The Tea Party | National Geographic Feature | North Andover MA Family Photographer
The other morning I was lazily scanning through my emails while I sipped a cup of coffee when an unusual sender caught my attention. It was from National Geographic…….I looked a little closer….”Great News! Your photo was selected for the Daily Dozen…” WHAT?!?! I opened the email, my heart beating faster with excitement as I read what was written….my photo, along with eleven others, was open for voting throughout the day and the winner would be considered for publication in a print issue of National Geographic……National Geographic!!! A magazine I pour through like a text book, studying the incredible composition, timing and lighting of the photos…..
I re-read the email to be sure I got it right…..yup – my simple, honest image of my daughter and her friend having tea was selected for online publication….this felt like a dream…..
I quickly clicked on the link to see the other eleven photos – a volcano that was captured erupting for the fist time in 52 years, an areal shot of a sheep herder in Romania, the devastation in the Philippines, an underwater shot of a shark in Cuba, and a stunning foggy evening shot of a man walking over a bridge……I looked at each of these images again and again….my coffee was getting cold….
As the day went on, people placed their votes and I continued to checked the tally every single spare moment I had…..but what I enjoyed most was receiving likes and comments from people around the world. A woman in India wrote, “This brought back so many memories from my own childhood where I shared many such ‘pretend’ games with my sister, who is also my best friend. Thank you!”……a woman from Switzerland shared, “Played the same game with my sister. It was fantastic, still remember the water on our tongue, pretending it is tea….”
I didn’t win the online voting, but I was thrilled with how the photo did. It was an exciting, emotional day that I will not soon forget.
And what this day did for me more than anything else is that it helped me to believe in myself just a little more. Taking photography, a hobby I have always been passionate about, and turning it into a business, ….into my way to pay the bills…..has been such a scary endeavor. How am I going to get all this done…the website, the blog, the branding……What if I can’t get the business off the ground….what if my work doesn’t speak to other people the way it does to me……
Well, today reminded me that I am capable of capturing images that can inspire people half a world away. Thank you National Geographic.