Do you ever meet genuinely kind people and walk away feeling inspired, uplifted and motivated? That’s how I felt after having coffee with local photographer, toddler mom, and entrepreneur Nicole Marcellus. We talked about her business Nicole Marcellus Photography, her aspirations and recent act of kindness that got me interested in her work. Photographers are everywhere. But the story behind this newly established creative artist in the Tampa Bay area is different. It’s one of courage and determination to build a business (and its growing fast!). With a desire to help others through her gift of photography.
By no means are professional photos a necessity. Since getting engaged, I’ve made it a regular occurrence to have a professional capture life’s special moments over the years. From newborn, annual family pics and the occasional holiday mini session– most of all I love seeing the final pictures. The anticipation is high and first look is exhilarating! Professional pictures aren’t always affordable, so when I saw Nicole’s post I was completely blown away by her generosity and compassion.
Kindness Behind the Lens
The post was titled “Kindness Matters”. I intently read on to learn that this kindness event would be an annual endeavor that gives photo sessions to families for whatever they can afford. “The price for this event will be set by you, not me… pay whatever you can.” Within hours of posting Nicole received an overwhelming response. Messages from her clients acknowledging this gesture of kindness and stories from families wanting to take Nicole up on her offer. As you can imagine, there are families of all walks throughout the Tampa Bay area. A few of them are getting the unexpected chance to have this thoughtful local photographer capture their family through pictures.
She goes on to share that Netflix series, The Kindness Diaries, (the same series I too had binged watched recently) inspired her to create this event. You’re missing out if you haven’t caught an episode yet. And better yet, it’s for the whole family. The 13-episode series follows one man around the world, literally, who travels with no money, food or gas. He relies on the kindness of strangers to fill his gas, give him food and provide a warm place to stay. The tales of his adventures are amazing. Each episode I was overwhelmed by the people he encountered and generosity shown to a complete stranger.
But showing true kindness isn’t new to Nicole. She has worked with local organization Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay. Her endeavor to help families through photography was just another way of giving back to the community that’s given her so much.
Paying it Forward Locally
Nicole hopes that her gesture of kindness will inspire her clients to keep acts of kindness moving forward. She also hopes that other business owners will take note and give back locally where it counts. In a world with so much negativity, this very simple message of kindness inspired by a Netflix series doesn’t require a lot of money or time. Therefore by definition being kind is being helpful and that is something that can happen anywhere, anytime.