Over the course of 15 years of professional photography services, I’ve discovered falling in love with my clients has resulted in them falling in love with themselves. I’m not saying my clients don’t love themselves before their time with me, but we all lose ourselves in day-to-day tasks and relationships. My new and old friends oftentimes leave me in a state of euphoria. And, believe me, it’s even more euphoric for me. It was never on purpose. I simply love people, want to hear their stories and genuinely find beauty in those I spend a little time getting to know. I believe it’s like volunteering: your intent was to help others, yet at the end of the day you feel like the benefactor.
Recently, while going for an evening beach stroll in Turks & Caicos the tide shifted. Michael and I were called away from the water to check out a local artist’s wares at Da Conch Shack. Michael grudgingly followed me up the beach, convinced I wouldn't be able to say no to whatever this lovely lady had to offer. (He just might have been right.) Within minutes, the Haitian artist had fallen in love with me. How do I know? She told me so. She held my face in her hands, telling me she loved my face. (And, no, I had not yet purchased anything from her.) We chatted a bit more, and when I went to leave, she kissed me on the cheek and told me she loved me. I cannot even wrap my brain around how all this came to fruition, as I’m not accustomed to being the recipient of such fast-and-furious adoration.
Regardless, I skipped back to our temporary Old Beach House residence. I was high on life, and wonderfully amazed that someone who was a perfect stranger 15 minutes prior saw value in me. And, no I still had not purchased anything from her stock of hit-and-miss treasures.
She gave me a gift that can’t be purchased, but will always hold value in my heart. And I did go back and make a purchase. Not just because of my experience but it truly is an inexpensive and sparkly piece that will serve as a reminder of my week on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and, of course, my experience with my new Haitian friend.