planned already right before (thanks as always for all the advice, Mom!).
Little things that spark connections. Little things to help others.
Like Dad. My dad loves meeting new people and finding ways to help them out. He’s always been like that – “part of his charm” as he would say. My parents host Appalachian Trail thruhikers for overnight stays indoors, with access to shower and laundry, and he spends time learning about each one. So it should come as no surprise that sometimes this kindness comes in the form of candy (or, pizza and beer for the hikers). I went to the hospital with him earlier this month, and on the way he asked me to pick up a bunch of M&Ms. By the time we get to the hospital, he has hidden them all away: waiting for the moment to give them out. One goes to the nurse who checked us in, one to the doctor. Later, one to the nurse who happened to be in the room, another to a volunteer offering reiki, another to his nurse. I’m willing to bet that in the time I went to get the car, he found another person who needed a pick-me-up.
That’s what’s been on my mind this month. Little things, little sparks. And speaking of little things, these little things are going to spark big excitement and beautiful photographs soon!
Last year I offered Cherry Blossom Mini sessions and had so much fun, I’ll be offering something similar again this year! If you want in, leave a comment or send me a note: I’ll be tracking the bloom forecast intently and keep everyone on my list updated on when the sessions will be. If you want a longer time or engagement shoot with the cherry blossoms, let’s start locking the details in :)
Has this post sparked a memory or little connection in your life? Tell me about it in the comments!