The First Photo

In 2004, my friend Michael and I went on a short mission trip to Mexico with a church group. We took Christmas gifts to an orphanage and spent two days hanging out with the kids.

There was this little girl who became my favorite. Something about her reminded me of myself. She was the smallest and yet the life of the party. Since I don’t know much Spanish, we mainly tried to make each other laugh. The last day of our visit I took a photo of her playing on the swings.

When I came home and saw the photo, I knew I had captured something special. Here she was poor, no parents and yet still full of joy. This was a moment of pure happiness and my little digital camera captured it.

I printed it and framed it. This was the first picture I had taken that said something powerful. It was the beginning of my journey as a photographer. Though it’s not perfect, its one of my favorites.

She gave more than she will ever know. I often wonder where she is at now. She would be 12. Crazy. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me but I’ll never forget her.

I see this photo every day and get inspired. She reminds me to be thankful for what I have and most importantly, to laugh.