The Power of People

This is a heart wrenching story, and I’m just gonna spoil it for you now and tell you that it DOES have a happy ending.

This last sunday a dear friend of mine, and fellow photographer experienced something I couldn’t begin to imagine. His car was broken into; and in his car was a camera bag with several thousand dollars worth of high end photography equipment.

On Sunday the 19th of January Conner Allen posted a status update that twisted at my heart. I could only begin to imagine his pain as I read words I myself as a photographer feared ever having to post on facebook. His car window had been smashed out and his camera bag had been stolen – inside it was several thousand dollars worth of camera gear, but even more important than that, in the bag was Conner’s sole source of income and livelihood. He is a full time professional photographer and without that camera, he couldn’t pay the bills.

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The public rallied behind Conner, offering support, asking questions, threatening the faceless unknown thief. Conner – in his typical fashion was humble, and composed and was gracious for the outpouring of support. When I found out it didn’t take me more than 1 second to know exactly what I had to do. Conner is one of the nicest people I know, and certainly one of the more talented photographers I’ve ever had the chance to call a friend of mine. I was going to let Conner have my camera equipment (which was about equivalent value as what was stolen – several thousand dollars $$$) until something came around for him.

I wasn’t alone.

After posting my offer of my Canon 6D for him to use I started reading the rest of the comments above mine. Almost half a dozen other photographers had offered their equipment to Conner, or their backup equipment. Even my friend Brad Picard messaged me and asked if Conner needed to borrow HIS camera. Brad had just bought a Canon 600D off of eBay and had held his new camera for less than a day and he was willing to send it to Conner to use. PEOPLE ARE AMAZING!

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And of course there was the usual outpouring of well wishes, people sharing with their feeds, all in hopes that something truly remarkable would happen for this man we’ve all come to love. One comment, almost overlooked, when I did my glance of the thread really did a great job of foreshadowing what happens next. Sarah A. said what we were all thinking, “I hope something absolutely incredible happens soon.”

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And it did.

Today Conner was at home when there was a knock at the door. UPS was there with a package, and it required a signature. He was already expecting a delivery so didn’t think anything of it – swirled the pen on that cheesy LCD screen and brought the box inside. The weight was a bit off putting Conner said, as he recounted the details of today. After cutting back the tape and opening the box his heart jumped up into his throat and he was brought to tears.

In the box, was another box, in that box was a brand new Nikon D600 camera. Someone had not only seen his post on facebook, and read those comments, but also wanted to reach out and be the change in this world they so desperately believed in. The camera was a gift, and not a cheap one at that. Everything Conner had lost, had been replaced. And most importantly – that sense of helplessness was swept away by a sense of awe and gratitude.

Shana Rae Rosengarten of Florabella Collection – Photoshop Actions had reached out to Conner in the form of generosity – and with this gift she had included a note that all of us should read, and take the time to read again. It’s something you can write down and carry in your wallet because it is beautiful.

“Please Accept this gift as a reminder that in our Industry and in this world, there is far more beauty than ugliness. And that sometimes you don’t have to go looking for it… because it will find you.”

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