This blog was written by Anna Hoy, Marketing & Communications Specialist for United Way of Greater Greensboro.
Photography is an art that I now realize I’ve always loved. On Thursday, I had the pleasure of taking photos at our annual campaign celebration. What I love most about my job when I’m wearing my “photographer hat” is that I get to capture the life, the beauty, in people. I enjoy getting to meet these fascinating people, who are all making a difference in their own way for our community, and then being able to share their beauty with others through my photos.
Next month, United Way of Greater Greensboro will welcome Karen Walrond, photographer, author, and blogger, to talk about what real beauty means to her. Take one glance at Karen’s work and you will find many answers to what beauty is. To me, real beauty radiates in people who live their lives with the purpose of leaving this world better than they found it. We all know the beauty we feel inside when we pay it forward or give back; that beauty inside makes people glow on the outside too.
The best part about my day at the celebration was getting to spend a few minutes with a handful of fourth-grade boys from Wiley Elementary School. After our event ended, the group of boys from our United Way sponsored mentoring program, who had served as ushers to the stage that morning, joined me in a spontaneous photography lesson.
It started by one of the boys who asked me to take a photo of him and his friends. I asked, “Have you ever taken photos with a camera like this?” “Hold this button until you see the red dots,” I would say, “then press it until you hear it click.” My camera must have rotated through four or five of the boys during that impromptu lesson, each one patiently waiting for their turn to capture the world through their eyes. When I got back to the office to upload the pictures, I started scrolling through the ones the boys had taken. Looking through the lens of those boys, you can see so much happiness, excitement, and the beauty of this life we’re in together.
And there was one photo that surprised me: a photo of me.
I admit I find it fun to take photos of people who radiate the spirit of what it means to LIVE UNITED; it’s just different when you’re normally behind the lens and see it in other people. I’m hoping that the boy who captured this photo of me was experiencing that kind of fun too.
I get joy out of taking photos, but yesterday it seemed little in comparison to the expressions on these boys’ faces as they were furiously clicking away. Since I didn’t have my camera (as the boys were busy using it), I took a mental photo of watching this group of young boys, some of which may have never considered themselves photographers, capturing the beauty of life. It was a photo I won’t forget.