We stopped off in Seaside, OR at the coast for a PB&J snack last week, and saw some folks put up a pirate flag, then intimately gather in a circle. We weren't sure what it was, but it looked important and afterward, we approached them to email some photos we took on our phone. We'd been visually eavesdropping, and with 3% battery left, sent them images without exchanging names; just telling them we thought they should have them, and congrats.
They later told us these were the only photos of their wedding ceremony, as their photographer friend got caught up in the moment and didn't take any until afterward.
We don't expect emails or anything in return, but sometimes people do write or text back and it's some of the most satisfying validations of why the awkwardness is worth it. To give others something without expectations on either side. There are so many smart phones out there, we could all beautifully document each others lives. Setting them free like this feels much better than trapping them in our phones along with our hundreds (let's be honest...thousands) of cat photos.
They were kind enough to let us anonymously share some of their words to us. I sincerely believe anyone can do this for others; you don't have to be a photographer, just share in something lovely with someone you don't know.
"I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the photos you took of our beach wedding. I have attached my cropping of the photo from the North which is by far my favorite wedding photo. It will be printed and framed alongside my bed.
You captured perfectly my vision of and the spirit of the day. A tiny band of fellow travelers, encircled along the shore, a mere speck against the immensity of the surroundings, claiming this place and this moment for their own.....both timeless and for all time.
Hold this in your heart as one of your grandest works. I am forever grateful for your kindness in sharing this with me."