I Like to Make People Smile

Today is January 5th, but I’m going to back-date this to the first for later indexing reasons (since that’s when I took this shot). The idea for this came to me last night as I was heading to bed.

Last year I started a 365 selfie project, but after a few weeks it became boring and seemed restrictive. I just sort of let it drop by the wayside. This year, I’m thinking about something new. It’s about me, but isn’t necessarily going to be of me every day. There are reasons for that that I’ll explain in the next post, but for now let me share this; this is a project about re-discovery. It’s about remembering who I am, what I’m about, what I love and what I do not. Fair warning, this project will be posted here rather than at my SFW site because there will be nudity from time to time. Some of it will be of me, some not, some artistic and pretty to look at, some just raw.

I don’t intend to think of something every day and then shoot it, though I may do that sometimes, too. But sometimes I will just shoot, and then find something about myself in the frames and post about that thing, whatever it is. This shot is a case of the latter.

Each year since 2012 I’ve been privileged to be the official photographer for the NC Tour de Cure, a bike ride to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. The ride occurs in May. It starts in Cary, NC, and follows a course of 100+ miles down to Seven Pines, and back again the next day. There are highlights from the last several years on the Events page of my other photography website. I’m rather proud of the work I do for them, and it’s all donated time and shots.

But on January 1st each year, the Tour also does a shorter looped ride, beginning and ending at Cycling Spoken Here, a sponsoring bike shop in Cary. There are great folks there, and if you’re a cyclist in the area, you should stop in and check the place out. Last year I was very, very sick on New Year’s Day, and couldn’t make it. This year, I pushed myself through some extremely difficult personal times and did. I got some great shots of riders on their bikes, some lovely scenes of the route, and fun candids of people involved.

But this one shot sticks out to me. I don’t know the rider as well as I do some others I’ve met on the Tour. Frankly, she’s a complete stranger to me. But it makes me realize that one of my great pleasures in life is to bring a little happiness into someone else’s life, even when I can’t find any for myself. And that makes this the shot of the day.

(UPDATE: 2015 March 1, I asked around at yesterday’s TdC event, and located her. The rider’s name is Susan, and you can find her at her blog, Barefoot on Block Pedals.)

All my #365SelfDiscovery posts will be filed here.

Related Posts


Louis Shackleton is a boudoir, portrait, art, event, and wildlife photographer formerly based in Wilmington, NC and now traveling the continent in his 2001 VW Passat named Gypsy.

Head on over to the About page to read more about him and his work.

More About Me
Like it? Share it!

Privacy Preference Center

%d bloggers like this: