365 More People Pictures - Week 46

Hello! These are the subjects from week 46.

In real-time, the project just ended this past Monday, August 10th.  The blog is behind a few weeks and I will continue to share the rest of the subjects from the 365 More People Pictures project.

I finished the first project and never really wrote a full summary as I felt I should have, but instead I just dove right into this second year.  As the end of this current project was approaching, I put enormous amounts of pressure on myself that I really need to write something spectacular...or at the very least, special.  I wonder if I allowed myself to fall behind on this blog as a way to force myself to spend time in reflection over all I have learned throughout these past two years?

All of these people, all of the wisdom they've shared...it feels like I was entrusted with this and now I need to do something with it. It needs to be bigger than what it is here on my little blog.  But when I think about that, about that possibility, it becomes entirely too overwhelming for me.  I shut down, and then all I want to do is keep on keeping on...just as things are.

I just want to continue taking a picture of a person every day.  I just want to force myself each day to be brave, talk with a person, learn a little more about them,  exchange genuine warmth and interest with another person, and through it all, hopefully capture them at the precise moment in which their sparkle, or their beautiful nature, becomes apparent to me. And I want to share it with you.

A better person could make something more of this.  A better person could assemble all of these beautiful people and their beautiful messages together and create a book.  Or at the very least, a better person could write some advice to photographers wishing to challenge themselves to a 365 Day Project. Although I'm lacking the knowledge to teach anyone anything about photography, I've learned a thing or two about perseverance.   I feel like I owe it to these subjects, and I owe it to the effort I've given this the past two years, to creating at least something which will help inspire or encourage others.

For now, I'll continue sharing the subjects for this project.   Perhaps I will be able to create some final words or something bigger to thank and honor these people the way they deserve to be honored and thanked.  I may not succeed at any sort of book, or any sort of beautifully written and inspiring essay...but this process, and every subject in this project, has changed me.

 

Day 315 - Kim

day315-365-more-people-pictures

This is Kim, my sister-in-law.

Even in its final days, I appreciated this project and process because were it not for this, I wouldn't have shared this moment with Kim.  We see each other only at special occasions and holidays when the family gathers.  I realized that Kim and I haven't really talked other than to catch up briefly on the happenings of our lives, which really only scratches just the surface.  You know how that goes.

Visiting with Kim and asking these 4 simple questions, the same ones I've been asking strangers, provided us both with the opportunity to get to know each other a little better.

The happiest thing happening in Kim's life right now is spending the summer with her kids.

I asked Kim if she had recently performed an act of kindness or if she had been on the receiving end of an act of kindness.  She thought about it for a moment and remembered that one of her friends had just given her some plants. Kim was feeling bad because she couldn't remember a specific example of an act of kindness which she had performed.  I laughed as I had to remind her that less than a few minutes earlier, she had given me a surprise gift of a beautiful necklace she made.  (Check out Kim's necklaces here.)   She had completely forgotten the kind gesture she had performed just a few minutes prior.

I've noticed most of the subjects in this project have trouble thinking of, or remembering, specific acts.  I think we often forget because we've performed the act selflessly.   Although it's often difficult to think of a specific act we may have performed, it's been a common trait that nearly every single one of us strives to be kind and to do kind things for others.  We can be pretty beautiful creatures.

"To be a good mom, to serve God, to be a good friend to people, and to be a good wife," Kim answered, when I asked her life's purpose.  She does, and is, all of these things.

When I asked Kim something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she answered, "I have good kids...they're happy kids."

Thank you, Kim.

 

Day 316 - Rich

day316b-365-more-people-pictures

This is Rich. We met at the park.

"My recovery," Rich answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.  Rich is celebrating close to 4 year, sober.  Awesome work, Rich!

I asked Rich if he had recently performed an act of kindness or if he's been on the receiving end of kindness.  Rich explained that he was on the receiving end of kindness in recovery and in the AA program, and now he's able to be on the giving end.  Through his work in the program, he wants to "give back to the next suffering alcoholic, the same way it was so freely given to me."  Rich had also recently paid for a guy's groceries at the store.

"To help others," Rich answered, when I asked his life's purpose.

As happens so frequently in this project, when I asked Rich something about himself which he would consider to be a success, the answer was the same for this question as it was for the first. "My recovery," Rich said, without hesitation.

Rich, wishing you the very best of luck and success in recovery and in helping others. Keep up the hard work. Keep up the good work.  Thank you.

 

Day 317 - Josh

day317-365-more-people-pictures

This is Josh.  We met at the bus stop.

The happiest thing happening in his life is letting go to a lot of his attachment to ego.

Josh was recently on both the giving and receiving end of kindness when someone reached out for some help online, and Josh was able to offer help to that person.  Kindness came full circle, when it was Josh who needed help with a situation. He put out a request online and someone was able to return the act of kindness and provide Josh with assistance and answers.

"Self-fulfillment, my spiritual quest, and discovering my true self," Josh answered, when I asked his life's purpose.  (I get it, Josh.  Sometimes I think it's the true reason I've found myself in this project.)

"Realizing that I'm something more than what I thought I was, detaching from ego," Josh answered, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success.

Thank you, Josh.

 

Day 318 - James

day318-365-more-people-pictures-missellanea

This is James.  We met outside Hollywood Theatre.

"My son just turned 4," James answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.

James' recent act of kindness is that he was treating friends to a movie.

"To be a good father and husband," James said, is his life's purpose.

Something about himself which he would consider to be a success is his family.

Thank you, James.

 

Day 319 - Arielle

day319-365-more-people-pictures-missellanea

This is Arielle.

The happiest thing happening in her life right now is that she just moved to Portland, from Texas.

I asked Arielle if she's recently performed an act of kindness and she explained that she's hoping to become a volunteer at an arts center as soon as she gets settled.

"Helping people learn their full potential," Arielle answered, when I asked her life's purpose.

"I'm not a quitter," Arielle said, when I asked something about herself which she would consider to be a success.  Attagirl, Arielle!  I love Arielle's answer and what I loved even more is that she didn't even have to think about it.  She answered quickly and confidently...and having been one to say that about myself, I think I have insight into her little secret.  When Arielle said the words, I think she was both congratulating and convincing her own self just as much as she was answering my question.  Keep it up, Arielle.  You're not a quitter. I can just feel it.

 

Day 320 - Joe

day320-365-more-people-pictures-missellanea

This is Joe.  Although we met randomly on the street, I soon realized he was the same Joe with whom I had been working with on some personal business throughout that previous week!

The happiest thing happening in Joe's life is summer, here in Portland.

Joe's recent act of kindness is that he opened up his home to 5 friends who were on an epic road trip! Not only did he let them stay at his place, he fed them too! (And I would say he was also quite helpful and attentive to me as I was about to undertake something scary!)

"To make other people happy," Joe answered, is his life's purpose.

I asked Joe something about himself he would consider to be a success and he answered that it was being here on the west coast. He had set a goal for himself that he wanted to move here by his 25th birthday, and he just celebrated his 25th here in Portland!

Thank you, Joe. Welcome to Portland, and thank you for your help!

 

Day 321 - Erek

day321c-365-more-people-pictures

This is Erek. He's my dear friend's brother.

It's so confounding.  One of my best photos ever taken was of Erek, but on this night, I could not make a decent image to save my life.  I was having some technical issues, but once that was sorted out, I should have done better.  Erik is a great subject but I just couldn't perform.

Until starting this project, I didn't have a complete understanding or appreciation of success and failure in photography.   I never understood that for one decent or good picture, there were thousands and thousands of others which weren't good, or which were actually pretty horrible. The downside of a 365 Day Project, at least the way I've approached it, is that I've had to share all of those off-days to keep the 365 day streak intact.  I've had to show everything...some of which actually make me cringe when I look at the photos. I've had to share every single mistake...the same mistakes I make day after day after day.  And then every once in a while, we have a decent picture.  I feel extremely vulnerable and naked in this project, but I wouldn't want it any other way. (For now, at least.)

The happiest thing happening in Erek's life right now is being a father.

I asked Erek if he's recently performed an act of kindness or if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness. Erek said that he always tries to be nice to everyone.

When I asked Erik his life's purpose, he said that 6 years ago, he lacked the direction to be able to answer this question but now he's certain his life's purpose is, "being a father and raising my son to grow up to be a good man."  I'm certain you're doing this, Erek.  You're a great dad.

Something about himself which he considers to be a success is that he's never tried any sort of drugs.  Although he's been around it,  he's never been influenced.

Thank you, Erek.

 

Here's a summary of the life's purposes of the subjects from this week:

  • To be a good mom, to serve God, to be a good friend to people, and to be a good wife.
  • To help others.
  • Self-fulfillment, my spiritual quest, and discovering my true self.
  • To be a good father and husband.
  • Helping people learn their full potential.
  • To make other people happy.
  • Being a father and raising my son to grow up to be a good man.

 

Thank you for reading!

365 More People Pictures - Week 6

Hello!  We're finished with week 6 of The 365 More People Pictures Project.  If this is your first visit, you may have gathered from the title that this is my second year-long challenge to myself to take a picture of a person, every day, for an entire year. If you'd like to follow along daily, my Instagram username is  @missellanea.

 

Day 35 - Trent

day35-365morepeoplepictures

This is Trent.  He helps out at Ambiance Tan & Espresso, and you've already met some of his family in last year's project.  And no, I didn't have a mexican mocha this day so I was unable to determine Trent's place in the "who makes the best mexican mocha" rankings.  This is actually a good thing because I think I accidentally ignited a pretty fierce competition.

"Having a baby soon," Trent responded, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.

I asked Trent if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness and he said that someone helped him to get a really good job.

"To be a good Dad," Trent answered, when I asked if he had a personal mission statement.

I asked Trent something about himself which he considers to be a success and he answered, "I have a career."

Trent's picture was taken late afternoon, during the harsh mid-day sun.  For some reason, I've struggled with the lighting every time I've taken somebody's picture there, so this time we went outside and I found the least sunny area I could find. Or, so I thought.  I hadn't sat down to prepare Trent's photo for instagramming until right before my bedtime and as soon as I saw the pictures, I was in a panic.  I screwed up.  Not only had I ruined the pictures, but I was in my pajamas and couldn't even imagine getting dressed to go back out into the world to find a new subject.  Plus, I really wanted to include Trent to complete the Ambiance Tan & Espresso family and team.

I did all I could do to rescue the photo in Lightroom, which isn't much because I only know the bare basics.  Trent is a handsome fella and a forgiving eye could look past my mistakes and see a nice young man, even in spite of my technical flaws.  The pros say to never publish anything but your best work.   Well, the upside of not being a pro, or being so inexperienced that I still can't even call myself a "photographer," is that I've shared it all with you.  In sharing both my mistakes and my good days, you can see that it's a constant process of learning.

You can make thousands of mistakes and then every once in a while, among the thousands of bad or just-ok pictures, you will discover that you've created something beautiful.

Photography, just like life, is a constant state of ebbs and flows.  I was making improvement for a while, until I wasn't.  I finally broke out of the slump and found my flow, and then I found myself swimming against the current once again.  Just when you think you're getting the hang of things, something happens to remind you that you still have a lot to learn and that you shouldn't ever get too comfortable.

In trying to educate myself on photography, I view thousands of beautiful images a week, created by both unknown and well-known photographers. It's enough to make a girl feel completely embarrassed for her sometimes-laughable attempts at photography.  Then I remind myself that they're not showing anything less than their best work.  I share every step and misstep in the process of teaching myself how to take a picture...how to create an image.  Everyone struggles.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone is a beginner at some point.  Learn from those who are more skilled than you.  Don't let the work of others discourage you. Let the work of others inspire you to grow and improve.

 

Day 36 - Matt

day36-365morepeoplepictures

This is Matt.  He was walking down the sidewalk when we met.

"My work in the Theatre," Matt answered, is the happiest thing happening in his life right now.  Matt is a writer and director.

I asked Matt if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness and he explained that he recently suffered a loss.  Matt has been overwhelmed by the support from friends and people who've reached out to check in on him.  The concern and support from Matt's friends reminded me that sometimes we don't know what to do when our friends are suffering and because we don't know the "right" thing to do, we do nothing.  In difficult times, simply letting a person know that we're thinking about them and that we care about them, is the right thing to do.

When I asked Matt if he had a personal mission statement, he quoted Shunryu Suzuki - "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few."  Matt and I talked about approaching life as a beginner in order to maintain excitement and motivation.  Matt told me about his work with a group of seniors in which he was teaching them to write plays.  Some of his students were 80 - 90 years old and hearing about their complete joy and enthusiasm of learning a new skill, was actually giving me goosebumps.  It also reminded me how when I first got my camera, every single picture was sheer joy and magic.  Now, I'm constantly frustrated with myself.  When we fall out of the "enthusiastic beginner" phase and slip into the "disillusioned learner" phase, it's time to take a step back, and allow ourselves the opportunity to enjoy our experiences with the open and inspired mind of being a beginner.

"My work with teenagers," Matt said, is something about himself he considers to be a success.  I loved hearing about Matt's work and his influence being spread across the generations.  From kids to elders, Matt's work is making a difference.

 

Day 37 - Chris

day37-365morepeoplepictures

This is Chris.  We met at Mt. Tabor Park.  Chris was just finishing her workout and I was just about to start mine.  For the sake of caution, it's been my routine to take a picture after I'm finished with my workout so that I don't announce to anyone who may be scoping out the parked cars for a break-in, that I'm leaving a camera in my soon-to-be-unattended car.  I'm a complete sweaty mess after working out and it's so embarrassing to approach someone when you're a sweaty mess and breathing heavily, but I think this routine limits the possibility of  break-in.  However, when Chris walked by and flashed her friendly smile, I just had to ask if she would be in the project. She just looked so nice!

"My job," Chris answered, is the happiest thing happening in her life right now.

I asked Chris if she's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness and she responded, "every day."  Chris went on to explain that even though it's so small and simple, every day when people smile at her, she receives a gift.  I told Chris that I'm sure she must receive a lot of those gifts, because she gives them out so freely.  Chris' warm smile was what prompted me to approach her.

I asked Chris if she had a personal mission statement and she explained that she tries to live by the "golden" advice from her Mom - "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

"My children," Chris said, is something about herself which she considers to be a success.

Chris' children have a great Mom!

I look at Chris' picture and her contagious smile, and I can't help but to feel happy, and feel a smile building on my own face.

 

Day 38 - Orville

day38-365morepeoplepictures

This is Orville.  "Like Orville Redenbacher," Orville clarified, when I didn't quite hear his name correctly the first time.    Orville was sitting outside of Sam's Billiards, waiting for pool league play to begin, when I approached to ask him if I could take his picture.

"Being retired," Orville said, is the happiest thing happening in his life right now.  He's happy to be finished with some of the drudgery of work-life, enduring the traffic, and having to get along with people with whom getting along is quite difficult.  (Orville was quite colorful in his description of those sorts of people, but I'll just keep that part a little secret.)

I asked Orville if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness, "yes definitely," he responded.  Orville has meals at the Senior Center, which he considers an act of kindness.  On the giving end, Orville also volunteers at the same Senior Center.

I asked Orville if he had a personal mission statement.  Orville answered, "To survive. To live another day.  Today is the first day of the rest of my life."

"Having raised a family," Orville said, is one thing about himself which he considers to be a success.  Orville and I visited a little while longer. He told me about his kids and grandkids and said when it comes to raising kids, "be firm but nice."  When it was time to leave, Orville asked to view his picture, and then he actually thanked me for taking his picture.  I'm usually the one doing the thanking, although it feels like I could never adequeally express my gratitude to those who have allowed me to take their picture for the project.   I have a feeling that Orville then proceeded to go into Sam's and teach "the kids" a thing or two about shooting pool.

 

Day 39 - Mitchell.

day39-365morepeoplepictures

This is Mitchell.  He was also just walking down the sidewalk when we met.  He was on break from work, so we had to be quick!

"My girlfriend," Mitchell said, is the happiest thing happening in his life right now.

Mitchell has been on the receiving end of an act of kindness in that his friends just took him out, and they enjoy and appreciate his company.

"Be the best person I can be," Mitchell said, is his personal mission statement.

I asked Mitchell something about himself which he would consider to be a success and he answered, "my demeanor."  I agreed and told Mitchell he has a great demeanor.

 

Day 40 - Brenden

day40b-365morepeoplepictures

This is Brenden.  He was a co-worker, until this day, which was his last day at the company where I work.

I asked Brenden the happiest thing happening in his life right now and he responded, "Change is the biggest thing and the happiest thing, and the people in my life who are supporting me during this change."

Brenden was having trouble thinking of an example of having been on the receiving end of an act of kindness, but he said that he tries to do nice things for others.  Brenden's band, "When We Team Up," just had a show on Monday and he gave two of his comped drink tickets to a random stranger who didn't have any money.

I asked Brenden if he had a personal mission statement and he clarified that he has a life objective - "To make myself happy and hopefully one day I'll find my bliss, find my place in this world, and be successful in it."    We're going to miss Brenden, but we'll actually still get to see him as he's going to work for a customer.  His skill and passion are in design, and now he'll be able to do what he loves.

Because of this project, I learned more about Brenden in 10 minutes than I had learned in the past few years of working together.  When we talk to each other at work, we're talking about t-shirts and ink.  We can go months or years and without learning about one another and I'm so glad this project has given me great reason to get to know people.

"The fact that I'm a go-getter, instead of sitting back and waiting for things to come to me...figuring out what I want and making it happen," Brenden said, is something about himself which he considers to be a success.  I enjoyed our last conversation and was touched by Brenden's words.  He doesn't want to spend his time wandering and wondering his place in this world.  Brenden wants to find it, succeed in it, and be happy with it.

Brenden, you will find your bliss and in it, you will find success.

 

Day 41 - Josh

day41-365morepeoplepictures

This is Josh.  He was sitting outside of Compass Coffee, looking so content, when I spotted him and asked if I could take his picture for the project.  When he agreed, I basically just invited myself to sit down with him at his table.

When I sat down, Josh asked a few questions about the project and seemed surprised that I wanted him to be my "person of the day."  After Josh and I were finished, I started daydreaming about the future.  Some day, I want us all to have a "person of the day."  You know how people Instagram pictures for #OutfitOfTheDay or  #ThrowbackThursday - I dream for the day when we're all wandering the streets looking for new friends we haven't met yet.  I can't wait for the day when you get to experience what I've been experiencing for the past 13 months.  I look forward to the day when people go out and talk with a stranger and share their #PersonOfTheDay photo, or their #NewFriendFriday or their #MeetSomeoneMonday picture.  Would you be on board with that?   Would you approach a stranger, otherwise known as a friend-you-haven't-met-yet, and then share their picture?

I asked Josh the happiest thing happening in his life right now and he answered, "I'm currently between jobs."  Normally, this would seem like it could be a stressful position to be in, but after learning about Josh's work, I understood why he welcomed the break. I didn't want to pry too much, but from what little he said, I gathered his work is extremely stressful and intense.  This explained why he looked so content and peaceful when I spotted him. He was truly enjoying the simple pleasure of a cup of coffee on a sunny patio.

I asked Josh if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness and he answered, "I have a very large and loving family, so I receive acts of kindness every day."

I asked Josh if he had a personal mission statement. Josh answered with the quote, "Memento Mori.  Memento Vivere."  Josh translated (and I also looked it up to verify I had written it correctly) "Remember that you must die.  Remember that you must live."  I explained to Josh that in a strange coincidence, the reoccurring theme in the past 5 books I've read, is that facing our mortality can actually be quite liberating and inspiring.

I asked Josh something about himself which he would consider to be a success. Josh answered, "I don't consider myself a success yet.  I'm working on success.  My success is that I continue trying to be more successful."

Best wishes to you, Josh.

Here's a summary of the wisdom from this week's subjects:

  • To be a good Dad.
  • In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few.
  • Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
  • To survive. To live another day.  Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
  • Be the best person I can be.
  • To make myself happy and hopefully one day I'll find my bliss, find my place in this world, and be successful in it.
  • Memento Mori.  Memento Vivere. (Remember that you must die. Remember that you must live.)

 

Thank you to each and every subject in this project, and thank you for following along.

Wishing you a week filled with happiness and good people!

 

 

365 More People Pictures - Week 2

Hello and welcome to week 2 of the 365 More People Pictures project! This post is actually a review of the subjects from two weeks ago.  I'm still taking a picture of a person every day, and I post those pictures to Instagram.  If you'd like to follow along daily, my Instagram username is @missellana.  I'm not behind in the daily pictures, I'm just behind in sharing them with you here on the blog. We'll catch us up soon!

Day 7 - Jeff

day7-365morepeoplepictures

This is Jeff.  He was sitting outside on the patio of a Starbucks when I approached to ask if I could take his picture.

It wasn't until I sat down at Jeff's table that I noticed a HUGE backpack sitting next to him. I asked if he was traveling.  Jeff explained that he's from France.  Jeff is backpacking and hitchhiking from Calgary to Ecuador.  Jeff was waiting at Starbucks for his Vancouver USA host, Tabatha, to pick him up for the  night.

I asked Jeff the happiest thing happening in his life right now and he responded, "the fact that I'm changing countries."

I asked Jeff if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness and right then, Tabatha showed up.  They quickly introduced themselves, I told Tabitha that we'd be quick, and then Jeff answered that he's on the receiving end of Tabatha's kindness right now. They had never met, but Tabitha was going to host him for the night.   I suspect with the huge trip ahead of him, Jeff will experience kindness all the way to Ecuador.

I asked Jeff if he had a life's purpose.  "To find a purpose," Jeff answered.  Thinking about Jeff and his Journey to Ecuador, reminded me of Santiago, in "The Alchemist."  I imagine Jeff traveling in search of his Personal Legend.

"I just graduated from engineering school," Jeff answered, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success.  With that, Jeff and his newfound friend, Tabatha, were on their way.

 

Day 8 - Charlene

day8a-365morepeoplepictures

This is Charlene.  Surprisingly, I was having a challenging time finding a subject down at Portland's Waterfront Park.  I had already been rejected and had been wandering around for a while when I finally spotted Charlene.  She was photographing the Portland skyline.  I've always had great luck with photographers and haven't been refused by one yet.  Who else would better understand the randomness of a complete stranger approaching them to ask for a picture?

I learned that Charlene is a professional photographer. I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now and she replied, "my son is starting Junior High."

Charlene was on the receiving end of an act of kindness just the day before, when a friend had given her an art print with the saying, "don't ever let anyone take your sparkle."  It was a particularly thoughtful and meaningful gift because the friend knew it would remind Charlene of her mother who had passed away.  Charlene and her Mom shared a little saying, inspired by Shirley Temple and her mom.  Shirley Temple's mom used to say to Shirley, "Sparkle, Shirley, Sparkle." Charlene was given the same loving instructions from her own mom, "Sparkle, Charlene, Sparkle."

After hearing Charlene's great story, I told her that "sparkle" is a bit of coincidence for us both.  I explained to Charlene that I'm not a real photographer. I'm just learning and even after taking a picture every day for a year, I still know so little about photography.  I told Charlene that in order to compensate for my lack of technical knowledge, I've been approaching photography from an emotional angle.  I've simplified things in my mind and my objective has been simply to try to capture a person's sparkle.

I asked Charlene if she had a personal mission statement or if she could think of one on the spot.  Charlene said that her personal and professional mission are intertwined - "the art of love."  Charlene explained that she "photographs things that show love."  When she's shooting pictures, she's mindful that she's capturing someone special. She's capturing someone's wife, girlfriend, or mom... and she's taking those pictures for someone special in their life.  She wants the love to show and she wants their someone special to feel love.

"I made my Mom's life happier," Charlene answered, when I asked something about herself which she considers to be a success.  Before she passed, Charlene's Mom told her once that the past 27 years had been the happiest days of her life.  Charlene knew how much she was loved and her mom knew how much she was loved in return.  I loved Charlene's mom's play on words and it reminded me of my own mom.

I loved meeting Charlene and can't help  thinking it was meant to be.  On days which it has been particularly difficult to find a subject, I always end up meeting someone who leaves a lasting memory and I always end up thinking, so this was who I was supposed to meet today.  Charlene and I are similar in a few ways and it's amazing to me that she was a complete stranger, yet we connected immediately.

Wishing you lots of success in The Art of Love.

 

Day 9 - Matt

day9b-365morepeoplepictures

This is Matt.  I like this picture because I can totally envision it on the back of a book jacket.  I don't even know if Matt has plans to write a book, but looking at this makes me think that he has interesting and important things to tell us.

"My new car," Matt responded, is the happiest thing happening in his life right now.  I don't know for sure, but it looked like he could have just driven it off the lot that day. She was a beauty!

I asked Matt if he had been on the receiving end of an act of kindness and he was certain that he's frequently on the receiving end of kindness.  The most recent thing to come to mind was that his Mom had just bough him kettle corn at the fair.  I thought this was such a cute answer.  Even as grown adults, our mom buying us treats at the fair is still one of life's greatest simple pleasures.

When I asked Matt if he had a personal mission statement, he answered with his personal mantra -"love, happiness, success and longevity."

"The position I'm in at my job," Matt answered, is a personal accomplishment that he didn't think he'd be able to achieve.

 

Day 10 - Karefan

day10-365morepeoplepictures

This is Karefan.  He was waiting at the Park & Ride bus station when we met.

When I asked Karefan about the happiest thing happening in his life right now, he responded, "that's a good question."  He considered the question for a while, long enough that I was starting to feel sad that he couldn't think of something, but then he finally answered, "coming to USA."  Karefan and most of his family moved here from Ukraine this past year.

I asked Karefan about some of his good traits.  He couldn't, or wouldn't, answer.  Instead, he asked me what I thought his good traits could be.  I persisted, explaining I wanted to hear it from him.  He finally answered that he's a hard worker.  I only talked with Karefan for a few moments, but I think one positive trait is that Karafan is an extremely nice person.  Although Karefan speaks english, there's still a bit of a language barrier and he's in a foreign country. I would imagine it would be easy to isolate yourself under those challenges, but Karefan is nice and friendly.

One thing about himself which he considers to be a success is that he's starting college soon!

Wishing Karefan and his family happiness and success here.

 

Day 11 - Adam

day11-365morepeoplepictures

This is Adam.  I met Adam several years ago at Sam's Billiards. He's a tattoo artist and I was happy to bump into him again. I asked Adam about the happiest thing happening in his life right now and he responded, "my daughter."

I asked Adam if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness and he answered that his friend has been helping him out with childcare.

"To be honest and creative," Adam answered, is his personal mission statement.

One thing about himself which Adam considers to be a success, is his relationship with his parents and family.

You can check out Adam at Anatomy Tattoo.

 

Day 12 - Cameron

day12-365morepeoplepictures

This is Cameron.  He's a new co-worker and were it not for this project, I'm not sure how much time would have passed before we had the opportunity to get to know one another.  Our work is extremely busy and intense so we don't get much time to visit.

I asked Cameron the happiest thing happening in his life right now and he answered, "change."  Cameron recently moved to Portland from San Diego. Cameron has known since he was 12 years old that he wanted to move to Portland.   He knew, even at that young age, that San Diego didn't offer him what he needed and he thought there's something unique in Portland which you can't get anywhere else.  I know exactly what Cameron was trying to describe.  I think I was probably the same age on my first visit to Portland.  My mom drove me and another friend here to compete in the Junior Olympics and as we crossed over the Marquam Bridge and I saw the city for the first time, I just knew I wanted to live in Portland.  (Ironically, the only other city to excite me in the same way, was San Diego.)

I asked Cameron if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness.  Cameron explained, "basically, Portland is nice."  He went on to say that every day he experiences some sort of kindness.  Even something as simple as giving someone a cigarette opens the door to having a great interaction with a stranger.  It's the little things the people of Portland do which makes Cameron feel like he's experiencing kindness. People stop and say hi, and talk to one another.

I asked Cameron if he had a personal mission statement or if he could make one up on the spot. He lifted his arm and on his wrist I read the tattoo, "PMA."  In unison, we both said, "positive mental attitude!"  I loved this!!!   I told Cameron about my high school volleyball coach, who at random times, would yell - "how's your PMA?"  Our response was to be an enthusiastic shout back, "boy am I enthusiastic!"  To this day, I give myself, "PMA checks" and yes, in my mind I answer back, "boy am I enthusiastic!" As I'm typing these words, it just hit me. Our Coach's random PMA checks weren't random at all.  She would shout that when we were anything but enthusiastic.  If you give this a try, you'll find out that it's impossible not to have a spike in enthusiasm after just yelling, "BOY AM I ENTHUSIASTIC!"  Go on, try it.  See what I mean?  Instant attitude adjustment, right?  I love Cameron's tattoo and now when I see him, I will stop and check myself for a positive mental attitude.

cameronpmacollage2

I wanted to share Cameron's tattoo with you,  but as you can see - I'm still fumbling through getting the aperture correct.  My new lens is such a high- performer, I have to get it just right or it will blur too much of the background, or too much of the foreground. It's beyond my skill level but I'm learning to be deliberate and to change the aperture when I want to get both the background and foreground. Clearly, I'm learning the hard way as I didn't quite get it on this.  I'm getting a good grasp when it comes to taking a portrait of a single person, but I have to work at everything else.  They were still cool pictures and if I hadn't told you they were mistakes, you'd might even think they were cool too.

I asked Cameron something about himself which he considers to be a success.  "Who I am," Cameron answered, "I don't wan't that to sound braggadocious."  Cameron feels like he's able to make it through the ups and downs that life gives us and he added:  "We have to adapt. We have to move on. We have to keep going.  As long as you're breathing, life will keep going.  I refuse to wake up and say, this is it - this is the end."

Aaah... good stuff.  I'm really liking our new co-worker!  Wishing you lots of success and happiness here, Cameron!

 

Day 13 - Melvin

day13-365morepeoplepictures

This is Melvin.  He was sitting outside the mall, looking exhausted, when we met. I learned it was because his wife was still inside shopping.

"I'm alive and healthy and above ground," Melvin answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.  This is one of my favorite answers and is parallel to what Cameron had say the day prior. No matter how tough things may be, life will keep going as long as we're breathing. When we wake to live another day, we have the opportunity to get better, no matter how challenging things may be.

I asked Melvin if he had been on the receiving end of an act of kindness and he explained that he tries to be the giver.  He helps people out when he can.  When he sees homeless people on the street corner, he'll often take them to buy food.

"To live long and prosper," Melvin said, is his personal mission statement.  I laughed and told Melvin that he and my husband both share the same personal mission statement.  When my husband told me his statement, I asked him to think of a different one because he couldn't steal Spock's salutation.  After thinking about it, I realized Spock was onto something!   Spock had just about the most succinct, and most perfect mission statement and salutation ever! "Live long and prosper."  That says it all.

I asked Melvin something about himself which he would consider to be a success and he responded, "I've been married 23 years."   I have a feeling Melvin is one great husband.  He happily and patiently went out for air and let his wife continue with her shopping.   May you and your family "live long and prosper," Melvin.

Here's a summary of the personal mission statements and the life's purposes of the subjects from this week, and one little nugget which I edited from my conversation with Cameron.

  • To find a purpose.
  • The art of love - photograph things that show love.
  • Love, happiness, success and longevity.
  • To be honest and creative.
  • PMA - Positive Mental Attitude
  • Adapt. Move on. Keep Going. As long as you're breathing, life will keep going.  Refuse to say, this is it - this is the end. 
  • Live long and prosper.

adapt.cameron

Thank you to the subjects from this week and thank you for following along!  I'll catch us up to date soon!

365 Day People Picture Project - Week 49

Hello, and thank you for checking in on week 49 of The 365 Day People Picture Project.  Can you believe we only have 3 weeks left? I get teary-eyed when I think about the project ending. I know it seems silly, but I can't help it.  The tears seem to come from someplace where I don't have the ability to turn off the spigot. Again, it is very much like a marathon.  I don't know what it is, but tears just happen and they seem to happen anywhere from around mile 21, all the way through the finish line.

I have a very athletic, manly-man friend who's completed a few marathons and right before my first, he prepared me that there will be waterworks.  He told me he cried like a little baby as he was finishing his first marathon!  It's just such a labor of love, and you give so much of yourself...the tears just happen.  Given my manly-man friend cried, I figured it was ok when I cried too.  These project-is-ending tears must be coming from that same well from which the marathon tears flow.  The end is in sight.  I want to finish strong.  Although every cell in my body wants to cross that finish line, I also don't want this feeling to end.

 

Day 337 - Jami, my Sister

day337-365daypeoplepictureproject

I made another quick trip home to Southern Oregon last weekend and after two, back-to-back, trips home, I've realized I need to make the trip more often.  Weeks turn into months, and months turn into years, and it's been years since I had last seen my Sister.

I asked Jami the happiest thing happening in her life right now and she replied, "seeing you."  We laughed and I persisted because I wanted to learn the real scoop.  Jami then said, "the success of my children."

I asked Jami if she had recently performed an act of kindness and she jokingly responded, "I'm ornerier than heck!"  Again we laughed.  Jami said that she lets people go in front of her at the grocery store, and that she let elders go in front of her in the food line at a gathering we had just attended the day before.

I asked Jami if she had a personal mission statement or if she could think of one on the spot, and she replied, "to have empathy for others, and to grow on a daily basis."  Jami went on to say that she's trying to look beyond herself, in attempt to see the perspective of others.

"I never give up," Jami said, is something about herself which she would consider to be a success.  She then questioned her answer, saying she's not sure if that's good or bad.  Jami and I share that trait and I understand it can be both a blessing and a curse.

Technically, Jami is my half-sister and she lived in California when I was growing up.  I can recall two specific pictures which sparked my fascination with photography, before I even knew I had one.  One of the those photographs was of Jami.  I think the picture must have been taken by my Dad, or one of my Brothers.  Jami had the most perfect 70's hair - long with a center-part.  I looked at that picture often since I didn't have Jami close in proximity.  I looked at that picture so often, my memory of how Jami looked was replaced by my memory of how she looked in that picture.  The photograph became Jami, and Jami became the photograph.  It's difficult to explain, but maybe you understand exactly what I'm talking about.  Before the project ends, I'll share with you the other picture which piqued my interest in photography.

Jami - I love you, and thank you for being in the project!

 

Day 338 - Isis Estela 

day338-365daypeoplepictureproject

This is Isis.  We met just walking down the street.  I asked Isis the happiest thing happening in her life right now and she replied, "just moving here."  Isis is new to Portland, having just arrived from Seattle.

I asked Isis if she had recently performed an act of kindness and she explained that she's editing a book for a friend.  Wow!  That's quite a laborious act of kindness and I'm sure her friend must be grateful!  You can read some of Isis' writing on her blog.  

"Love, laugh, learn, live," Isis replied, is her personal mission statement.

I asked Isis one thing about herself which she would consider to be a success and she replied, "my life up until now."

Wishing Isis lots of luck and happiness in Portland!

 

Day 339 - Kaely & Jake

day339kaelyjake-365daypeoplepictureproject

This is Kaely & Jake.  They were waiting for a friend to arrive at Mt. Tabor park.

I asked Kaely the happiest thing happening in her life right now and after much consideration, she replied, "the summer and the sunshine!"  I'm noticing when people answer, "summer", it's like a catch-all for all of the events, activities, happiness and good times we  have during the summer months.

The most recent act of kindness which Kaely could recall performing, was that she held the door open for a person who had their hands full.

day339kaely-365daypeoplepictureproject

I asked Kaely if she had a personal mission statement or if she could think of one on the spot. Kaely explained that while on a recent hike with friends, they spent time defining their personal mission statement and life's purpose.  Kaely answered, "to tread lightly, make the most of every day, and to make things easier for others."

One thing about herself which Kaely would consider to be a success, is her involvement with the Forest Grove Farmers Market.  Kaely manages the market and she's enjoyed seeing it evolve from a small farmers market, into a large community event.

 

Day 340 - Andrew

day340-365daypeoplepictureproject

This is Andrew.  We met outside of Velo Cult as I was walking by in search of a subject.

"Cooking and moving to Portland," Andrew said, is the happiest thing happening in his life right now.  Andrew is a chef, in town from Austin,  and he'll soon be moving to Portland.  While in town, he staged ("tried out") as a chef at one of Portland's most popular restaurants.  He knows he won't be working there as they're at capacity, but he's optimistic he met a few excellent connections and his networking will result in a job soon!

I asked Andrew if he had recently performed an act of kindness.  Andrew said that he was an Eagle Scout and they're to "do a good turn daily."  Andrew's most recent act of kindness is that he complimented a man on his bike, and then struck up a conversation with the stranger.  They ended up having a lengthy conversation.  Andrew is quite personable and friendly, so I can imagine he maintains the "do a good turn daily" code, simply by being himself.

"Go with motivated people," Andrew replied, when I asked if he had a personal mission statement.  This is such good advice!  When you surround yourself with people who make things happen, you can't help but to absorb some of their energy and you'll soon find that you're also making things happen for yourself!

I asked Andrew one thing about himself which he would consider to be a success.  He replied, "my knives are sharp."  Ha!  I don't know much about cooking, but I do know that a good chef takes care of his knives as they're critical tools for their trade.  Andrew said he had the sharpest knives at the tryouts!

Wishing you luck and success, Andrew!

 

Day 341 - Carl and Max

day341-365daypeoplepictureproject

This is Carl (left) and Max (right.)  They were just finishing up their job canvasing outside the library.  I was still smiling hours after meeting these two!

I asked the two the happiest thing happening in their lives right now.  Carl answered, "hanging out with this other free spirit I met recently."   Max explained that although he's currently between employment, he's taking it as a blessing and as an opportunity to find something he really wants to do.  I love Max's optimism and that he's finding a silver lining, even in a difficult time.  I have no doubt he'll soon find the perfect job!

I asked the guys if they had recently performed an act of kindness.  Carl replied, "I gave a homeless person change today."  Carl then explained that he's generally a nice person.  He smiles at people and tells them he loves them.  Max said, "I've been a much better son to my Mother."  After talking with the guys a while, and answering their questions about this project, Carl said, "I love you for doing this."  Carl genuinely loves people.  When he said he tells people he loves them, he wasn't just talking about friends and family. I have no doubt that he tells complete strangers that he loves them, because I experienced it!  Part of this project, for me, has been about rediscovering love for people and restoring my faith in people.  I'm not quite as evolved as Carl yet, so in response to his statement, I said, "I love the interaction we're having."

I asked the two if they had a personal mission statement, or if they could define their life's purpose.  Carl responded, "to be the most wonderful, loving father in the world."  Max replied, "whether I fail or succeed, I'd like to make a positive difference in the world."

When I asked something about themselves they would consider to be a success, Carl responded, "I broke my family's cycle of abuse."  Max answered, "that I've made it to age 20 without being a very rude and angry person."

I almost didn't approach Carl and Max because there were two of them. You know how I struggle with group pictures - even when it's just a group of two.  I'm so glad I set aside my apprehension and approached these two!  We pass by so many strangers on any given day, but if we only stopped to interact with some of those friends we haven't met yet, we might just find they will change our lives. Or, perhaps we will change theirs.  At the very least, we can start a little ripple of happiness.

 

Day 342 - Reanna

day342-365daypeoplepictureproject

This is Reanna.  She was waiting for the bus when we met.

"I'm a Mom of a 2 year old," Reanna answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now.

When I asked Reanna if she had recently performed an act of kindness, she said that she does little things all the time but she was having trouble thinking of an answer.  Then it hit her, "I bought a friend a milkshake!"

"Being the best that I can be, not just for myself, but for my Son," Reanna answered, when I asked if she had a personal mission statement or could define her life's purpose.  Reanna then clarified that everything she does, is for her Son.

"I'm a good Mom, and the fact that I can see the glass is half-full," Reanna answered, when I asked something about herself which she would consider to be a success.

 

Day 343 - Ralph

day343-365daypeoplepictureproject

This is Ralph.  He was passing time at the park along the Columbia River, while he was waiting to meet a blind date at a restaurant down the way.

When I asked Ralph the happiest thing happening in his life right now, he joked that maybe it was about to happen!  He then went on to say that his Dad gave him a musical education when he was younger and it still brings him happiness.  He had just played the night before.

I asked Ralph if he had recently performed an act of kindness. Ralph's profession gives him the opportunity to give kindness.  He helps people to feel better. He performs body work, massage, and acupuncture.

"Help deserving people," Ralph answered, when I asked if he had a personal mission statement.

"I've retained my inner child," Ralph answered, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success.  Ralph's date is in for a fun evening with this young-at-heart man!

Ralph was so nice and personable, I'm confident his date was a success. At least on his part!  I got a chuckle after leaving Ralph, thinking that if any awkward silence happened during the date, maybe Ralph could fill it by telling his date how he had just been photographed and interviewed by a complete stranger in the park.

I turned a corner with Ralph.  This is one of my favorite pictures.  Well, I guess we'll see if I've truly turned that corner or if I was just lucky with Ralph.  I got a new lens, and finally forced myself out of my comfort zone and changed some camera settings. It's been so intimidating to experiment with camera settings during this project. For one, I simply don't know what I'm doing.  Secondly, I'm usually under intense time pressures to get in, get a picture, and get out.  People don't have all day for me to figure out my camera, or I've had to race to get a picture before their bus arrived.  I also can't afford to fail.  I had to get a shot, every single day! All of this pressure and lack of knowledge and practice, caused me to get quite complacent where I was and prevented me from trying to improve.  I've been reading and studying so much, it was time I finally implemented some of what I've been learning.  I'm pleased with the result and I'm so excited to finish out these next few weeks. I had a little more time with Ralph than I have with most people, but I'm going to continue to push to see if I can get some marked improvement these last three weeks.

Here's a summary of the life's purpose and/or personal mission statements from this week's subjects:

  • To have empathy for others, and to grow on a daily basis.
  • Love, laugh, learn, live.
  • To tread lightly, make the most of every day, and to make things easier for others.
  • Go with motivated people.
  • To be the most wonderful, loving father in the world.
  • Whether I fail or succeed, I'd like to make a positive difference in the world.
  • Being the best that I can be, not just for myself, but for my Son.
  • Help deserving people.

Thank you to all of the subjects in this project!  Thank you for your kindness in letting me take your picture, and for sharing a little of yourself with us.

Thank you for following along another week!  Do you have any ideas for me? What would you like to see next? I welcome your input and would love to hear any ideas you may have for the next 365 days!

Wishing you an awesome week!