People think of me as the photographer of the team, but the truth is that in many cases Ren has a better eye for what will make a great picture than I do. So many of my best photos happen because she sees something and points it out to me. I couldn’t do what I do without her, at least not as well. That said, we do have very different styles as photographers. I love shooting with my Sony A6000. While she does have a professional camera, she rarely uses it. She prefers the camera on her phone.
But our photo styles differ by more than equipment. She has one project that she does that would never work for me. It’s called Seflies With Strangers. It’s pretty much what it sounds like. She will walk up to a complete stranger and ask to take a selfie with them. She always asks for the selfie right away, because, by the time she is done, the person will no longer be a stranger.
She told me when she started this, that she wanted to make someone feel special for a few moments, to bring a smile to their face, and everyone smiles when you take their picture. Nearly everyone says yes when she asks, and then she will spend the next few moments, (or hours), asking about who they are, what they do, and what their interests are. In short, she learns what it is about this person that makes them special, and in the process reminds them that they are special. Often these people connect with us through our social media pages and become friends. As I said, she has to act quickly if she wants to get a selfie with a stranger.
More than once we’ve had someone tell us that they were having a rotten day, but that this encounter had turned it around and made things better, which was the whole point. I’ve gotten used to having our journey interrupted at unexpected moments while Ren pauses to bring a little joy into some strangers life. I accept it because I’ve learned that the person who enjoys it the most is Ren, and that makes me happy.