Everybody has hidden talents. Whether you think it to be true or not, there are plenty of things that you are good at that could actually be of assistance to others.
One of the things that I used to do a lot in my spare time was photography. Whether it was landscape shots, portraits, or street photography, there was just something about getting out and exploring that was captivating for me.
Two years ago, I kind of fell off the photography train a little. I used to go out every single night after work and would just go walk around to take photos. After doing that for a while, though, I put down my camera and hadn’t picked it up… for two years.
My best friend got married over the summer and asked me to take photos of his wedding. Having not touched a camera in two years, I agreed to shoot the wedding, but couldn’t guarantee that he would like them. So, as a friendly gesture, I decided to shoot the wedding for free. If I messed up, I wouldn’t feel obligated to give him any money back, and plus, photography used to be a passion of mine, maybe it was time to get back into it.
The pictures from his wedding turned out better than he or I could have expected. It was almost as if I hadn’t set down the camera for more than a day. And not only did the pictures turn out incredible, but the experience reminded me of why I loved photography in the first place.
Fast forward six months to two weeks ago.
My sister came to me and asked if I would be willing to shoot her Christmas card photos. Not the one that I bought coffee for, but the other of my two amazing sisters. Due to the fact that I had just done something nice for one sister, I thought it would be a good idea to do something nice for the other – especially for all they do for me.
Normally Christmas cards aren’t shot until late October or in the month of November, but here in Minnesota, it decides to snow in the middle of October. Yes, that’s right… snow. Yesterday, parts of the state got over 10 inches of white cold powder.
My sister wanted to get them done before there was snow on the ground, so she wanted to get them done sooner rather than later. This week was that sooner.
Wednesday, after work, I grabbed my camera, drove over to her house, and took photos of her and her husband for their Christmas cards. She had only one request – to do whatever I had to do to make her look pretty.
About 30 minutes later and over 150 pictures taken, we finally settled on a few that I offered to edit and send to her before she actually printed them. Along with having a skill of actually knowing how to use a camera, I also know how to do a lot of editing in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
The editing process took more than the picture taking process. To edit eight photos took me well over two hours while taking more than 150 pictures took me no more than 30 minutes.
After everything was said and done, I sent the finish products to my sister. I asked how she liked them, and from the sound of her voice, I could tell that she loved them. Now, I don’t know if she was just saying that or actually liked them, but I think they turned out better than any of the other pictures that I have done.
The way I see it, it was another win-win. She got pictures taken for her Christmas card, and I got to be reunited with one of my passions. That is, of course, photography.
Okay, what am I getting at with this story? Well, as I said earlier, we all have hidden talents that could bring some value to the lives of others. You may have forgotten about these talents, or you may use them every day.
Either way, instead of always trying to get an extra penny out of others, why not give them the best gift of all – your time? Use your talents and make somebody’s day by offering those talents for free. Who knows, maybe if you do this enough, others will get to see your work out there and may hire you down the road.
Yesterday’s random act of kindness: Give Your Barber A Nice Tip