Thursday, April 19

Tell a Story

"I've got a few minutes before class. Tell me a story."

Every Tuesday and Thursday I have an hour of down-time. I work until Noon, get on campus at 12:30, and class doesn't start until 1:30. So I head to the Union, grab some food, and take it to the Oval where I pick out a spot, plop down, and eat alone. It may sound depressing, but I love it. It's an hour of me just thinking and relaxing before I throw myself into six consecutive hours of class.

But last Thursday he walked up to me and asked me to tell him a story. A stranger. I didn't know him and to be honest, he kind of startled me. I was deep into my chicken noodle soup trying to figure out if one of the blossom from the tree above me could have made it into my soup when I wasn't looking. "Uhhh..." I'm not the smoothest talker. "I don't know any stories."  He smiled, "you can make one up."

No. I can't. I don't make-up stories. And I didn't have a story. "Nothing exciting has ever happened to me," I replied blankly when he tried to pull an anecdote out of my personal experience. That was a lie, of course. But there was something about the complete surprise of his request that just shut me up like a clam. So I sat there, dumb. He finally pulled a conversation out of me. The usual college small talk- what's your major, what do you want to do after graduation? And I did start to talk about my photography. He asked for a business card, I gave it to him, and he left.

I sat there for a few minutes flooded with all of things I should have said. I could have told him about how I fell in love with Blake. Or the moment I knew that photography was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. How stupid I must have seemed. And how if he was trying to have a random, meaningful human experience that day, he definitely picked the wrong girl.

And sitting there in the wake of that strange experience, I realized again why I love what I do so much. Photography is my way of telling stories about the people I care about. I can capture the love between a couple, a family, a mom and her newborn baby without words. I have the absolute pleasure of being allowed into my clients' most intimate relationships and freezing it in time- in a moment they'll keep forever. I know all of my clients' stories. And I realize now how truly blessed I am for that.

So thank you. All of you. For sharing your lives with me and giving me even the smallest glimpse into the loves of your life.

Keep smiling,


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