This is the season we talk about "giving". There are lots of ways to give. We often think of the traditional presents. But there is pay it back, pay it forward and giving for fun and for free. There are gifts of one's self and there is selfless giving when you give of yourselves beyond the expected. There is giving without strings attached.
Just this week there was a newer photographer who wanted advice from one of my photo critique groups. I gave a lesson on composition and lighting and wasn't acknowledged but actually snapped at for my response. What was nice is that three other photographers were reading my lesson and thanked me for it. An unexpected gift of thanks.
I am a strong believer in giving back. In my other business I have always had one client that I worked with for a reduced fee to help them get their businesses going. I have always been involved in leadership in some way with any of the business organizations where I was given so much.
I have done a small amount of charitable photography work. Time and experience are always good gifts. There are a few things in that regard that I am doing this spring. Working today on setting up a photo booth with proceeds going to Rotary Clubs International. Working at the Agoura Animal Shelter taking photos of volunteers for Big Sunday; Shooting at Oak Park High Schools book drive.
So this holiday season I am making a food donation to a local food pantry so those who might not have a holiday will have one - in lieu of some gifts to people who can afford to buy their own. I hope others will do that too.