“I will pay it forward“. This was one of the most important decision I took in the past few years. I consider myself a very lucky man: I have an amazing family, I love my work so much that I don’t feel it as work and I know I can achieve everything. I am lucky, luckier than many others, so I decided that I would have given my skill, knowledge and time to those less lucky than me.
The whole idea to pay it forward started in different moments, growing inside me. The seed was planted by my interest in meditation, years ago, and developed further when my son was born. Then few things happened; we met a couple of Italians who lost her little one three days after birth, a couple of friends had a baby with a very rare syndrome, and some time later I watched a creativeLive course held by Sandy Puc.
What does this have to do with photography and why my decision to pay it forward is in this blog today?
The Meaning of “Pay it Forward”
Pay it forward mean returning a good deed to others instead of to the original benefactor. It means that you have received a good deed and you want to spread good in the world. Pay it Forward means trying to make the world a better place.
Clearly you need to realise that you have indeed received a good deed. Too many times we are concentrated to all the negative things that happen to us to realise how lucky we all are. To pay it forward you do not necessarily need to be on the receiving end of someone’s good deed, you may decide to pay it forward for what life gifted you with. I decided to do like this, it is my way of saying, “thank you” for all the good I have received, in the hope that my “pay it forward” actions may help someone in need.
Pay it forward means giving value to your skills
To pay it forward, you need to realise that you are worth. As a photographer, you may be still growing. Your images may lack some depth, but you shall understand that you have a gift that is worth much more than your camera. You are a photographer.
We all go through phases of lack of confidence, where we look at our images feeling stuck. If you pay it forward, you need to trust yourself, knowing you do it from your heart and without ulterior motives. When you use your skills to take a photograph of someone in need, they will appreciate those images, they will pay you back with their gratitude.
To pay it forward you need to trust yourself, but in doing so you can gain confidence.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
In her creativeLive course, Sandy Puc introduced the charity “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep“. The aim of NILMDTS is to provide with remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby. When I watched the course, I immediately saw the pain some parents go through, and it resonate to me because I saw some of that pain in my friends. I turned to Faby and I said “I want to do it“.
If you think that photographing for NILMDTS is simple, think back. If you think it is something I do light-heartedly, think back, but the reason for which I am a Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer is because the parents I photograph will treasure those images and those images will help them to recover from their loss. I pay it forward to people who are much less fortunate than me.
Why should you pay it forward?
For me “pay it forward” is not a way to make business. Pay it forward is not a way of becoming a better photographer. Pay it forward means lending a helping hand to those who are in need. How would you feel if someone would light a candle in your darkest hour, without asking anything in return?
I pay it forward because I feel it is the right thing to do.
Even if you did not get anything back from doing it, you will still feel the power of giving. The care and love you donate is a positive force, and we can change the world one person at a time. Truth is that to pay it forward means enhancing your self esteem, feeling better and more positive.
I want to Pay It Forward to you
In the next few days, I will host a short online Lightroom workshop. Leave a comment on this post and share it online with the hashtag #payitforward mentioning @fabyandcarlo and you will be welcome to join it for free. And if you won’t share it? You are welcome too.
Do you know why am I doing it? Because it is a way to pay it forward!
Have you already found a way of doing it yourself? To Pay it forward I mean?