Giving Opportunity: “My Photographer”

Marine Team fish tank

A local middle school has 230 students involved in Marine Team, an aquarium club of sorts where the kids care for 500 fish and more than 50 other creatures in 60 aquariums.

Last week they had an open house and West St. Paul Reader covered it. I wrote some quick facts about Marine Team and wandered the event getting a few quotes from students.

But most of the article was a series of photos from a student photographer I hired to cover the event. Colorful fish and photogenic kids petting reptiles? Sounds like a win.

It’s a fun little article and I’m thrilled we could give another local student photographer an opportunity. I’ve talked before about the value of giving someone a chance.

But my favorite part? Telling people “my photographer” was covering the event.

That sounds grossly arrogant, and I definitely don’t mean it that way.

What I felt was a sense of pride that West St. Paul Reader could invest in the community. It wasn’t just me taking blurry fish photos on my iPhone. We had a skilled photographer.

We could even hire a photographer in the first place because of member support, so big thanks to our members. And thanks to our photographer Finley Gustafson. And thanks to our other photographer, Sam Amundson, who couldn’t cover this event but recommended his friend.

Do you see what happened there? Yes, we have an other photographer. That’s wild. But even more, we gave an opportunity to one student and they turned around and recommended another student.

Giving people an opportunity is contagious.

Networking can be inherently selfish—what can I get? But when you focus on how you can help others, it can boost a community. Love it.

(Photo by Finley Gustafson)