Friday, July 30, 2010

Angel In Our Midst

It's rare that you come across a person who is gifted; truly gifted in her ability to reach inside and bring out the beauty in everyone whose lives she touches. Angels are people destined to serve a purpose higher than their own.  They illuminate the way for people to see more clearly what they are capable of.  They are people you may easily connect with, however you're not exactly sure why. 

For those of you who have known or known of her through involvement in the Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis, aka @smbmsp or Java MeetUp Minneapolis, you have been watching this phenomenon much longer than I.  Some have come to know her through her now famous Charity Water campaign. I was one of those people.

 "I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives."  - Tracy Chapman

I was intrigued with Erica Mayer & her selfless campaign to bring clean water to those in countries & communities where it's almost more than a necessity - to people who don't take clean water for granted as we do in the USA. Her 29th Birthday campaign, for which she raised an amazing $11,111, touched us long before the reality of the Gulf Oil disaster hit us closer to home.

So the back-story of this post has to do with Erica deciding to offer avatar photos to anyone who would contribute $50.00 or more to her Charity Water drive. I was one of those people, a job seeker who jumped at the opportunity, as I was desperately in need of professional photos for my new blog as well as for my LinkedIn and Twitter pages.

I went into my photo shoot very open, when in my opinion, the camera had never "loved" me - not that I had never taken a great photo on occasion.  My wedding photos, for example, were fabulous, but everyone looks wonderful on their wedding day.  As a Mom, my focus has shifted to capturing great photos of my child.  I am rarely in front of a camera. 

Erica has a unique way of helping you forget that the camera is even there.  She engages in conversation with her subjects and starts to dig to see what moves them and makes them tick... to draw out effortless reactions, raw emotions & energy.  That's where the beauty lives.  It translates from the soul through the lens, and later into the digital landscape.

Like clockwork, the inner transformation begins.  The excitement bubbles up.  Not only in the subject, but on Erica's face as she discovers that what she has captured is pure, spontaneous and rare.

"When angels visit us, we do not hear the rustle of wings, nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts." - Unknown

Every time I see another person tweet about an upcoming photo shoot with Ms. Erica, I get excited for them.  I could be wrong, but I have yet to see anyone be Mayerized and then be unhappy with the resulting portfolio of photos.  Usually, people become overwhelmed with the choices - to find a favorite among the sea of great shots.  Some even involve friends, family or their Twitterverse to help them choose.

For a moment in time, those who were uncomfortable behind the camera and who maybe didn't ever feel they were attractive, are touched by the angel in our midst, who is Erica Mayer. The response when I first posted my pics was tremendous - I'll never forget how good it made me feel.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what your did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

So if you missed the 1st Charity Water campaign, but still want to have a piece of the Puke Rainbows Photography experience, I recommend that you contact Erica & book a photo shoot, whether you need engagement, avatar, or family photos.

Forgive my shameless plug, but Erica has set the wheels in motion for me to love myself more than I have in the recent past.  Who couldn't use a spark to get them back on a more positive internal path, as well as guiding people's perceptions from the moment they first see your new photos, allowing the outside to match the inside. I also love that Erica is a muse & blogs some pretty inspirational posts.  Check it out here.

A special thank you goes to Ms. @alexisjbell , whose new avatar I was anxiously awaiting to see tonight & Missy, @MarketingMamaMN whose late night tweet looking for intuitive tweeps both inspired the brainstorming for this post while on the bus to work this morning.

"We are each other's angels, we meet when it is time." - Chuck Brodsky

If you liked this, you might also enjoy: Not You?! You don't look homeless!


The Marketing Mama said...

Very cool, Monika. I wrote about Erica's weight loss for water campaign this week because it's inspiring as well. I'm also excited to be "mayerized" this weekend when she takes pics of my family...

By the way, I was surprised to see you mention my tweet at the end. I'm glad it inspired you - no one responded to it directly... :)

Alexis said...

What a great post about Erica! You totally nailed the photo shoot experience. She makes you feel more beautiful, inside and out! Very inspiring woman.

misplacedfriend said...

You are an amazing woman. I am so lucky our paths crossed. Your post was so humbling. Words cannot even describe. Thank you.

MollyinMinn said...

She is amazingly talented. I so agree.

Jenn Erickson said...

Wow, Erica sounds like an incredible person ~ inspiring and talented!

Thank you for participating in the SITS B2B discussion at Blog Frog!