365 More People Pictures - Week 49

Hello! This is week 49 of my second personal challenge to take a picture of a person, every day, for a year.

This blog is actually a few weeks behind real-time.  I'm sorry I'm behind here, but you can follow along in real-time on Instagram, where I post daily.  My Instagram username is @missellanea.


Day 336 - Claire


This is Claire.  We met in the park where I spotted her sitting on a bench, reading a book, and looking like she was just enjoying the day.  We ended up visiting for quite a while.  She told me a little about her life, and I told her a little about mine.  We discovered that we share many similarities and in some aspects, we're living (or about to live) parallel lives.   I love that this project has introduced me to so many great people. Visiting with Claire felt like I was talking with my mom or aunts.

The happiest thing happening in Claire's life is she's recovering from skin cancer, and she's also going to visit Spain and stay with family.


Claire's recent act of kindness is that she gave bus fare to a girl who appeared to be in a bad situation and needing to get out.  Claire also gave a sandwich to a homeless person, along with a reusable bag for the person to carry their belongings.

"Being aware of life and understanding cultures," Claire said, is her life's purpose.

When I asked Claire something about herself which she considers to be a success, she answered, "I think I'm a little clairvoyant, or I read people."  Perhaps she's both...the interaction we shared was one in which I really needed this day and I felt better having met her.  Hopefully she felt the same.

Thank you, Claire.


Day 337 - Sher


This is Sher.  I love it when I ask people the happiest thing happening in their lives, and they're so positive and so many great things are happening, that they can't choose just one. (The only thing that makes me happier than this, is when someone is temporarily in a bad spot, but still manages to find happiness, or gratitude, in something...even if it is simply just being alive.)  Sher decided to give the answer that she's happy to be close to her daughter, and her relationship.

Sher was recently on the receiving end of an act of kindness, twice over, in one situation. She scored a great used washer from FreeCycle and her friend drove over 30 miles to help her pick it up!  (That's a great friend!)

"To bring more joy into the world," Sher answered, when I asked her life's purpose.

When I asked Sher something about herself which she considers to be a success, she answered, "I have a great kid!"

Thank you, Sher.


Day 338 - Nate


This is Nate.  The happiest thing happening in his life right now is his marriage.  One surprising observation I've had during these past two years, is that men are entirely more sentimental and sensitive than what I've ever realized.  I haven't gone back to do an actual count of how many guys have answered that their relationship is the happiest thing happening in their life, but the number is surprisingly high, and actually quite touching.

Nate's recent act of kindness is that before we met, he had just held the door open for a large family.

"Life's just to enjoy it," Nate answered, when I asked his life's purpose.  Again, Nate is another person who grounds us and reminds us that while we're in pursuit of our dreams and  fulfilling our mission in life, we must remember to also enjoy it!

"I'm pretty successful in my career," Nate answered, when I asked something about himself that he considers to be a success.  Nate has managed to find it all.  Happy marriage, successful career, and he's enjoying life too!   Thank you, Nate!

Day 339 - Parrish


This is Parrish.  The happiest thing happening in his life is that he's been clean and sober for a while, he's getting back in the gym, and he's going to school for engineering.

"To do something to change the world for the better," Parrish answered, when I asked his life's purpose. I was happy for Parrish, and reminded him that simply by keeping clean, he's already changed his little corner of the world for the better.

"Being a father...the father I never had, and having a good relationship with my kids," Parrish answered, when I asked something about himself he considers to be a success.

Wishing you continued happiness and success, Parrish.

Day 340 - Becki


This is Becki. You've met her before.  She's one of my oldest and dearest friends.  Although I didn't look up her comments from her first appearance in this project, we laughed because we're pretty sure she had given very similar answers.

The happiest thing happening in her life at the time of this picture, is that she had just returned from a great vacation with her family.

Becki is one of those people who pretty much performs an act of kindness at least a half-dozen times a day.  She's just that nice, thoughtful and caring.  She's also trying to instill in her kids to be of service to the community and to those in need, so her service-work is a family affair.  They volunteer with several different programs, events and organizations.  While on vacation, they saw a girl crying on the side of the road so they stopped to offer help. "I just need to get home," the girl cried.  Becki gave the girl all of the food they had left, water, and money for a bus ticket.

"Live each day to the fullest because you don't know if you'll be here tomorrow," Becki answered, when I asked her life's purpose.  Becki embraces this and truly lives it each day.  She survived a near-fatal accident just after high school, and because of it, she packs in about 3 days worth of living into each day.

When I asked Becki something about herself which she considers to be a success, she answered, "my family...my kids." Her kids are smart, kind and loving and they're growing into exceptional young adults.

Becki, thank you for being the beautiful mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend that you are.  I love you.


Day 341 - Amber


This is Amber.  We met outside of Hollywood Theatre.  I seriously did a double check, and then a triple check, to make sure she wasn't Cameron Diaz.  Amber is as nice and fun, as she is beautiful.  She was on a date and I just wanted to steal her away so that we could go make more pictures!  She's just so much fun in front of the camera!

When I asked Amber the happiest thing happening in her life right now, she answered, "this man right behind me," as she looked over her shoulder to her date who was patiently waiting for us to finish doing our thing.


Amber feels like she's on both the receiving and giving end of kindness every day!  Recently, she lost her wallet and a stranger returned it to her!

"To meet and interact with people," Amber said, is her life's purpose.  She's living this purpose - I don't think you could walk past Amber without stopping to visit with her.  She radiates fun and friendliness, and she's someone you just have to talk to!

When  I asked Amber something about herself she considers a success, she answered, "my babies."

Thank you for being your bright and sunshiny self, Amber!


Day 342 - David


This is David.  When I met David, he and his photographer/videographer friends were in a hurry, chasing light, on their way to go shoot one of the bridges.   We only had time for one question, but we exchanged numbers and we did the rest of the "interview" via text messages.

"To make other people happy," David answered, when I asked his life's purpose.

Below are the rest of David's answers from our text interview.  (I want to try this more often!)

Question:  What is the happiest thing happening in your life right now?

David's Answer:  I have been doing a lot of reflection and practicing self awareness recently in my life, and I'm finally finding my own way here in Portland.  I moved here a year and a half ago, for a job, and finally finding my way.

Question:  Have you recently performed an act of kindness or have you been on the receiving end of an act of kindness?

David's Answer:  I work for Willamette University's professional MBA program. On Wednesday, my coworker and I drove down to Eugene and back to Portland, delivering over 200 sugar cookies to a dozen of our students at their work. It was surprising for so many of our students who work full time, have families and lives and also take MBA classes. I am amazed by all of them. They're the reason it's easy to come to work everyday, so we do what we can to make them feel happy.

Question:  What's something about yourself you consider to be a success?

David's Answer:  My biggest success has been my personal growth since I moved here. I'm becoming the man I always wanted to be.  I used to cry at sleepovers, (in my own backyard) worrying about my family.  And [now] I find myself 2800 miles from home, away from family, starting and building a life for myself.  I even surprise myself sometimes!

I loved meeting David.  He's the type of person with whom you feel an instant connection.  We said we would do coffee some day, and so much time has passed, I worry he wouldn't remember me.  But, he's been on my mind and I definitely want to be in touch with him again soon.  Thank you, David.  I hope we can make that coffee date happen.

I loved our text interview.   Regretfully, I haven't used a voice recorder for this project.   I just jot notes in my journal as quickly as I can.  Some people are short and concise in their answers and I can easily write what they've said, but other people's answers are long, beautiful, interactions but I miss so much of their valuable significance and wisdom because I'm simply unable to note everything they've said.   I have to rely on my memory to fill in the gaps left by the hastily written notes in my journal.  And, I had no idea my poor little memory was going to get so spotted after 40-ish-something.  If I were to ever continue doing this, I think it's time to get serious and record the interviews. I've now even considered broadcasting the interviews live on Periscope.  (But I'm just way too bashful for that, and I think potential subjects would also shy away from an interview if they knew it would be a live broadcast to the world - or at least the few people watching live on Periscope.)   At the very least, I think it's time to dig deeper and learn even more about people's personal stories.

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

  • Being aware of life and understanding cultures.
  • To bring more joy into the world.
  • Life's just to enjoy it.
  • To do something to change the world for the better.
  • Live each day to the fullest because you don't know if you'll be here tomorrow.
  • To meet and interact with people.
  • To make other people happy.

Thank you to every subject in this project. If you would like your picture, please don't hesitate to email me.

And, thank you for continuing to follow along. I'm striving to get back on track and will keep working at it until I do.

Have a great week!



365 Day People Picture Project - Week 10

Week 10 of the 365 Day People Picture Project was a nice slide back into reality after the thrill and excitement of week 9.   There are no famous rock stars or well-known authors this week… just 7 nice people who were kind enough to let me take their picture.  To me, they're all rock stars. If you're just checking in for the first time, I've challenged myself to take a picture of a person every day for an entire year.  I post each picture to my Instagram, daily, and then do a recap of the week's photos here on the blog.

The majority of my subjects have been random strangers, but my friends, family, and co-workers are also helping me out as well.

I'm not a photographer, but I have a desire to learn. This project is forcing me outside of my comfort zone. I'm now signing up for a few photography classes and I spend a little time each day studying online resources.   Someone asked me why I didn't first take a few classes and then start the project.  Hmmm, that seems like it should have been the logical progression.  It's ok. I don't regret that I dove into this thing head first and in doing so, I've realized just how much I don't know and just how much there is to learn. I also think I may have never started the project had I first had real instruction.  Learning my deficiencies (which are plenty)  in these first few weeks and months will help me know how to ask for proper instruction and training.

Day 64 - Jill the Runner

365 Day People Picture Project

I had just wrapped up my 7 mile walk and Jill was half-way through her 7 mile out-and-back when I stopped to ask if she would let me take her picture.  She looked so fresh-faced and strong, I thought she was just warming up! Jill happily agreed to let me take her picture and we visited a little about our shared love of that trail and being out in nature.

Heritage Trail Bridge

Jill has a few marathons under her belt, but now she's running just for the love of it.  She will continue to run half-marathons but she's not so sure about full marathons.  She has a quote hanging on her bulletin board that keeps her moving.  She couldn't remember it exactly, but it's something like…"the run isn't the distance, it's the journey."

Day 65 - Two Skaters at Tabor

365 Day People Picture Project Day 65

I approached these two as they were about to start their ascent up the stairs of Mt. Tabor.  They were cool with me taking their picture but it was on the condition that I be quick about it because they were in a hurry to skate!  I was so quick that I blew the shot of them with their boards and failed this picture as well.  Among other troubles,  the guy on the right isn't in focus.  I have to learn to nail it the first time, and nail it quickly!

Throughout this project, I've had an average of about 1 minute to get the picture after quickly explaining the project and asking the subject for permission to take their photo.   I've had one subject in which my spiel and photo took a total of 45 seconds, or less!

In addition to being a complete beginner, rather, a beginning-beginner, I sometimes get nervous with certain subjects. Knowing these guys were in a hurry made me stressed. In reality, I had no less time with them than I do with the majority of my subjects, but I didn't want to inconvenience them and by worrying about the time pressure, I blew it.   They're still cute skater boys and no matter how badly I blew the picture, you can still see that for yourself!

Day 66 Dog Walker at the Park

365 Day People Picture Project Day 66

I debated which picture to share with you.  I ended up with a lovely picture of just the woman alone. I'm more pleased with her "portrait" but decided to share this one instead. I think it more accurately conveys the experience.

I had an ah-ha moment in week 9 and inadvertently realized why I've had so many problems taking pictures of dogs with their humans.   Actually, Roger (from day 61) showed me the error of my ways.  Although I struggled with the conditions, Roger made me realize the key to taking a picture of a human and a dog, is that I need to close the distance between the two. Roger did the work for me. He crouched down close to Hana and they became one compact little unit.

When I spotted these two in the park, they were already a compact unit because the woman is so petite.  I thought, for once, I'd be able to get a decent full-length shot of a person with their dog.  Again, I was mistaken and I blew it.

The dog kept lunging at me…she was lunging for lovins!  I could tell that the owner was working with the dog on this but I was just too irresistible.  Well, most likely it was the fact that she could smell my own dog so she just really wanted to get to know me a little closer.  The owner explained that her dog loves cameras!  She was actually quite the ham and she loved the click of the camera. However, she would get so excited that I didn't get a good shot of just the dog either.   Had we taken more time, I'm sure we would have all settled down and the results would have been different but I had fun with the two of them.

Day 66 Dog

The  owner gave me a suggestion and I can't believe I hadn't thought of it. She said I should carry doggie-treats with me! Don't be surprised if I catch these two again someday. I'd love a do-over.  Hey,  I never made a rule against using the same subjects twice and I  think it might be pretty interesting to do so.

Day 67 - Jonathan

 365 Day People Picture Project

Jonathan works at one of the best pizza places in town - Blind Onion Pizza.  Jonathan, (as is everyone who works there) was so friendly and nice.  I figured the odds were in my favor if I were to ask him if he'd let me take his picture for the project.  He agreed and as soon as he did, he got a rush of customers.

I took this picture after things had settled a little.  Poor guy…I snapped 4 pictures so quickly that he rubbed his eyes after I finished because I had just "flashed" him in rapid-fire succession.  I felt kind of bad for temporarily blinding the Blind Onion guy.

Day 68 - Edgar

365 Day People Picture Project

Edgar is another co-worker.  He has onehellofa hard job.  He's our production manager.  We've worked together for 13 years but in that time, we only ever talk t-shirts.  Edgar's job is stressful. In trying to think of what to tell you about him, I had the realization that Edgar is always in control.  No matter how tense things can be or how much stress we're under, he handles it.  We're in a deadline-driven industry and the pressure can sometimes be overwhelming, but Edgar is always mister cool.  I appreciate that about him…he keeps us level.

We car-pooled on Thursday because his car was being worked on so that gave us a chance to visit.  We sat in traffic for so long, I was able to convince him to be Day 68 because he saw first-hand that there wasn't one other subject available between work and our neighborhood. Lucky for me, he was willing to fill the void!

Day 69 - Ryan

 Day 69 - 365 Day People Picture Project

I sent out a frantic text to a few of my friends on Friday night, hoping they'd be out and about.  I hadn't found a subject for the day so I knew my only hope at that point was to hit up a bar.  Luckily, my friend Anne agreed to meet me. It was a great excuse for us to catch up!

Anne and I had dinner while we were scoping the place for potential subjects. I searched the entire place but  kept going back to the same person, Ryan.   After looking through my pictures, I've realized my mind sort of favors furry bearded guys as subjects and my preference is for a black and white photo.  Color is great too, but I've determined that a man's beard makes for great texture in a black and white picture.

Ryan was out having a great time with his friends when I approached him to ask if I could take his picture. I think they were just about to dive into their potato skins when I interrupted them. As awkward as it must have been, he agreed to let me take his picture.

With winter and daylight savings time approaching, I suspect I'll have to start searching for subjects at happy hour.  Luckily, my friends have a much more active social life than I!  Anne now knows that it might be a frequent occurrence for me to text her to ask her whereabouts so that we can meet up and I can get my picture for the day. It's a win-win!  I'll get to see more of my friends and I also have some help in finding a subject.

Day 70 - Lorri

Day 70 - 365 Day People Picture Project

I've known Lorri for 27 years.  She is the sister of my dear friend, Debbie.  Because of my friendship with Debbie, Lorri is practically like my own big sister.

Their entire family came to town to celebrate Lorri's 50th Birthday.  We had such a beautiful night!  I laughed and cried and laughed some more.  I knew I wanted Lorri to be day 70 but there was just one problem…we didn't stop laughing the whole first 4 hours of the party!  I didn't even take any pictures because I was having so much fun enjoying everyone.

We took turns telling Lorri stories and I don't think I've laughed so hard since the last time I was around this bunch. This is one special woman and some of my very best memories are of times spent with her and her family.

Lorri's daughter-in-law and future daughter-in-law both gave such loving tributes to Lorri and they summed her up perfectly.  Lorri is the kind of person who welcomes you into her family with open arms and she makes you feel comfortable from the moment you meet her.  She's always been a welcoming, loving and accepting person…she welcomed me into their lives 27 years ago.

Happy Birthday, Lorri. I love you!

Thank you for following along on week 10!  If you were a subject this week, thank you!  The only reason this project is even alive is because of you.  I appreciate your time and thank you for letting me take your picture.

If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, my username is @missellanea. I'd like to follow you back!

Have a great week!